Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets


 

This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic.  If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request.  I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective.  Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me.   This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard.  It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use.  I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know.   This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions.  It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other.   This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian  Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)

 
If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.     ~ Irving Becker


Jason White
 

All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.

 

Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.

 

Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.

 

If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.

 

As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

 

This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic.  If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request.  I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective.  Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me.   This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard.  It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use.  I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know.   This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions.  It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other.   This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian  Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)

 
If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.     ~ Irving Becker


 

Jason,

           Thank you for your input.   This individual will be using JAWS as the screen reader, but I am unsure which version of JAWS (though it will be recent).

            Part of the reason for asking about which Braille display might be preferable is that it's been my experience in general that virtually any piece of hardware, being used for a specific purpose, has ones that seem to be more or less cranky.  Perhaps that's not the case here and even knowing that would be valuable.
 
            Given the two languages I know will be involved it simply seems to me that having a dedicated keyboard (as in likely physical keyboard) for each would make life much, much easier than trying to switch either via software or multi-key sequences to produce characters.

             There is, of course, a lot of conjecture going on at this point on my end as well.

--
Brian  Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)

 
If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.     ~ Irving Becker


Gudrun Brunot
 

Hi Jason: Actually, I don't totally agree. Sure, you can type on your braille device whatever symbols you want and, as long as you're reading in context, you can read them the same way you could if they were on a piece of paper. But if you need them to also be correct in a print situation, it gets hairy. The Braillenote family is not particularly supple when it comes to braille foreign characters. I have asked HumanWare if it couldn't be possible to have a custom determined keyboard, so you could type dots 1-6, for example, and decide whether you want to hear "a circle," or the corresponding phoneme, (a sound similar to the Italian O), or "a circumflex" or "au" which would make sense for German abridged braille.

You're right in as much as you can type a symbol and set language in Braillenote, but only the main ones. What I mean is: Braillenote allows you only to be language-specific (if you select one of the four big ones). But if you want it to be character-specific, you'd have more trouble. I actually managed to set my Braillenote PK so I could load a file in Swedish and read it (no speech) with the correct Swedish braille symbols for the diacritic marks to pop up as I read. It was hard, though, and Humanware reps weren't quite sure how to advise about it. Now, I never will dare to change anything in my Braillenote PK settings, for it was so entangled to get the Swedish characters to show. On a desktop PC, you can set the keyboard layout under settings, keyboard, International (I think) and decide whether you want English and Swedish keyboards as active alternatives, or several keyboards. Chances are that if you grew up in France, you'll know the French keyboard layout, for example, so being able to switch between English and French is a real help. For me, if I need to type French, I use the alt and the ASCII combinations--this is faster, since I did not grow up using the French typing keyboard. Sure, Eloquence may still speak whatever you are reading with English speech rules for your desktop work, but you can live with that for certain situations quite fine as long as you can read the right braille symbol under your fingers and be sure you have the correct symbol in your document, especially if you're going to share it with a visually equipped person

I have done some quiet research on this subject, but not been able to find really clear indications about it.

Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jason White via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2018 3:59 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.



Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.



Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.



If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.



As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).



From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets



This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic. If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request. I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective. Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me. This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard. It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use. I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know. This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions. It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other. This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299 (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)


If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind. ~ Irving Becker


Nermin
 

Hi Brian,

there are several things to consider when choosing a Braille display nowadays.
1. If the display is going to be used as a stand-alone device, will the language in question be supported by a possible speech synthesizer?
2. Does the screen reader in question have the necessary Braille tables to display said language?
Most of the time, you can find Braille tables elsewhere if that should not be the case. JAWS used to habe jbt files you could copy to have them show up in the Braille translation combo box, but more recent versions of JAWS and or NVDA use recent Liblouis translation tables.
I suppose the same would hold true if you were using contracted Braille in whatever language, but that's a question of settings and Braile tables again.
3. If the device has stand-alone Braille input, how good is its back translation from contracted Braille into standard writing?
Some devices offer a feature where you type contracted words and these are then translated back into normal words. This is very useful if you have to type a lot of text fast.
I cannot tell you what display offers the best or good results there, since I don't own anything super recent.
Note: I'm mostly refering to devices that are computers themselves here, notetakers with interpet capabiities, etc.

