Greek Braille

Greek Braille is the braille alphabet of the Greek language. It is based on international braille conventions, generally corresponding to Latin transliteration. In Greek, it is known as Κώδικας Μπράιγ Kôdikas Mpraig "Braille Code".

There are actually two Greek braille alphabets, which differ in the assignment of a few letters: Modern Greek Braille used in Greece, and International Greek Braille for Greek letters or words used in mathematics or otherwise embedded in English and other languages.

Modern Greek Braille

Modern Greek Braille
Parent systems
Print basis
Greek alphabet

Modern Greek Braille runs as follows:[1]


Basic print alphabet
α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ
⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245) ⠙ (braille pattern dots-145) ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356) ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456) ⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346) ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234) ⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235) ⠎ (braille pattern dots-234) ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠋ (braille pattern dots-124) ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125) ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346) ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245)
Letters for print digraphs
αι ει οι υι αυ ευ ηυ ου
⠣ (braille pattern dots-126) ⠩ (braille pattern dots-146) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246) ⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456) ⠡ (braille pattern dots-16) ⠱ (braille pattern dots-156) ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256) ⠥ (braille pattern dots-136)

Punctuation and formatting

. , ' ; ? : -
⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠂ (braille pattern dots-2) ⠄ (braille pattern dots-3) ⠢ (braille pattern dots-26) ⠆ (braille pattern dots-23) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36)
Parenthesis Open quote Close quote Capital Accent
⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356) ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠴ (braille pattern dots-356) ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)

The accent mark (acute accent) comes before the vowel or diphthong, but after the capitalization sign: ά, Ά, αί. It's not used for diaeresis; ϊ is just .


Digits are the same as in English Braille. Arithmetical symbols are:

+ * / =
⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36) ⠡ (braille pattern dots-16) ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346)

International Greek Braille

International Greek Braille
Parent systems
Print basis
Greek alphabet

International letter assignments differ somewhat from those above. In Modern Greek Braille, for example, the letter omega (ω) is written the same as Latin j, whereas in English or French braille texts it is written as a w, which it resembles in print. Similarly, Modern Greek upsilon is written as Latin y, but in international Greek it's written as u, and the letter eta is inverted.

This alphabet is used, for example, in mathematical notation in an otherwise Latin-braille text. It also forms the basis for Greek letters in the Nemeth Braille and Gardner–Salinas braille codes. It is not used in Greece or Cyprus.[2] In the table below, the letters which differ from Modern Greek Braille are highlighted.

Greek letters found in English Braille text
α β γ δ ε ζ η θ ι κ λ μ
⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245) ⠙ (braille pattern dots-145) ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356) ⠱ (braille pattern dots-156) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456) ⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
ν ξ ο π ρ σ τ υ φ χ ψ ω
⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346) ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234) ⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235) ⠎ (braille pattern dots-234) ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345) ⠥ (braille pattern dots-136) ⠋ (braille pattern dots-124) ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠺ (braille pattern dots-2456)

The Modern Greek diphthongs are not used. In addition, there are assignments for obsolete letters used in Greek numerals:

Obsolete letters[2][3]
ϛ[4] ϡ[4] ϝ ϙ/ϟ
⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346) ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345)


International Greek braille does, however, represent the polytonic vowels of ancient forms of the language, either as a separate accent mark with the normal vowel signs, or as a single braille cell for vowel+accent. Polytonic vowels sharing a braille pattern with obsolete letters are highlighted in the table.

Polytonic letters[2]
Accent α ε η ι ο υ ω
Acute ´
⠈ (braille pattern dots-4) ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠫ (braille pattern dots-1246) ⠿ (braille pattern dots-123456) ⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246) ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256) ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245)
Circumflex ῀
⠐ (braille pattern dots-5) ⠡ (braille pattern dots-16) - ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126) ⠩ (braille pattern dots-146) - ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)
Grave `
⠠ (braille pattern dots-6) ⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346) ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠬ (braille pattern dots-346) ⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456) ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345)

See also

A sample of Moon type in various languages including Greek.
  • Moon type is a simplification of the Latin alphabet for embossing. An adaptation for Greek-reading blind people has been proposed.


