Archive for April, 2009

Spanish Braille Cheat Sheet

April 29, 2009
Spanish Braille Cheat Sheet

Spanish Braille Cheat Sheet

Top 10 Things to know about transcribing the Spanish Braille code

April 28, 2009

10. In the Spanish Braille Code print accents will often be omitted over capital letters, you are still required to use proper Braille symbol for the accented letter.

9. In a bilingual text, the English Braille contractions (to) (by) and (into) must not be joined to any foreign letters, words, or word parts.

8. There is no letter sign in the Spanish Braille code, so single letters of the alphabet are not preceded by any sign unless they are italicized or capitalized.

7. In the Spanish Braille Code, hyphens, brackets, quotation marks, periods, commas, colons, semi-colons, and the number sign are the same as in  English Literary Braille.

6. The double capital sign does not exist in the Spanish Braille Code.  You should simply show initial capitals or, if extra emphasis is desired, you may use italics.

5. The italic sign is dots 4-5-6. The double italic sign is dots 4-5-6 twice.

4. The question mark (dots 2-6) and the exclamation mark (dots 2-3-5) should be used both at the beginning and at the end of the question or exclamation respectively.

3. The capital sign in Spanish is a (4-6) 

2.  Each of the 5 accented vowels (accent acute), the double l , the letter ñ, and the letter ü, all have unique Braille symbols.  (see accompanying sheet) 

1. There are no contractions, or short-form words of any kind in the Spanish Braille Code. The Spanish Braille Code is written entirely in un-contracted Braille.


Spanish Code Examples

April 28, 2009

1. When the Spanish words are being read as a foreign language to the Braille reader, the capital letter sign is transcribed as a dot 6.  In Spanish speaking countries, the capital sign will be read as a 4-6. (Since the following examples would be read by a student learning Spanish, the dot 6 will be used.)

Me llamo Carlos.  ( My name is Carlos.)

,me =amo .carlos4

2. The capital letter sign is omitted when the word is preceded by an italics indicator.  Because the entire word is in Italics, the double italics sign is used with the name “Carlos

Me llamo Carlos. ( My name is Carlos.)

,me =amo __carlos4

3. The double capital sign does not exist in Spanish code. Either use italics or simply use initial capitals.

a)     Italics example:

La novela Ximena de Dos Caminos era escrito por Laura Riesgo.

(The novel Ximena at the Crossroads was written by Laura Reisgo.)

   ,la novela __ximena __de __dos               __caminos era escrito por ,laura    ,riesgo4



b)    Initial Capitals:

La novela Ximena De Dos Caminos era escrito por Laura Riesgo.

,la novella .ximena .de .dos .caminos era escrito por ,laura ,riesgo4


4. There is no letter indicator in the Spanish Braille code.

Mide la linea x.  ( Measure line x.)

,mide la linea x4


5. The Spanish Braille code uses an abbreviation point (dot 3) even when an abbreviation is immediately followed by a period.

Para a la esq..         (Stop at the street corner.)

(esq. = esquina = street corner)

,para a la esq’4


6. The comma that separates the hundreds column is represented in Braille as a dot 3 and the decimal is the same as literary English Braille (dot 2)

2, 540,300.5



7. In Spanish abbreviations using capital letters, a capital letter sign must precede EACH capital letter.

Vivo en EE.UU..   (I live in the United States.)

(EE.UU. = Estados Unidos = United States)

,vivo en ,e,e’,u,u’4

Notice that this abbreviation is also next to the period, like the example above.  The dot 3 (abbreviation mark) should come after the second E and the second U (before the literary period).


8. A dot 3 should be used after the numeral, before ordinal endings (“o” and “a”)

Marcela es la 1a persona y Miguel is la 2a.     

(Marcela is the first person and Miguel is the second.)

1a = Primera – first          2a = Segunda – second

,Marcela es la #A’A      PERSONA Y ,MIGUAL ES LA #B’A4

9. The exclamation mark (placed both at the beginning and at the end of the sentence) is dots 2-3-5 (the same as Literary English except used at the beginning as well.)


¡No me digas!  (You don’t say! No way!)


10. The question mark (placed both at the beginning and at the end of the sentence) is dots 2-6. Note that this is a different symbol from the English Braille question mark.

¿Tienes hambre?   (Are you hungry?)


11. Often in written Spanish the accent is omitted when it falls on a capital letter.  When transcribing Spanish Braille it is necessary to use the correct accented Braille symbol regardless of how it appears in print.

Este es mi coche.  (This is my car.)

(A written accent should appear over the “E” in a grammatically correct Spanish sentence.)


