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Learn Braille in ten minutes

Published the 06/02/2020 08:30 

Braille is the reading and writing code used by blind people. This manual allows you to learn its logic and structure in ten minutes.

Table of Contents

  1. The Structure
  2. The Alphabet
  3. Capital letters
  4. The Numbers
  5. The Punctuation
  6. Conclusions

The Structure

 A braille cell

Each Braille character is enclosed in a grid of 2x3 dots. The on/off combination of dots in the grid makes up a character. The grid is called a Braille cell. Each grid point is figuratively numbered. The figure opposite shows the rectangle of a Braille cell. Each circle is numbered and represents the position of a Braille dot.

The Alphabet

The Braille alphabet is identical to the English alphabet. What changes is the graphic representation of the letters. While in English the letters are drawn with rods and curves, in Braille the same letters are drawn in tactile dots. Depending on the state of the tactile dots in the Braille cell (raised or lowered), all the letters of the alphabet are formed. Below is the table with all the letters of the alphabet and their representation in Braille.

Letter Braille dots Cell
First Group
The 10 letters in the first group are the basis on which the alphabet and numbers are built.
a 1
b 12
c 14
d 145
e 15
f 124
g 1245
h 125
i 24
j 245
Second Group
The 10 letters in the second group are derived from those in the first with the addition of dot 3.
k 13
l 123
m 134
n 1345
o 135
p 1234
q 12345
r 1235
s 234
t 2345
Third Group
The 6 letters of the third group are derived from those of the second with the addition of dot 6, except for the w.
u 136
v 1236
x 1346
y 13456
z 1356
w 2456


Word Braille
home ⠓⠕⠍⠑
apple ⠁⠏⠏⠇⠑
Computer ⠉⠕⠍⠏⠥⠞⠑⠗
keyboard ⠅⠑⠽⠃⠕⠁⠗⠙

Capital Letters

Letters in upper case have the same shape as those in lower case. To identify an uppercase character, you put a Braille symbol in front of it, which is called a capital sign. The uppercase sign is a cell with dots 6 (⠠). To identify a word written entirely in uppercase, put two Capital Signs (⠠⠠) in front of the word.


Word Braille
Microsoft ⠠⠍⠊⠉⠗⠕⠎⠕⠋⠞
America ⠠⠁⠍⠑⠗⠊⠉⠁
JOSEPH ⠠⠠⠚⠕⠎⠑⠏⠓
McDonald ⠠⠍⠉⠠⠙⠕⠝⠁⠇⠙

The Numbers

Braille numbers are made up of the first ten letters of the alphabet and a symbol called the Number Sign. The number sign is a cell with the dots 3456 (⠼). In the presence of a numerical sequence, the Number Sign is placed before the first digit only.

Number Braille dots Cell
1 3456-1 ⠼⠁
2 3456-12 ⠼⠃
3 3456-14 ⠼⠉
4 3456-145 ⠼⠙
5 3456-15 ⠼⠑
6 3456-124 ⠼⠋
7 3456-1245 ⠼⠛
8 3456-125 ⠼⠓
9 3456-24 ⠼⠊
0 3456-245 ⠼⠚


Number Braille
123 ⠼⠁⠃⠉
1973 ⠼⠁⠊⠛⠉
08 1995 ⠼⠚⠓⠀⠼⠁⠊⠊⠑
iPhone39 ⠊⠠⠏⠓⠕⠝⠑⠼⠉⠊

The Punctuation

Punctuation does not follow any particular rules, it is used as in the English language. The following table contains the main punctuation symbols.

Punctuation Braille Cell
. (Period) 256
, (Comma) 2
! (Exclamation) 235
? (Question) 236
: (Colon) 25
; (Semicolon) 23
' (Apostrophe) 3
@ (At) 4-1 ⠈⠁
( ) (Parentheses) 5-126 5-345 ⠐⠣⠀⠐⠜⠶
« » (Quotation marks) 45-236 45-356 ⠘⠦⠀⠘⠴
/ \ (Slash and Backslash) 34 456-16 ⠌⠀⠸⠡


The simplicity of Braille lies in the fact that its basic logic can be learned in ten minutes. Just as with ordinary reading and writing, it requires practice to master its use. I'm aware that there are other features to talk about, but what I've presented to you are the basics from which to learn everything else.

This article is the result of my fifteen years of experience working with Braille and Biblos. I have presented Braille to you in an accessible and usable way. If you are going to copy the content of this page and repost it elsewhere, I ask you the courtesy of respecting the work and time I have put into writing it. Instead of copying it, you can share the link to this page, to value my work and the Braille system. Thank you.

For further support you can subscribe the Biblos Group on Facebook.