When it comes to keyboards, some people may prefer actual keyboards with the symbols on them, provided they have enough vision to make out anything meaningful.
There are companies that sell keyboards with larger font sizes for vision impaired users.
As for me, I completely killed the US English keyboard and am just using the German and Spanish ones.
The US keyboard has all the different punctuation symbols elsewhere when compared to the rest of Europe, so Spanish is very close to the German layout in that regard, just y and z are where you'd expect them on a US keyboard.
Another benefit of the Spanish keyboard is that I can produce all sorts of accented letters fairly quickly.
I memorised the layout spending some time in Spain, others may have different approaches to multi-lingual input.
What language is your client going to use?
Braille displays also have dot commands or menus where you can change character sets and Braille tables.

Hope that was somewhat helpful.

Regards,
Nermin


 

Nermin,

             Thanks very much for your input.  It is quite valuable.

              I'm familiar with the large character on the keys type keyboards for those with low vision.  I've had way more than one person using a ZoomText keyboard in their various iterations.

              The sorts of considerations you list are precisely what I was hoping to get out of asking what I asked on several blind/low-vision related lists.  I knew that there would be a lot of entangling between the Braille hardware, screen reader or screen readers, the language or languages used, etc., but exactly what those entanglements are is something best offered by those who've "been there, done that" and I am not in that group.

--
Brian  Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)

 
If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.     ~ Irving Becker


Jason White
 

To clarify, I was referring to braille displays used in combination with a screen reader, not to the internal functions (e.g., editing or note taking capabilities) that some of them offer. If you also need those functions to be effective in a multilingual setting, then you need to be sure that the software running on the device itself supports both (or all) of the required languages. This includes translation and back translation features.

On the other hand, if you're just using the display in combination with a screen reader, then all of the language-specific functionality resides in the screen reader itself. The braille display simply forwards braille input and accepts data representing dot combinations from the host computer.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gudrun Brunot
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 9:02 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

Hi Jason: Actually, I don't totally agree. Sure, you can type on your braille device whatever symbols you want and, as long as you're reading in context, you can read them the same way you could if they were on a piece of paper. But if you need them to also be correct in a print situation, it gets hairy. The Braillenote family is not particularly supple when it comes to braille foreign characters. I have asked HumanWare if it couldn't be possible to have a custom determined keyboard, so you could type dots 1-6, for example, and decide whether you want to hear "a circle," or the corresponding phoneme, (a sound similar to the Italian O), or "a circumflex" or "au" which would make sense for German abridged braille.

You're right in as much as you can type a symbol and set language in Braillenote, but only the main ones. What I mean is: Braillenote allows you only to be language-specific (if you select one of the four big ones). But if you want it to be character-specific, you'd have more trouble. I actually managed to set my Braillenote PK so I could load a file in Swedish and read it (no speech) with the correct Swedish braille symbols for the diacritic marks to pop up as I read. It was hard, though, and Humanware reps weren't quite sure how to advise about it. Now, I never will dare to change anything in my Braillenote PK settings, for it was so entangled to get the Swedish characters to show. On a desktop PC, you can set the keyboard layout under settings, keyboard, International (I think) and decide whether you want English and Swedish keyboards as active alternatives, or several keyboards. Chances are that if you grew up in France, you'll know the French keyboard layout, for example, so being able to switch between English and French is a real help. For me, if I need to type French, I use the alt and the ASCII combinations--this is faster, since I did not grow up using the French typing keyboard. Sure, Eloquence may still speak whatever you are reading with English speech rules for your desktop work, but you can live with that for certain situations quite fine as long as you can read the right braille symbol under your fingers and be sure you have the correct symbol in your document, especially if you're going to share it with a visually equipped person

I have done some quiet research on this subject, but not been able to find really clear indications about it.

Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jason White via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2018 3:59 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.



Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.



Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.



If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.



As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).



