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.

“World Braille Usage” is a compilation of braille codes for 133 languages from around the globe. The reference book is 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.

We 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.”

The latest edition included a special effort was made to collect braille codes for indigenous and mother-tongue languages, which allows more students to learn braille in the 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 and the latest edition is available for download. Because of the highly graphical nature of the PDF publication, the symbols for the characters are not readily accessible to assistive technology users.

To download an electronic braille (.brf) version of this publication that is accessible to users within the braille-reading community, please use the links below. The book is in five volumes, each with its own .brf file presented in uncontracted braille. For users who want to emboss a paper hardcopy, these files are 25 lines by 40 cells.

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