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...Foreign Language Braille...













Do you speak French, Spanish, Japanese, or another foreign language? Do you know how to read and write that language? Maybe you hope to one day learn a foreign language in high school or college. There are people who are braille readers in every country. So, there are braille codes for just about every language so people can read and write in the language they speak.

Remember, there are only 6 dots that make up the braille cell. Therefore, like with the other braille codes such as Nemeth code for math and the music braille code different symbols have specific meanings. To show you how this works, let's use Spanish as our language example.

Symbols in Spanish Braille


In Spanish braille there are no contractions, the short way to write words and groups of letters. Each letter is written in braille just as it is written in print. There are braille characters for each letter that is accented in Spanish. Look at the accented letters in the table below and the braille symbols for them.


Braille Letter Letter Name

Dots 1 2 3 5 6
á a acute

Dots 2 3 4 6
é e acute

Dots 3 4
í i acute

Dots 3 4 6
ó o acute

Dots 1 2 3 5 6
ú u acute

Dots 1 2 5 6
ü u with dieresis

Dots 1 2 4 5 6
ñ n with tilde


There are also symbols for the marks of punctuation used in Spanish.



Dots 2 6
¿ ? (to be placed before and at the end of question or word)

Dots 1 2 4
¡ ! (to be placed before and at the end of sentence or word)


The other marks of punctuation like the period dots 2 5 6 and comma dot 2 are the same as they are in the English literary braille code.

What Does This Say?


Using the braille alphabet and the Spanish symbols from above you can read and write Spanish braille. Look at the sentence below.


Dot 1
Dots 1 2
Dots 1 4
Dots 1 4 5
Dots 1 5
Dots 1 2 4
Dots 1 2 4 5
Dots 1 2 5
Dots 2 4
Dots 2 4 5
a b c d e f g h i j

Dots 1 3
Dots 1 2 3
Dots 1 3 4
Dots 1 3 4 5
Dots 1 3 5
Dots 1 2 3 4
Dots  1 2 3 4 5
Dots 1 2 3 5
Dots 2 3 4
Dots 2 3 4 5
k l m n o p q r s t

Dots 1 3 6
Dots 1 2 3 6
Dots 2 4 5 6
Dots 1 3 4 6
Dots 1 3 4 5 6
Dots 1 3 5 6
u v w x y z


Here's an example of Spanish braille:


¿Que hora es por favor, señor?


Simulated braille cells reading: ¿Que hora es por favor, señor?


Do you see how the "¿" is brailled Dots 1 5 and so is the "?" at the end of the statement. The "ñ" is brailled Dots 1 2 4 5 6 .


Here is another example:


Soy de México.


Soy de México.



Below are five sentences. After you decode the braille (that is, figure out what it says), click here to see if you're correct. Braille readers, right-click here to download braille-ready files of the same five sentences.


First Spanish sentence in simulated braille

Second Spanish sentence in simulated braille

Third Spanish sentence in simulated braille

Fourth Spanish sentence in simulated braille

Fifth Spanish sentence in simulated braille


If you or one of your classmates is blind and taking a foreign language class, such as Spanish, then you'll need your books, worksheets and tests in Spanish braille. The Teacher of Students with Visual Impairments (TVI) will braille the materials or arrange to have them brailled for you. The TVI isn't going to teach the Spanish to you. You'll learn it from the Spanish teacher just like everyone else. Many people who are braille readers enjoy learning other languages and traveling to the countries where those languages are spoken.


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