« Stuff You Should Know

How Braille Works

2010-02-11 | 🔗

Josh and Chuck discuss the Braille alphabet -- from its origins in Charles Barbier's "night writing" system to the many different types of tactile alphabets that exist today -- in this episode of Stuff You Should Know.

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Hey folks, available now from Iheart, a new series presented by T Mobile for business, the restless ones join host Then Stricklin as he explores he coming technological revolution with he restless business leaders who stand right on the cutting edge. They know there is a better way to get things done and they are ready, curious and excited for the next tat. No logical innovation to unlock their vision of the future in each episode will learn more from the restless ones themselves and I've deep into how five G revolution could enable their teams to thrive the restless is now available on the eye heart radio, up every you listen podcast brought to you by the reinvented two thousand twelve Camry, it's ready. Are you welcome to step. He should know how stuff works. Tat so truck it's really hot here. Yes, we are still in Guatemala University yeah, although we
Where did this? We bypass the space time continuum to fool you all than is actually quite comfortable here, the studio it is lovely and hopefully neither ones have died from typhoid Orban taken hostage, and you gotta tell you, I'm worried about right and hopefully what's happening as you guys are reading about this on our blog. It has the floor. I promise that they should know blog spending on our internet. We are uploading daily posed about our experience here either that or if the woodchuck too said proof falls. That means that we have spotty internet down Guatemala and all of them will be uploaded the following week after we get that right. That's it so I look for those live now on the blogs that has the force that camp or the week beginning the fifty hope,
aid working class. That judge clerk with me is always Charles, W Riot Guess: Producer Matt, Frederick, yeah man, eyes filling Jerry who sit right now he's got the hepatitis. I got the hepatitis now. What do you think they injected elsewhere? Folks, we get hepatitis shots by the way because we are travelling to Central America. Guatemala. And they said that that's a good thing to get, and I dont know what they inject you with the inject you within active hepatitis, so your body can form any body rapture. I saw where you get with the active one. It's like you can't stay here to Jerry like TAT, sick and I was like, I feel I feel awful
My arms hurt. I feel sore, I feel like I'm getting sick, because I also get the tat the tea damp gathered, tetanus, diphtheria, yeah and I don't feel very Irena, Chuck consumers last year when I got sick for like eighteen weeks, not responsible, I'm hoping to fight this one off so we get Mary, and here we have the pleasure of lines and scissors. We guessed altogether sort of said what avoid lead. Singer left in the guitar player left to make Matt was left with a drum kit and, like a part time keyboard player, something where you can make of them these with that. I think it's weeks later, they decided they want to be in the band again. So I think there were like working unreal in turn out in it all began with a camping trip that one person was invited to the historic, so many good heavier
friend, I concur, do you have an inch or so we do say. Let's talk about Braille. Let's talk about Braille, I feel a little bit. You know much about Louis Braille. We Asher Louis Rail invented Braille says he The blind boy here how he got blind stuck some sharp in his eye. He did in all the aid of you. Oh yes! you might think time does not allow distinction between all in all did that when you three years old, yes, dad was a leather worker, any use, the all, which is a very clear, very sharp, pointed instrument with a the bottom? Somebody with it it's little big chair it here he almost bottomless himself worthy gruesome about him. He was strewn around with it and slid out his hand in his eye right now and then when he got infected, yet he got it
did and then he lost sight in his other. I because of sympathetic up farming, which is when one I says with that- I'm not gonna stick around and I'm gonna go off the duties well, but that was a mention in this article, although surprising It is a bit surprising that reminds me of a king of the hill, where I thank him was blind in one eye and then he goes blind and the other in Gary. His mom's boyfriends, like I've never heard of an eye sympathetically. Shutting down before I was hoping you gonna say it had something to do with con. Now I cant do a good come. There was good, they can, but I'm not I'm laotian and then you're supposed to say you're from the ocean they're gonna kill. You know those right, don't watch it anymore. Every brought Tom petty on like this measure, your kid I as a character or his Tom Parry, is a character near an awful lot Betty
