Today’s world of Braille Language Communication and How to Access It

Since 1985, American Language Services has provided outstanding Braille translators and transcriptionists worldwide. Braille is a unique and important international language. It is vital to understand the general nature and specific idiosyncrasies of Braille. Most people would be surprised to know that Braille didn’t start as a language for the blind, nor—in fact—did it originate with its namesake. Louis Braille was blinded after an infection took hold of his eye. He was sent to the Royal Institution for Blind Youth in Paris, where in 1821 he used his creativity to find easier and quicker ways for blind people to read and write through touch. He built on the ideas of Charles Barbier de la Serre, who was the first to attempt such a system, not as a means of communication for the blind but to try to create an unbreakable secret code for the military. The sighted soldiers who tried to learn his method found it too difficult to learn, but Louis worked with Barbier’s basic ideas and simplified it by using a method of six dots arranged in a cell. This allowed the human finger to “read” a cell without having to move the finger around. Unfortunately, Louis Braille’s system was not brought into wide use until after his death.

Today, in virtually every language around the world, Braille is the standard form used to read and write by the blind. Braille transcription is a unique process done simply by substituting the equivalent Braille Character for its printed equivalent. Different Braille codes are used for different things like mathematics and music, however, and many Braille characters have different meanings based on their context.

American Language Services ® (AML-Global) understands the importance of working in the Braille language. Recently we’ve completed key Braille jobs for Anthem Blue Cross, providing several medical forms for their Blind members. For Card Inc, a coordinator of agencies for disaster relief, we completed Braille assignments in Russian, Chinese, and Vietnamese. An assignment in Los Angeles for Clark Construction Company involved translating English into Braille for signage and instruction materials. Our accuracy and expertise with instructional materials also led to a contract for the Orange Unified School District, City of Orange, CA for whom we completed a high school level Algebra textbook.

For over a quarter of a century, American Language Services ® has worked with the Braille language as well as hundreds of others from around the world. We offer comprehensive language services 24 hours, 7 days a week worldwide by providing Braille translation and transcriptions services along with hundreds of other languages and dialects. Our linguists are native speakers and writers who are screened, credentialed, certified, field tested and experienced in a number of specific industry settings.

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