From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets



This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic. If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request. I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective. Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me. This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard. It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use. I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know. This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions. It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other. This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299 (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)


If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind. ~ Irving Becker


Gudrun Brunot
 

I take your point, Jason. We have at least three main options of use: 1. Braille display as screen reader display; 2. Used as a braille device only for notetaking, calendar entries, phone lists, etc., and 3. As a smart device. I was writing from the perspective of option 2. I do also use braille with my smart phone and my computers, but mainly as part of screenreading.What I am especially interested in is option 3 and how easy it would be to switch input language/braille table, output braille, and what speech synthesizer options might be available.

Best,



Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jason White via Groups.Io
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2018 10:35 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

To clarify, I was referring to braille displays used in combination with a screen reader, not to the internal functions (e.g., editing or note taking capabilities) that some of them offer. If you also need those functions to be effective in a multilingual setting, then you need to be sure that the software running on the device itself supports both (or all) of the required languages. This includes translation and back translation features.

On the other hand, if you're just using the display in combination with a screen reader, then all of the language-specific functionality resides in the screen reader itself. The braille display simply forwards braille input and accepts data representing dot combinations from the host computer.

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Gudrun Brunot
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 9:02 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

Hi Jason: Actually, I don't totally agree. Sure, you can type on your braille device whatever symbols you want and, as long as you're reading in context, you can read them the same way you could if they were on a piece of paper. But if you need them to also be correct in a print situation, it gets hairy. The Braillenote family is not particularly supple when it comes to braille foreign characters. I have asked HumanWare if it couldn't be possible to have a custom determined keyboard, so you could type dots 1-6, for example, and decide whether you want to hear "a circle," or the corresponding phoneme, (a sound similar to the Italian O), or "a circumflex" or "au" which would make sense for German abridged braille.

You're right in as much as you can type a symbol and set language in Braillenote, but only the main ones. What I mean is: Braillenote allows you only to be language-specific (if you select one of the four big ones). But if you want it to be character-specific, you'd have more trouble. I actually managed to set my Braillenote PK so I could load a file in Swedish and read it (no speech) with the correct Swedish braille symbols for the diacritic marks to pop up as I read. It was hard, though, and Humanware reps weren't quite sure how to advise about it. Now, I never will dare to change anything in my Braillenote PK settings, for it was so entangled to get the Swedish characters to show. On a desktop PC, you can set the keyboard layout under settings, keyboard, International (I think) and decide whether you want English and Swedish keyboards as active alternatives, or several keyboards. Chances are that if you grew up in France, you'll know the French keyboard layout, for example, so being able to switch between English and French is a real help. For me, if I need to type French, I use the alt and the ASCII combinations--this is faster, since I did not grow up using the French typing keyboard. Sure, Eloquence may still speak whatever you are reading with English speech rules for your desktop work, but you can live with that for certain situations quite fine as long as you can read the right braille symbol under your fingers and be sure you have the correct symbol in your document, especially if you're going to share it with a visually equipped person

I have done some quiet research on this subject, but not been able to find really clear indications about it.

Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Jason White via Groups.Io
Sent: Friday, January 05, 2018 3:59 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.



Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.



Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.



If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.



As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).



From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets



This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic. If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request. I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective. Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me. This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard. It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use. I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know. This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions. It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other. This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299 (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)


If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind. ~ Irving Becker


Bill Tessore
 

Hi Brian, I have limited refreshable braille display experience, but unless such a device has a Quirty style keyboard, then your question is asked amiss. With refreshable braille devices what you’re asking about would be determined by the “braille language” chosen from within the device’s braille settings menu. And that because most such devices use a Perkins style keyboard, which emulates the Perkins manual brailler. This, coupled with the user’s familiarity of that braille language’s rules of use determine how text is entered, formatted,  and read. I hope this makes sense and is helpful.
Shalom,
Bill Tessore


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 5, 2018, at 3:59 PM, Jason White via Groups.Io <jason@...> wrote:

All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.

 

Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.

 

Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.

 

If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.