Well, how do you have some petty because he's great I'm sorry this through open my mouth off anyway. While we already got alpha aura, Lou, there was not one to be kept down now, despite, in all sticking into his eye and now going completely blind by age, three true right, yeah, inspired in fact, some years later, when he was eighteen by a visitor that came from the royal institution for Blind youth but Gunnar Charles BAR, and this was in the early eighteen, twenties or mid eighteen twenties, depending on who ask lay eighteen twenties. Other sources say early, ok, another issue with this article in here. Barbier had invented a code called night writing to allow
measures to communicate to each other in the dark, and this not to be confused with no writer or night swimming. It's not knight rider. I thought it was night writer Knight Rider. He invented the car, no him when night, writing, ok, totally different and that not catch on an army. Ok, right right, He he went to the school for the blind rail was twelve when Barbier visited. I guess and boom yeah smile look, it is. I can use this he s, could in actually within three years he worked out the kings, he basically up. My night writing in dumb created. His own system, which we know and love now, is Braille aged fifteen year by age, twenty he princess he published his first a book embryo awesome. It was probably large. Bulky, but strangely enough, broiled in catch on globally
even in France after he died. Right and even then it was popular with the institute for Blind youth, but it still wasn't like super widespread because in the sunlight it now this really Odin polecats, there's always it'll tidbits. I never knew there were competing codes, Indifferent. Inventors came up a different codes so clearly, when there's different systems out there. To be hard to decide which one to use and hard for one to become widespread right to this one reason: GINO There is no universal sign language. I believe at dinner that competing, I guess, attacked alphabet is what you'd call these things in general, I am was created by gaining Valentine how we yeah, I don't even know you shouldn't. Even try H, a u amount, why it's not router note whom allowed occur
he created a system, there is basically can of wavy latin characters yeah, but look very much like the characters that we use here in the west, but they were a little waiver low, more long gated. I guess, ostensibly so that you feel them more easily and still to this day, some people considered this type of tactics writing easier, learn. Yet true, frigate point thanks. The thing is real eventually did catch on shock, and these days Lui Braille is looked upon. In much the same way that Johan Gutenberg is yet. I think actually, Helen Keller On the anniversary of the one hundredth anniversary of Louis Brill's, death said, something along the lines of in our small way. We, the blind,
indebted to Louis Rail is mankind is the Gutenberg. He basically took a group of you and who were virtually unreal organized in the educational system and gave them away to become educated people right literate created literacy, both up and among the boy and they ve got took a little while the catch on, largely because what you are one of the reasons we said with Those guys are competing codes, but there are also the books. Braille books were really bulky. Enlarge still are still are, but back then do it was even worse, like you, don't wanna be lugging around Braille books in your rucksack. The in Tracy who wrote this article is a huge Harry Potter fan indeed, so she described how big Harry Potter and what the half blood something else, something Canada, whatever Harry footprints, they go. That Harry Potter book is for team volumes. Long in its Braille addition, this long yeah
and yet there heavy they have to be published using aloof, loose leaf yesterday, the arm with a ring binder elemental closer to the pages can sit flat, so you can hit the cells all the way and I think actually check. We may beginning ahead of ourselves a little bit. Let's talk about Braille at its basis, ok, like what it is literally yes Well, Josh Louie Braille realise that the night writing method used cells to create an alphabet using dots and dashes. Yet in originally Braille used ashes as well does not anymore no but the brain cells. Today, their little bit different than the original Braille they do not use dashes like you said they are too dots wide and three dots tall. At this point. I want everybody whose listeners podcast close your eyes. Ok, ok, you in your head.
