First of all, many thanks to Claire for having been sokind and
transferring the message below to me. She did so because I am blind and
trying to be a follower of tibetan buddhism which is based on the
sansckit rather than Pali set of canonical texts.
Also, I am Cc-ing Samuel Thibault because he implemented many braille
tables in brltty, based on a UNESCO report describing the different
known braille alphabets and which can be found here::
As Samuel explained to me, this is a scanned document but which
apparently also contains a digital version of the report which should
thus be accessible.
Since Samuel did not subscribe to the forum as I did (he is sighted and
already receives loads of e-mails), please make sure to use "Reply to
all" if you wish to include him into the discussion.
Coming to the topic. Brltty already contains a braille table for
sanscript. This table is based on the devanagari scripture, so its
alphabet looks similar to all the alphabets used for languages similar
to hindi, Samuel explained. Samuel added that, according to Wikipedia,
Pali seems not too far from sanscript indeed, in terms of alphabet.
So Samuel's *strong* recommendation would be to design a table for pali
by starting from the table for devanagari and then adding to it what is
missing, based on what has been done in other hindi-related tables. That
way, the resulting braille would be coherent with the existing ones and
somebody having learned one variant would have an easier transitionn to
The other relevant tables are bengali, gujarati, gurmukhi, kannada,
malayalam, oriya and telugu. So if a symbol required for Pali is missing
from devanagari but defined in one of those table, then use the same
representation in the Pali table. Only try to find a new representation
if a certain symbol is not represented in any of these tables.
I hope this helps.
Begin forwarded message:
From: Scott Feldman <scottfel...@gmail.com
Subject: Braillists Forum: Pali braille
Date: 29 July 2021 at 12:07:14 GMT+1
Hello. I am a visually impaired Buddhist practitioner who is interested in making Pali (the language of the Buddhist scriptures) accessible in braille. I am looking for other braille readers who would be interested in joining up to develop a Pali braille code.
For English speakers like myself, Pali is represented in print using the standard Latin alphabet with the addition, for certain letters, of diacritical marks like the macron (a line above the letter) and underdots. We would need to make decisions about how to most efficiently represent these characters using the existing braille code. My intention would be to share the resulting code with the Liblouis community so that it can be incorporated into the broader braille code.
I am by no means an expert in any of this and so would be very happy to Connect with others with relevant expertise and/or interest to come up with something that can be used within our community.
My longer-term goal is to create a website with braille files of Pali texts such as the suttas. I would be happy if anyone wanted to participate in that broader vision as well, although my immediate concern is coming up with a suitable code.
If you are interested, please reach out to me by email at scottfel...@gmail.com
. Also please feel free to pass this message along to any other groups or individuals who might find it of interest.
Thank you and be well!