12. The following two sentences contain an example of the most commonly used symbols unique to the Spanish Braille Code.

a.     each of the five accented vowels      

(á, é, í, ó, ú)

b.     the “double L” (ll)

c.      the letter “n” with the tilde (ñ)

d.     the U-dieresis (ü) 

e.      Spanish punctuation at both the beginning and the end of the sentence.


¿Dónde está el champú de la Señora Castillo?

(Where is Mrs. Castle’s shampoo?)



¡Yo no sabía que los pingüinos comen el brécol!

(I didn’t know that penguins ate broccoli!)



What else do we need to know?

April 28, 2009

What else do we need to know?

·        When writing Spanish as a foreign language in Braille, NO CONTRACTIONS ARE USED. Also, BANA rules are followed.

·        This actually makes it easier for the Braille student who is learning Spanish.


Examples from the Spanish textbook ¡En Espanol!


¿Cierto o Falso?

5,cierto o,falso5


Escuchar                    ¿ Es cierto o falso?                     Si  es

,iscuhar  5,is cierto o falso5 ,se is

 falso,  di  lo que es cierto

falso1 di lo qui es ceirto4


Listen.  True or False? If it is false, say what is true

 The directions are brailled using uncontracted braille as the context is Spanish.



(Hint: True or False? If it is false, say what is true)

7,h9t3 trui or false6 if x is false1 say :at is true47

 This hint is in English in the book, therefore,  contractions are used.


Foreign words and names which are printed in regular typeface in an English context may use contractions and letter signs.  When they are in Italics, no contractions or letter signs may be used.


Verónica  and Andrés are the children  of Javier and Yolanda. (The italics identify the names as proper nouns and foreign words).

.,ver@onica & .,andr@es >e ! *n ( .,javeir & yolanda4


Verónica and Andrés are the children of Javier and Yolanda (note the use of contractions)

,v]@oneca & ,&r@es >e ! *n ( ,jav@i] & yol&a4



Where do we use the Spanish accented symbols? In Spanish context, each symbol has its own Braille Symbol. In English context, we use dot 4 just before the accented letter.



1.   Javier es el tío de Andrés.

#a4 ,javier es el t/o de ,andr!s4


In the Spanish context the Spanish accented symbol í is represented by dots 34. The é is represented by dots 2346.


    Javier is the uncle of Andrés.

 ,javi] is ! uncle (,andr@es4


    In the English context note that the Spanish accented symbol é is denoted by dot 4 immediately before the e. Dot 4 indicates an accented symbol – it is used for all Spanish Accent Symbols in the English context

Spanish Braille Team questions

April 28, 2009


Did you do any preparation in advance of taking the course?

Were you given some sort of cheat sheet or easy references you find make it easier?

Were the graphs for verb conjugating easy to follow (6 section box)?

What are some of the ways that your TVI supports your learning Spanish?

What did you find the most difficult about taking Spanish class?

What do you use as an English/Spanish dictionary?

What have been other good resources to look up words?

Is it hard because Spanish is uncontracted?

How long did it take you to learn it?

How do you use Braille note to do Spanish Braille?

What tools did Braille note come with preloaded that have been useful?

Any problems using Braille note for Spanish?

Does Jaws pronounce Spanish correctly?

Did you purchase and use Spanish learning software (Living Language)?

If so, which one?

What do you think of it?

Is it Jaws compatible?

How often does your class go to lab?

What are some of the activities that you do there?

What technology is provided there for you such as Jaws?

Lots of Spanish lessons are very visual. What do you do to access this material?

Does your class do videos/movies such as Destinos?

Are you enjoying taking Spanish class?

What are ways that your parents are actively involved in your learning Spanish?

What do you recommend that TVI’s do for their student?

Teacher (TVI)

Where do you get Braille textbooks? Were the books specially ordered?

Is it hard to get the materials on time? Does the teacher provide any materials, in advance?

What is the hardest part of supporting the student taking Spanish?

What about the teacher handouts in Spanish?

How would you characterize your role as TVI for your student’s Spanish classes?

What have you needed to teach?

How do you introduce the material: composition marks, alphabet first, whole word language and how to Braille? Do you just follow the teachers lead?

Are there any references and resources that you find useful?

How do you get Spanish symbols for your computer? Does Duxbury take care of it?

How much time do you spend each week brailling games, visual aids, charts, worksheets, etc.?

How much time is spent on Spanish versus other core subjects (hours per subject)?

When your student uses the language lab, were there modifications that needed to be made for her?

What skills have you needed to teach her to help her in the language lab?

When do you need to go into the class with the student?

How do you create visuals as they come up on the board?

What, if any, tactile graphics have you needed to make for this class?

Who brailles the materials for the class – you or the resource person? How is that work divided?

Logistically, how does the Braille work flow?

What, if anything, causes the student to fall behind?

Any steps that you take to make it efficient so that we may follow your example?

What have you found from your experience that is a big help to your student that we should replicate?