Sell, made up of six thoughts. Like Chuck just said, it's too dots across in three dots down in each of the columns rise, so you have one two. Three dots down into the next com there, the right you have one two, three dot stout now, if you go to the first start on the first column, which would be the one on the left hand side. Yes, that's that's the number one die right, the one below that is too and then three right at the top of the right hand, line of dots for and then five and then six. Using these six thoughts, you can create sixty three character, combinations, correct Josh, and you would think pretty easy, because we ve only got twenty six letters and our alphabet, but they also have to cover punctuation, contractions, musical notes and symbols. Basically, anything you can think of that you would be able to read with your eyes needs to be accounted for within those Braille
That's right, and there are some in the original Braille, the English Braille Alphabet right there, there is some punctuation included. Like close your eyes again, everybody go back to the Braille cell and think of it like a domino. This rectangle, with the dots inside a dot imposition two alone is a comma. So remember, that's the middle. On the left hand, column look at one. That is the imposition six alone. Is the capital sign right, so you put that before the next character, and you know that it's the it's a capital letter energy it goes on like this right and you also to represent the numbers to eat. We forgot TAT says growth or nine are represented, and you can obviously make up any combination of those and you zero through nine are actually are. The same thing is letters Aithra, J, yes, but before each you would have a number sign. Much like you have a capital sign before the next letter indicated Cinema, so
Amber sign is the letters there than a third position right and in four five six and then you might have a b c d e, F G, H, J, and then that would be a number instead of a letter sounds so complicated. It does, but I met If you are looking at a book for the four time x. I dont remember back that far glad. He said that, but if you're looking at a normal book, you're, probably like, I couldn t- think of anything more complicated than I have to say That's appointed where'd. You brought that up as they say that it is very much like to read and write for the first time using this in pathways in the brain into however, the wonder machine request, since I brought it up yet this is really interesting. Yes, the MRI when they people read Braille, their visual cortex, visual cortex. Naturally, fires up yeah there's a couple of theories. Why
The first is that when you are blind, you have the sir. Basically this storage area that is put to use doing other stuff critical eyes, which would be tactile sensory apparatus. Visual century and put right, and then the other theory Chuck, is that the language processing centres actually serve as holding areas for this technical information circle near. But because, as the brain, we really have no we do not know when it's firing up and when its I've lost a tremendous amount of faith in the wonder, machine, dude, really yeah error, the study, this guy on scanned Dead SAM, Well, he showed it passengers of humans and then what emotions that was showing any got a response. I am our idea, is disappointing. Yet is moving on just a typical liner. Braille is about forty characters in a typical page of rails, about twenty five line right so think about that
domino, each domino area, character and in uncontacted, Braille or Grey one Braille. Every word is: that letter by letter, which is why the hair is your honor book, is fourteen volumes long exactly right so to combat this huge bulk Venus. Yet they come up with contracted Braille, great to rail, when they group or the contract, Braille, literally using representations of whole words or letter company frolic shorthand near like eating ed for Thee or and they have their own rather than three cells for, and you just have one in its end right, but there's little
Firstly, there is always some people say that uncontacted Braille was really important, because it's a foundation for learning contracted Braille. An opponent say that on contracted Braille is time and space consuming, and basically you just don't need to learn to codes right So why bother that's a good question? I guess, and a good answer would be that what is the standard- you gonna encountered contracted IRAN contracted when you're at the ATM machine and you're here, you're reading the year. The keys is that contract at contracted, I'm pretty sure. If I remember correctly it's on contracted, I was it because yeah there's one day at the number one presented her etc. I can read that can avail oh yeah and actually, when there's a great illustration, showing basic English, the English Braille out
but and it seems like something you could pick up. If you really set your mind to mechanical, should we talk more about you, you how read it like. You read it from left to right, like a regular book, but you write it right to left is incorrect. Yet you have to do what Can you make the impression on age you have to do it going from right to left because think about it? You're gonna be flipping the page over the recent bomb pretty interesting. It is very, pretty clever and you can do this handheld still with a stylus. Yes, some books are translated from sight books, yes, to Braille hand by hand now takes hires around but that's not the way to do anymore. I mean you can but there's different ways. Now you can get a Braille writer which has a key for each of the six thoughts of a cell to make sense make sense. You can actually get a regular Corti keyboard attached to a Braille printer right, very easy to use.
And what else Josh well If you want to read in the future right now, there's movable type that Ray screen line by line yet and there's you have basically like a pad that has a recessed pins, their represent a dot, critical and then based on what the line of text on the screen says, the corresponding dots pop up in you read em and then, as it goes down they refreshing than pop up again, it's very motorway. There is very little actually read an article about it. Nasa scientist, whose figured out how to use, I think they're called like active polymers, artificial muscles, basically to create a very highly compressed movable type Braille keyboard. Really you could apply
the Iphone or whatever it looks like the future of its historical and then there are obviously, if you want to skirt around all the Braille Blind people use things like screenwriters for their computer to audio books. Obviously an recordings of lecturers or friends and family letters from there, and family. But if you remember, we did something on the web CAS on a blind man being wind in modern society, and the near times, and this guy was very anti all his readers. He said it basically makes blind people lazy and they need it. Out in and learn Braille, just as you need to go and learn how to read, because you get a better understanding of a word. If you understand how to spell it and write it right and read it plus. Also, it's you know, use a different part of your brain process. Language orally than you do visually or tactfully. Yet so I mean there's like a whole part of your brain. That would be a.
