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Table Designator


This is the technical description of a DBT Translation table. If you want more general information about languages and template choices, please see the list of templates.

Initially, the language table for braille translation is determined by the selected template, and may be changed using the Document / Translation Tables menu. Using those menus does not require use of the table designator. However, to switch to a different translation table partway through a file, one must enter a DBT code and the designator for the table to switch to. For switching secondary languages within a base language table, see the [lng~X] command. For switching from one base language to another, see the [lnb~...] command.

Functional Summary

The Portuguese tables support print-to-braille translation of Portuguese-language literary text in uncontracted (grade 1) braille as customarily used in Portugal and Brazil. English text may also be processed as a sub-language, and converted to contracted or uncontracted English braille (generally following American conventions in those minor instances where they differ from English ones). Spanish and several other languages may also be processed as sub-languages, and transcribed as uncontracted braille, except for Maori, which may be transcribed as contracted or uncontracted. The American Computer Braille Code (CBC) is also supported.

Automatic hyphenation of the braille (that is, automatic introduction of assisted-hyphenation codes during the translation to braille) is supported by default, though it can be turned on and off by translation codes.

Braille to Print (Back-translation)

Braille-to-print translation is supported for this language. However, braille-to-print translation may not be perfect, therefore beware that errors can occur. If you find errors or have suggestions, please send both the *.dxb and *.dxp files along with an explanation to: languages@duxsys.com. Please be sure to include sample files!

Special Requirements and Limitations

There are no special requirements or limitations.

Secondary Languages Supported

English text may be entered as a secondary language, and converted to contracted or uncontracted English braille. That is, the grade switches affect the translation of the English text even though the Portuguese text is always transcribed in grade 1 regardless of the grade setting in effect. In literary text, American conventions are generally followed, to the extent that they sometimes differ slightly from British ones. Spanish, French, German, Latin, Italian and Maori may also be entered as secondary languages, the latter to be transcribed in either grade 1 or grade 2, the others to be transcribed in grade 1. Use the [lng...] code to switch. For instance, [lng~fr] (or [lng~fra]) would introduce a French passage, which would be terminated, i.e.reverting to Portuguese, at [lng] (or [lng~pt]). The available languages, together with their associated "lng" codes, are:

de (or deu) -- German

en (or eng) -- English

es (or esp) -- Spanish

fr (or fra) -- French

it (or ita) -- Italian

la (or lat) -- Latin

mi (or mao) -- Maori

pt -- Portuguese

In Maori text, one contraction ("wh") is normally used, and it will be used as long as grade two is in effect. The standard English contractions will be used in that language, as long as grade two is in effect. The other secondary languages are all transcribed in grade 1 regardless of the grade setting, as is the primary language, Portuguese. That is, the [g1] and [g2] codes affect the English text and any Maori text, but not the other languages.

Note that in addition to the above-listed "secondary languages" supported within the Portuguese table itself, it is also possible to switch to any of the available translation tables listed in DBT. (See the [lnb~...] code below.)

Technical Braille Codes Supported

Computer Braille Code (CBC), as defined by the Braille Authority of North America, is supported.

In addition, it is possible to switch to any of the available translation tables listed in DBT (see the [lnb~...]code below), many of which do support various technical codes, such as for mathematics or computer notation, or which support “unified” treatment of technical notation as well as literary text in the base language associated with the table.

Supported DBT Translation Codes

The following DBT translation codes are available when using the Portuguese table.Any other translation codes used will be ignored, or indeed may cause unexpected results.If using an alternative translation table, i.e.when switching to another base language table by means of the [lnb~...] code, please refer to the relevant topic and available codes for that table.

[/] may be embedded within letter-groups that would normally be contracted, to prevent the contraction.

[ab] is equivalent to [g2]

[ahy] or [ahy1]turns on automatic hyphenation of the braille (which is initial and default condition)

[ah0]turns off automatic hyphenation of the braille

[atx0] turns off the "all ASCII is literal" mode (see next code description), so that certain traditional "codes" typed in as direct text will continue to have effect. (For a list of these, see "Special Print Text Codes" within the "Codes Quick Reference" on DBT's Help menu.) This is presently the default (initial) condition, but as that is likely to change in future versions, it is advisable to put an [atx0] code at the beginning of any file in which the traditional in-text codes are used.

[atx1] turns on an "all ASCII is literal" mode, which will cause all ordinary printable ASCII characters to be considered as literal text, even those sequences that have traditionally been used as special "codes".




























[g1] switches to "grade 1" (uncontracted) braille. This does not affect the Portuguese text, which is uncontracted anyway, but does affect any embedded English and Maori text.

[g2] switches to "grade 2" (contracted) braille. This is the normal mode, but actually applies only to any embedded English and Maori text as the Portuguese text is always uncontracted.

[in] is equivalent to [g1]


[lnb~...] (for switching to another base [primary] language table)


[lng~...] (see "Secondary Languages Supported," above)

[tx] resumes normal translation, ending "direct braille."



Characters Supported

The table is designed to work with the following groups of characters:

All ASCII printable characters

Accented characters and punctuation marks typical of French, German, Italian, Spanish and Portuguese

British pound sign (£)

The above is a general guide only (see "General Notes" section at the beginning of this document).

References, History and Credits

These tables are based in part upon the information given for Portuguese in "World Braille Usage," a joint publication of UNESCO and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped, Washington, D.C. (1990).

The tables were developed from March 1994 by Duxbury Systems, Inc., originally for what was then the Brazilian variant of Portuguese braille, at the request of the Hadley School, which also provided valuable feedback. They were updated in September 2003 to conform to the unified standard, "Grafia Braille da Lingua Portuguesa", applicable in both Portugal and Brazil.

(Documentation reviewed: July 2010.)