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Quiz about Braille Basics
Quiz about Braille Basics

Braille Basics Trivia Quiz


Braille is the system that lets blind and visually impaired people read and write. Let's take a basic tour of this system.

A multiple-choice quiz by Catreona. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Catreona
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
367,559
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Average
Avg Score
12 / 15
Plays
372
Awards
Top 20% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 157 (12/15), Guest 103 (5/15), Guest 39 (5/15).
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Question 1 of 15
1. First, some terminology. Braille is a tactile system. What does tactile mean? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. A little more basic terminology: Print is, well, printed. What is the process to create braille? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. It is vital to orient our reading matter correctly and to know what direction we will be using to read. Printed matter in English and other European languages is read horizontally, from left to right. Hebrew is read horizontally, from right to left. And Asian languages such as Chinese are read vertically from top to bottom. How is braille typically read? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. There is a name for the individual block (or the space it theoretically occupies), made up of six dots in which each individual braille character is formed. What is the name for this block, which is also the name of the Spartan room where a monk lives? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. What makes up the cell, the basic unit of braille? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. What is interpoint braille? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. What is one common way to reduce the bulk of braille documents and books? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. Ready to start reading? Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed and dried. This is not only for hygiene but also for comfort. Open your book and place your gently curved hands on the page, left hand trailing the right. Use your right forefinger to find the beginning of the line. Feel that first character? It is a single dot in position one of the braille cell. What is the identity of this letter, which can also represent the number 1? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. In braille, the first ten letters of the alphabet are all formed using combinations of the upper dots, that is dots 1, 2, 4 and 5.


Question 10 of 15
10. We've talked about letters, but there's more to written language than letters. What about punctuation? Does braille include periods, commas, question marks and the like?


Question 11 of 15
11. Since braille is by its nature a non-visual reading system, how are typographic changes like capitalization and italics indicated? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. What exactly is a contraction in the context of braille? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. Do contractions only represent whole words?


Question 14 of 15
14. As well as numerous contractions, Grade2 or Contracted braille also uses short form words such as BRL (braille), SD (said) and RCV (receive). What purpose do these shortened words serve? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. According to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), what percentage of blind children in the U.S. are taught to read braille? Hint



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Most Recent Scores
Jul 09 2024 : Guest 157: 12/15
Jul 06 2024 : Guest 103: 5/15
Jul 03 2024 : Guest 39: 5/15
Jun 13 2024 : Guest 96: 13/15
Jun 11 2024 : Guest 45: 13/15
Jun 09 2024 : Guest 174: 14/15

Score Distribution

quiz
Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. First, some terminology. Braille is a tactile system. What does tactile mean?

Answer: Pertaining to the sense of touch

Tactile means pertaining to the sense of touch. Auditory has to do with hearing, olfactory, with smell, and visual, with sight.

Unlike print, which is a visual communication system, braille is a tactile system, designed specifically to be read by touch. This is an important point. Many sighted people try to read braille visually. While this is possible, it doesn't really convey the full braille reading experience. A related point: The shapes of the braille characters bear no relation to the shapes of print letters in the Latin, Cyrillic or any other print alphabet.
2. A little more basic terminology: Print is, well, printed. What is the process to create braille?

Answer: It is brailled or embossed.

Braille is embossed. The reading surface contains raised dots which are read by running the fingertips over them. When using a personal writing device such as a slate & stylus or a brailler (a manual or electric machine analogous to a typewriter), a person is said to be brailling. The analog of printing, as with a computer peripheral or in the production of books, is embossing.
3. It is vital to orient our reading matter correctly and to know what direction we will be using to read. Printed matter in English and other European languages is read horizontally, from left to right. Hebrew is read horizontally, from right to left. And Asian languages such as Chinese are read vertically from top to bottom. How is braille typically read?

Answer: Horizontally, from left to right

If you want to read "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" or "The Fellowship of the Ring" in braille, you will read them in horizontal lines, from left to right, just as your sighted friends do in print.
4. There is a name for the individual block (or the space it theoretically occupies), made up of six dots in which each individual braille character is formed. What is the name for this block, which is also the name of the Spartan room where a monk lives?

Answer: Cell

Just as in a honeycomb or your body, the cell is the basic unit of braille. Each braille character or sign occupies one cell. Some contractions (which we will discuss later in this quiz) take up two cells.
5. What makes up the cell, the basic unit of braille?

Answer: Six dots in two columns: Dot 1 upper left, Dot 2 below that and Dot 3 below that. Dot 4 upper right, dot 5 below that, and dot 6 below that.

Though it sometimes doesn't seem so to a beginner, the braille code has its own logic. You can't just stick random dots on a page and call them braille. Rather, for the alphabet at least, there is a simple, elegant pattern to how the signs are formed.
6. What is interpoint braille?

Answer: A method of embossing in which the text on one side of the page is offset from that on the other.

The interpoint method of embossing allows both sides of the page to be used, thus vastly cutting down on the amount of paper needed for a book. The text on one side of the page is offset from that on the other so the cells do not fall directly on top of each other and cancel each other out.
7. What is one common way to reduce the bulk of braille documents and books?

Answer: The use of contractions and short form words.