Developed and measures in and of itself as a bad idea yeah. I think so. They also have You can scan books now to that's one of the easier ways to translate now using an optical character, recognition technology and you can scan a book in the country. Stated in rail for you they will you consent to Abril printer. Well, yeah, you can understand No, why somebody who is blind would want to you know, listen, do an audio book yet faster. It is faster. Apparently, the average Braille reader can read at a rate of one hundred and twenty five to two hundred words per minute. By contrast, the average cited eighth greater can read about two hundred and five words per minute in college students read about two hundred any words per minute. So if you're in college and you're blind, it's probably not even essentially a question of laziness, it's a question of just trying to keep up right after Amis low reader or about you,
the very slow, Marya interesting. I am too when I read a book called deliberate. The answer you read slow, but I will read very deliberately now reread a sentence It just right. I'm gonna scanner at all. Now I'm not either and I say, scanner stink. I do to check these people that I see. Reading a like you take these test. Re read see how fast you can read. Reading comprehension and I've done this on like people's blogs and people logged on it. So they read, this many words and I literally didn't my eyes and, I myself in its. I can't even scan that fast and see how they can be absorbing these words. The problem I thought you sit in their working memory for a minute and then it's gone. I ingested buddy. I do to get Flickr pie like pie or like a pie like a whole part. They met my pie so Chuck still like we said, there's Braille all over the place,
many languages of Braille specific to that country. Yet again, there is no universal Braille there's, not even a universal English Braille, the Braille and U K and Wales and the United States are all different way, other different codes and luckily we have the the Braille Authority North America. Here in the U S away, and they do published standards for these codes. But you have to know what code your reading because
the same, so can mean one thing and one code and something else and indifferent go right and am also you there's notations is Braille for Music teacher English Braille American Edition is used for things like novels and magazines, basically, literature right threat. Then you have the ninth Code of Braille, mathematics and scientific notation for math and science, because I mean think about Sigma. There's nothing in the english alphabet that that signifies Sigma right. In that thing, pops up a lot in terrifies me. Whenever I see in an equation me too, then you ve got computer Braille Code Code for ASCII a c. I a k, a two ascii bright and chemical notations and music right right. So you that's the whole point of these Standard authorities is to bring all this together so that their on sighted people in their country can all know what the hell you're reading right and there like. We said in every country literally has
own Braille urge. There is even chinese Braille with the characters representing sounds that make up the language yeah Hebrew. Josh as well, which sounds like the great one Braille with each letter, a number representing its own cell right and then, of course took those the newest Braille alphabet. We just Tibetan, welcome Tibetans, oil to the family. A woman named Sab three ten birchen created the code of so that she could read tibetan men trips and she realised that she had just created a new Braille language and took it to the two Tibetans started: teaching blind tibetan children. Those offered a bet embryo seek. It literally invent a braille method. If you wanted to oh, I have a hooker really Josh burial and mean other still working on this. Many countries have agencies and departments that evaluate them,
on codes and TRAIN Institute are implementing new improvements in technology. That kind of thing like this one. I saw that I understand that the benefit here said: there's a new display prototype that can be rolled up like paper to people. Do we still do scrolls? Who does that? I think that, on its way out, we had a refer the credible, tight aside from your like diploma in what what else poster over you know, anything that has to do with pirates. Generally, scroll dinner, silk, the kind of thing. I guess it's a good thing. Sorry, Braille Libraries, web Braille libraries brought available online, so it seems Braille is everywhere right. Sure I'll tell you one place, it's not in the United States. Now, as is the fact that today, our currency, the shock of one hundred and eighty countries in the world that use paper currency. The United States is the only one that makes its paper currency the same size and the same
