Fingers reading braille on paper

World Braille Usage

Often described as “the braille bible,” World Braille Usage is a compilation of braille codes for languages from around the globe. Download it here.

About the third edition

“World Braille Usage” is a compilation of braille codes for 133 languages from around the globe. The reference book answers educators’ questions about proper braille usage and promotes consistency within each country’s braille code. It also preserves braille codes for rare and endangered languages.

Perkins School for the Blind partnered with the National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled Library of Congress and the International Council on English Braille to update the latest “World Braille Usage.”

This latest edition made a special effort to collect braille codes for indigenous and mother-tongue languages, allowing more students to learn braille in a language they grew up speaking.

All languages in the book are based on a standardized system of phonetics, which makes possible the inclusion of character-based languages such as Mandarin. The latest edition also includes eight of the most commonly used tribal languages in South Africa, as well as Iñupiaq from Alaska, Khmer from Cambodia and Ndebele from Zimbabwe.

“World Braille Usage” was first published in 1953, with the second edition published in 1990 and the current third edition published in 2013. The 2013 edition is available for download as a PDF for print and braille formatted electronic files.

Download the print and electronic braille versions

Use the following links to download the print and electronic braille versions. Below the links are notes about both versions, including accessibility and embossing.

Print note

Because of the highly graphical nature of the PDF, many of the symbols used for the characters are not readily accessible to assistive technology users.

Electronic Braille note

Electronic braille is a format accessible to users within the braille-reading community. The electronic braille version is in five volumes, each with its own .brf file presented in uncontracted braille. If you plan to emboss a paper hardcopy, please note these files are 25 lines by 40 cells.

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