  1. ^ Kouroupetroglou & Phlôrias, "Ελληνικο συστημα Braille", in Επιστμονικα συμβολα κατα Braille στον Ελληνικο χωρο
  2. ^ a b c UNESCO (2013) World Braille Usage, 3rd edition.
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ a b Sampi and stigma are here shown as they appear in Unesco (2013), as this makes more sense in terms of international norms than the previous reference, which has them inverted.
Braille pattern dots-124

The Braille pattern dots-124 ( ⠋ ) is a 6-dot braille cell with the two top dots and middle left dot raised, or an 8-dot braille cell with both top dots and the upper-middle left dot raised. It is represented by the Unicode code point U+280b, and in Braille ASCII with F.

English Braille

English Braille, also known as Grade 2 Braille, is the braille alphabet used for English. It consists of 250 or so letters (phonograms), numerals, punctuation, formatting marks, contractions, and abbreviations (logograms). Some English Braille letters, such as ⠡ ⟨ch⟩, correspond to more than one letter in print.

There are three levels of complexity in English Braille. Grade 1 is a nearly one-to-one transcription of printed English and is restricted to basic literacy. Grade 2, which is nearly universal beyond basic literacy materials, abandons one-to-one transcription in many places (such as the letter ⠡ ⟨ch⟩) and adds hundreds of abbreviations and contractions. Both grades have been standardized. "Grade 3" is any of various personal shorthands. It is almost never found in publications. Most of this article describes the 1994 American edition of Grade 2 Braille, which is largely equivalent to British Grade 2 Braille. Some of the differences with Unified English Braille, which was officially adopted by various countries between 2005 and 2012, are discussed at the end.

Braille is frequently portrayed as a re-encoding of the English orthography used by sighted people. However, braille is an independent writing system, not a variant of the printed English alphabet.

Gardner–Salinas braille codes

The Gardner–Salinas braille codes are a method of encoding mathematical and scientific notation linearly using braille cells for tactile reading by the visually impaired. The most common form of Gardner–Salinas braille is the 8-cell variety, commonly called GS8. There is also a corresponding 6-cell form called GS6.The codes were developed as a replacement for Nemeth Braille by John A. Gardner, a physicist at Oregon State University, and Norberto Salinas, an Argentinian mathematician.

The Gardner–Salinas braille codes are an example of a compact human-readable markup language. The syntax is based on the LaTeX system for scientific typesetting.

Greek diacritics

Greek orthography has used a variety of diacritics starting in the Hellenistic period. The more complex polytonic orthography (Greek: πολυτονικό σύστημα γραφής, romanized: polytonikó sýstima grafís) notates Ancient Greek phonology. The simpler monotonic orthography (μονοτονικό σύστημα γραφής, monotonikó sýstima grafís), introduced in 1982, corresponds to Modern Greek phonology, and requires only two diacritics.

Polytonic orthography (from polys (πολύς) "much, many" and tonos (τόνος) "accent") is the standard system for Ancient Greek and Medieval Greek. The acute accent (´), the circumflex (ˆ), and the grave accent (`) indicate different kinds of pitch accent. The rough breathing (῾) indicates the presence of the /h/ sound before a letter, while the smooth breathing (᾿) indicates the absence of /h/.

Since in Modern Greek the pitch accent has been replaced by a dynamic accent (stress), and /h/ was lost, most polytonic diacritics have no phonetic significance, and merely reveal the underlying Ancient Greek etymology.

Monotonic orthography (from monos (μόνος) "single" and tonos (τόνος) "accent") is the standard system for Modern Greek. It retains two diacritics: a single accent or tonos (΄) that indicates stress, and the diaeresis (¨), which usually indicates a hiatus but occasionally indicates a diphthong: compare modern Greek παϊδάκια (/pajˈðaca/, "lamb chops"), with a diphthong, and παιδάκια (/peˈðaca/, "little children") with a simple vowel. A tonos and a diaeresis can be combined on a single vowel to indicate a stressed vowel after a hiatus, as in the verb ταΐζω (/taˈizo/, "to feed").