Just as there is large print, there is jumbo braille. This is used for children and for some beginning adult braille readers. I am told that in Japan there is microbraille. For the most part, though, other than jumbo, there is only one size of braille, and it takes up a lot of space. For this reason, a number of contractions and shortened words, called short form words, are used in most applications. Braille using these adaptations is called Grade 2 or Contracted Braille. Grade 1 or Uncontracted Braille, the form of the code used for braille instruction and in beginning children's books, writes out all words. It takes up much more space than Grade 2.

Though contractions are a boon, they can be tricky. Some represent entire words (for instance CAN, FATHER, MOTHER, LORD), while some represent parts of words (for example -ATION, -ENCE and -ABLE). Short form words, too, have their peculiarities. Since initially braille was used for the Bible and other religious works, we have short form words for conceive and rejoice, which aren't terribly useful in daily life. But there are many others that are quite useful.

Thanks to RachaelWarke for the tip about microbraille.
8. Ready to start reading? Make sure your hands are thoroughly washed and dried. This is not only for hygiene but also for comfort. Open your book and place your gently curved hands on the page, left hand trailing the right. Use your right forefinger to find the beginning of the line. Feel that first character? It is a single dot in position one of the braille cell. What is the identity of this letter, which can also represent the number 1?

Answer: A

In the braille code, dot 1 represents A. B is dots 1-2, while z is dots 1, 3, 5, and 6.
9. In braille, the first ten letters of the alphabet are all formed using combinations of the upper dots, that is dots 1, 2, 4 and 5.

Answer: True

The letters A through J are all formed in the upper part of the braille cell. When placed after the number sign, A through I represent the digits 1 through 9, while J represents 0. The remaining sixteen letters of the alphabet are formed by adding dot 3, dot 6, or both to the first ten letters. Some single-cell contractions are formed this way as well.
10. We've talked about letters, but there's more to written language than letters. What about punctuation? Does braille include periods, commas, question marks and the like?

Answer: Yes

Like print, braille would be unreadable without punctuation, including spaces between words. Braille includes the full complement of punctuation marks familiar to print readers (though occasionally the rules governing their use are somewhat different than the rules for print punctuation).
11. Since braille is by its nature a non-visual reading system, how are typographic changes like capitalization and italics indicated?

Answer: Special characters called composition signs indicate capitalization, italics, etc.

Braille includes a unique set of characters called composition signs that indicate such things as capitalization, italicization, and that the immediately following character(s) should be read as a number.
12. What exactly is a contraction in the context of braille?

Answer: A unit consisting of one or two cells that represents a larger whole, such as a commonly used word.

In order to conserve space and to help make reading faster, there are a number of contractions in standard, Grade 2 braille, some representing whole words, some parts of words, and some either whole or part words depending on the context. Each of the consonants can stand alone to represent a whole word. One curious and fun fact is that in the English literary braille code, the letter x represents the word IT and the letter z represents the word AS. Besides letters, there are single-cell contractions, such as those for OU, ER, TH and AND, some but not all of which may stand alone as whole word contractions.

To supplement these simple, one-cell contractions, there are also two-cell contractions in which dot5, dots4-5 or dots4-5-6 are placed in the cell immediately to the left of the single letter. Again, these contractions may represent either whole or part words. For instance, dot 5f stands for FATHER, while dot 6n represents -ATION.

Thanks to RachaelWarke for pointing out a crucial typo in this interesting info section.
13. Do contractions only represent whole words?

Answer: No

There are whole word contractions, such as those for THERE, RATHER, MOTHER and WORLD. Grade 2 braille also includes part word contractions such as those representing BB, EA, and -TION. Strict rules govern the use of part word contractions in order to avoid confusion, since some of these signs can also be used as punctuation marks.
14. As well as numerous contractions, Grade2 or Contracted braille also uses short form words such as BRL (braille), SD (said) and RCV (receive). What purpose do these shortened words serve?

Answer: To conserve space and speed the reading process.

As with interpoint embossing and the use of contractions, short form words are a device to save space and paper. Like contractions, they also help the reader read faster. Indeed, a few short form words include contractions, speeding reading even more.
15. According to the National Federation of the Blind (NFB), what percentage of blind children in the U.S. are taught to read braille?

Answer: Ten percent

Some ten percent of blind children in the U.S. learn to read braille. And, that's not counting people who lose their eyesight as adults, an even smaller percentage of whom learn braille for various reasons. I recently saw advertising copy for a product aimed at blind consumers that claimed only ten percent of blind people worldwide can read braille. While I can't confirm this latter number, illiteracy among the blind is a massive problem.

In 2014, the global literacy rate for all people aged 15 and over is 84.1 percent. The global literacy rate for all males is 88.6 percent, while that for all females is 79.7 percent. The global literacy rates I could find did not separate out blind people; but, extrapolating from U.S. numbers, it is not difficult to see that worldwide literacy rates for this group must indeed be abysmal.

Literacy is a human right, a matter of dignity and an indicator of economic empowerment. Little wonder that unemployment among blind Americans has hovered around seventy-five percent for many years. Audio technology, including talking computers, does not replace the ability to read. To put it starkly, if people were denied access to reading instruction on the basis of any other attribute (ethnicity or gender for instance), the world would rightly be up in arms. A case in point is the Afghan Taliban's ongoing attempt to deny education to girls. Yet, no one cares that an vanishingly small number of blind people can read.
Source: Author Catreona

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor trident before going online.
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