regardless of denomination. If you are blind, you have to come up with your own clever tricks to keep track of it in your, although it probably rarely happens too. Constantly under threat of being ripped off no idea. You just know you have a paper bill. It could be a one hundred. You have no clue to they folded paper, the bills in that one of the tricks. That that is one trick in there is the big debate, even within blind buying, advocate groups of whether or not the U S should go to the trouble of pudding any kind. Practical right on their currency should boy, we'll just make. Do you know, but I'm getting your gift chuck her now
I went on Amazon and I found this thing called the pocket. Brayley ethnic and it looks like your key chain and has one two. Three four five has six little notches. Ok, you put the corner of your paper currency into the appropriate, not serve the one you put it in a one off and you pressed down and you can actually emboss, you can braille your currency integrated enough for yourself, but if a blind person ever comes in contact with it, they have it already old form. So if every one got these and did this to their the dollars that flow their way, eventually, we could have enough money out there that where were we ve done in our selves, yet everything about you doesn't every time he came in contact with a piece of paper. Currency market forgot about it got back into circulation, they can get around. You know what I say to them, what put it
put a nice, so I'm going on to Amazon, is actually from a site called Maxie aid, which is a very unfortunate name for a website, but they said the pocket broiler first, six dollars and seventy nine cents and I'm getting you one body really, I'm giving myself went to that's critical eye If then went on to other got him, then maybe we can make a real difference in this world. I agree, of course, that the blind people have to know that this movement is going on. Not necessarily, I think that entrust that there were more correctly. Well, that's kinda thing I mean I'm sure, there's jerked out there with the opposite way, bring hell anyway. So threefold, remember the witches rules come back and I had three times body. If you want to read more about real, you can type that worthy are a L. L e ended a handy search bar at how suffers dot com, which leads us, of course, to listen
yes, Josh! Anyone out there who listens to this much of the show and listens to us, your mail, all of you. Two things. We love email from our young friends, yes, and we love email in broken English, and we love raised in this is both actually not offering This is another call. This broken English from young Lucy. The cutest recent immigrants in the United States is great. And of course, as we always liked, you see away and say we're not making fun of anyone know diseases job of writing in English, and we just think it's a good time, hello. Shock from the podcast. I am fourteen years. Age and I enjoy to listen to the bar gas plenty could start. I write this on friends email due to the fact that I myself do not have email. I write before, but is not so
If it arrived the dwelling of you, so I write again. I love the podcast in the joke. You say I so hard. So she thinks you're funny I try hard on English, but it still no good Josh and Chuck help plenty and I find I learn new thing. Every one of the days is often so she's learning things all the time frames she's your parents, you're, probably afraid, so I come to Canada from China and liked to live here every day. Here is joyous and all people. Happy and also kind about right for damage must be maneuver their jokes it. I am too much in interest with podcast. And said she is wondering if I am in love with podcast, Josh, I respond. Whole hearted no and declared him to married, and he I'm too old. For my young in small age. Fourteen very true there's a good girl Josh is not married, then we should say I
into old podcast with Chris and wondered why a why Chris does Josh work is Chris Slave slavery not accepted in Canada there should in USA agreed. I love to hear you and good day to you. I try hard to write this in I'm hoping happiness and health for you. Your fan number one Lucy Goodbye I know you slave lose it anymore. I'm not married. I am very much taken, but I gotta tell you if I weren't, I would wait for you. You sound like a very. She is quite a charm. Passionate charmingly and welcome to Canada. But can I speak for Canadians aghast? come to Canada? Will we do here in the? U S anywhere and thanks for listening was really very quick. You agree. Why do you have a super heartbreaking leak email that you want to send us. You know we like his lot were suckers whore.
Wrap it up scented along to stuff par. How stuff works. Come for more on this and thousands of other topics. Is it how stuff works, not com? What more house of words check out our blogs on the house of works that come homepage brought to buy the real two two thousand twelve Camry. It's ready are you text will be here before you know it everybody but relax because H in our black as your one stop tack shop, their tax pressure experts certified and train. Eighteen or black has up front transparent pricing, which means you know the price before you begin no surprises and with office open early and late. It's easy to can make an appointment or just off your documents. Do your text
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Transcript generated on 2020-01-28.