Dzongkha Braille

Dzongkha Braille
Bhutanese Braille
Type
Languages Dzongkha
Parent systems
Braille
Print basis
Tibetan alphabet

Dzongkha Braille, or Bhutanese Braille, is the braille alphabet for writing Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. It is based on English braille, with some extensions from international usage. As in print, the vowel a is not written.

Despite Dzongkha and Tibetan using nearly the same alphabet in print, the braille alphabets differ radically, with Tibetan Braille closer to German conventions and assigned letter values according to different sound correspondences.

Alphabet[1]

Consonantkakhagangacachajanya
Print
Braille
Consonanttathadanapaphabama
Print
Braille
Consonanttsatshadzawazhaza'aya
Print
Braille
Consonantralashasaha
Print
Braille

The reversed letters used in Sanskrit loanwords are indicated with the diacritic :

, , , , .

The vowel "a" is inherent in a consonant letter, and is not written explicitly. Other vowels are written after a consonant as in English Braille. When a vowel occurs at the beginning of a word, the vowel letter is carried by a null consonant :

Vowelsaiueo
Print
(on )
ཨི ཨུ ཨེ ཨོ
Braille
kakikukeko
Print
(on )
ཀི ཀུ ཀེ ཀོ
Braille

Sanskrit vowel-marking includes:

ཨཿ aḥ, ཨྃ aṃ,

as in ཀིཿ kiḥ, ཀོྃ koṃ.

It's not clear how conjuncts are indicated. However, the conjunct ཀྵ kṣa in Sanskrit loans suggests that the 45 points conjoin two consonants.

Punctuation

Digits are as in English Braille. Native punctuation (syllable divider, comma, stop) is:

Print
Braille

Roman punctuation differs from that of English Braille. The question and exclamation marks, for example, are prefixed by a point 6, and .

Print ,?!; :....-/*
Braille
Print “ ... ”( ... )[ ... ]{ ... }
Braille

References

  1. UNESCO (2013) World Braille Usage, 3rd edition.
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