Although it is not a diacritic, the hypodiastole (comma) has in a similar way the function of a sound-changing diacritic in a handful of Greek words, principally distinguishing ό,τι (ó,ti, "whatever") from ότι (óti, "that").

Greek language

Greek (Modern Greek: ελληνικά elliniká) is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

The Greek language holds an important place in the history of the Western world and Christianity; the canon of ancient Greek literature includes works in the Western canon such as the epic poems Iliad and Odyssey. Greek is also the language in which many of the foundational texts in science, especially astronomy, mathematics and logic and Western philosophy, such as the Platonic dialogues and the works of Aristotle, are composed; the New Testament of the Christian Bible was written in Koiné Greek. Together with the Latin texts and traditions of the Roman world, the study of the Greek texts and society of antiquity constitutes the discipline of Classics.

During antiquity, Greek was a widely spoken lingua franca in the Mediterranean world, West Asia and many places beyond. It would eventually become the official parlance of the Byzantine Empire and develop into Medieval Greek. In its modern form, Greek is the official language in two countries, Greece and Cyprus, a recognised minority language in seven other countries, and is one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. The language is spoken by at least 13.2 million people today in Greece, Cyprus, Italy, Albania, Turkey, and the Greek diaspora.

Greek roots are often used to coin new words for other languages; Greek and Latin are the predominant sources of international scientific vocabulary.

Greek orthography

The orthography of the Greek language ultimately has its roots in the adoption of the Greek alphabet in the 9th century BC. Some time prior to that, one early form of Greek, Mycenaean, was written in Linear B, although there was a lapse of several centuries (the Greek Dark Ages) between the time Mycenaean stopped being written and the time when the Greek alphabet came into use.

Early Greek writing in the Greek alphabet was phonemic, different in each dialect. Since the adoption of the Ionic variant for Attic in 403 BC, however, Greek orthography has been largely conservative and historical.

Given the phonetic development of Greek, especially in the Hellenistic period, certain modern vowel phonemes have multiple orthographic realizations:

/i/ can be spelled η, ι, υ, ει, οι, or υι (see Iotacism);

/e/ can be spelled either ε or αι;

/o/ can be spelled either ο or ω.This affects not only lexical items but also inflectional affixes, so correct orthography requires mastery of formal grammar, e.g. η καλή /i kaˈli/ 'the good one (fem. sing.)' vs. οι καλοί /i kaˈli/ 'the good ones (masc. pl.)'; καλώ /kaˈlo/ 'I call' vs. καλό /kaˈlo/ 'good (neut. sing.)'.

Similarly, the orthography preserves ancient doubled consonants, though these are now pronounced the same as single consonants, except in Cypriot Greek.

Modern Greek

Modern Greek (Νέα Ελληνικά néa elliniká or Νεοελληνική Γλώσσα neoellinikí glóssa) refers collectively to the dialects of the Greek language spoken in the modern era, and includes Standard Modern Greek. The end of the Medieval Greek period and the beginning of Modern Greek is often symbolically assigned to the fall of the Byzantine Empire in 1453, even though that date marks no clear linguistic boundary and many characteristic modern features of the language arose centuries earlier, between the fourth and the fifteenth centuries AD.

During most of the period, the language existed in a situation of diglossia, with regional spoken dialects existing side by side with learned, more archaic written forms, as with the vernacular and learned varieties (Dimotiki and Katharevousa) that co-existed throughout much of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Nemeth Braille

The Nemeth Braille Code for Mathematics is a Braille code for encoding mathematical and scientific notation linearly using standard six-dot Braille cells for tactile reading by the visually impaired. The code was developed by Abraham Nemeth. The Nemeth Code was first written up in 1952. It was revised in 1956, 1965, and 1972, and beginning in 1992 was integrated into Unified English Braille. It is an example of a compact human-readable markup language.

Nemeth Braille is just one code used to write mathematics in braille. There are many systems in use around the world.

Braille ⠃⠗⠁⠊⠇⠇⠑
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