 

As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

 

This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic.  If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request.  I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective.  Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me.   This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard.  It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use.  I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know.   This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions.  It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other.   This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian  Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299  (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)

 
If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind.     ~ Irving Becker


Gudrun Brunot
 

Hi Bill: In most cases, a Perkins style approach is the norm, but in situations where the character must be entered with an ASCII string, you do need to use the ASCII value to get the correct character. Even though I have a Focus Blue 80-cell display with braille input capability, I find it much faster to either switch my desktop keyboard layout or go into the ASCII entry mode by using the numlock on/off switch and entering the 4-digit value for the character, e.g. alt-0233 for E with acute accent. Hunting around for the same character within the Braillenote settings is more cumbersome.

Best wishes,



Gudrun

-----Original Message-----
From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Bill Tessore
Sent: Saturday, January 06, 2018 8:48 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets

Hi Brian, I have limited refreshable braille display experience, but unless such a device has a Quirty style keyboard, then your question is asked amiss. With refreshable braille devices what you’re asking about would be determined by the “braille language” chosen from within the device’s braille settings menu. And that because most such devices use a Perkins style keyboard, which emulates the Perkins manual brailler. This, coupled with the user’s familiarity of that braille language’s rules of use determine how text is entered, formatted, and read. I hope this makes sense and is helpful.
Shalom,
Bill Tessore
billtessore@gmail.com


Sent from my iPhone

On Jan 5, 2018, at 3:59 PM, Jason White via Groups.Io <jason=jasonjgw.net@groups.io> wrote:



All commercially available braille displays that I’m aware of can present text in any language supported by the screen reader. The braille display doesn’t handle the different braille codes; the screen reader does so, then sends a dot pattern to the display. Likewise, the input keys on the braille display are read, and interpreted, by the screen reader itself. The braille display is language-independent in so far as its interactions with the screen reader are concerned.



Thus, choosing a braille display is independent of which languages are to be used.



Assuming that the user in question plans to use JAWS (and you’re asking on a JAWS list, after all), then the next question is whether JAWS offers translation tables for the desired languages. To find out, look in the translation table settings.



If different character sets are to be used, it may be necessary to switch between two different translation tables. JAWS appears to support this; on the Focus 40 Blue display that I’m using here, it’s assigned to dots 2-3-4-5-7 chord. I haven’t experimented with the feature, however.



As to keyboard layout, you can configure this in the operating system, so you shouldn’t need to obtain a new or different physical keyboard, unless there’s a specific reason for preferring a physical keyboard that has slightly different keys on it (for a different language/country).



From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 5, 2018 6:15 PM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Braille Displays and Multiple Languages/Character Sets



This message may be considered off-topic, but there is really nowhere in particular where I can try to engage those who’ve “been there, done that” (or may be there doing that) with this topic. If the moderator believes this should not be further discussed on the group, then please post with that request. I am happy to receive input either on the group or via private message or e-mail.

I may soon be taking on some contract work where one of the questions is what braille display would be best suited for use with foreign (non-English) characters both from an input and output perspective. Since I am sighted and monolingual this particular need is something that’s entirely in the abstract for me. This is definitely a time where input from those who have already encountered this need and tried things out would be invaluable.

I would also be curious as to whether those who are dealing with multiple languages where non-English-language character sets are being used have found it useful to use a language-specific keyboard. It certainly makes text entry easier but only if you are able to familiarize yourself with the layout on said keyboard and get as comfortable with it as the keyboard you typically use. I know that these are available as replacements on laptops so I’d have to presume that the external USB keyboard equivalent is available as well.

Also, if you as a multi-language computer user are willing to be a part of an “e-mail circle” about this please let me know. This is a time where more input, and possibly conflicting input, is a very good thing provided you can describe how you’ve arrived at your conclusions. It would be great to be the proverbial "fly on the wall" while those with long experience with this need discuss their experiences with each other. This may or may not happen, but I thought I'd ask.

--
Brian - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1709, Build 16299 (dot level on request - it changes too often to keep in signature)


If you don't like someone, the way he holds his spoon will make you furious; if you do like him, he can turn his plate over into your lap and you won't mind. ~ Irving Becker