Language Issues for Mathematics

The Duxbury Braille Translator supports many braille math systems used throughout the world.

This list covers a significant number of braille authorities around the globe, but it is not a complete list of the braille mathematics codes used in the world. Several nations in Europe and Asia have their own national system. Duxbury Systems is interested in meeting the needs of its customers, and you are encouraged to contact with your inquiries and information. Our current focus is on improving support for the braille math systems now implemented in DBT.

Two Basic Approaches to Math Translators

There are two ways Duxbury can implement translation of technical notation, through an all styles or math style translator. English UEB, French, and Greek are implemented as all styles math translators, meaning that you can insert technical notation within any DBT style, and the technical notation is recognized automatically. The other six translators are math style translators. They require that you enclose each passage of technical notation within the math style. These translators are implemented via table switching.

When you import a LaTeX or Scientific Notebook file, the appropriate style is applied to make sure the math translator is invoked. As a user you may not notice the difference, except for an extra step if you attempt a manual test of the math translation. If you want to test a passage of braille mathematics, simply apply the math style to it by selecting "math" from the list of styles.

Implementation Details of the Math Style

Generally speaking, any DBT template can switch from its normal translator to a different one by calling a specifically defined DBT style. For math, we use the two styles, math and math-TextInMath. (These two styles are mirror images of each other, as you will see.)

It is the lnb code that does the job of switching DBT to a different table. The math style beginning codes include an lnb code to switch to a specific mathematics translation table. The proper lnb code to invoke each math translator is listed below.

The ending codes for each of these math styles switch back to the main translator for your template.

The math-TextInMath style was created to allow for passages of normal text in what is otherwise a math section of the document. This style uses the exact reverse of the beginning and ending codes found in the math style. The beginning codes of math-TextInMath use the lnb code to switch to the main translator, and the ending codes switch once again to the math translator.

Why would you want to know these details about how the math styles are defined? 

For example, assume you are using a DBT template that normally uses the Russian language and Russian math. The Russian math translator is an explicit math style translator, therefore all the instances of math notation in your document have to be enclosed in the math style. However, suppose that in your case you need to use a different math braille translator. To do this, you redefine the math style: you select the Modify Styles command of the Document Menu, You find the codes for Russian math in the math and math-TextInMath styles. You then edit these codes to select a different math translator as per the above list.

Note: Be sure you have read and understood the documentation on creating new DBT templates. You need to make sure you choose a new name for your customized template and pay attention to where your new template is stored.

If you are switching the braille math translator because the normally selected translator in your template does not produce correct braille, please contact We appreciate your input, and wish to make sure that Duxbury DBT produces quality braille in all nations of the world.