Bangla Braille Adaptation

Bangla Braille Adaptation

Syed Akhter Hossain, Fakhruddin Muhammad Mahbub-ul-Islam, Samiul Azam, Ahamad Imtiaz Khan
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3970-6.ch002
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Braille, a tactile writing system, is used by visually impaired and partially sighted people for reading and writing in everyday life. Visually impaired persons in Bangladesh are deprived of basic education due to inadequate textbooks and sufficient reading materials written in Bangla Braille. This is widening the knowledge gap and disparity within the society with progress of time. In order to improve this scenario, an automated information system for facilitating machine translation of Bangla text to readable and recognizable Braille code is essential. In this book chapter, a detailed research on Bangla Braille has been accomplished and necessary grammatical rules as well as conventions are identified for rule-based Bangla Braille translation. Through the analysis of investigations, a computational model is proposed using Deterministic Finite Automata (DFA) for the machine translation. The proposed DFA demonstrated very acceptable conversion, which is validated by the visually impaired community. Based on the computational model, another software architecture is also proposed for the implementation of machine translation of Bangla to Braille using open source technology. The translator is tested with Bangla Unicode-based text contents, and the generated Braille code is validated after printing in the Braille printer. The performance of the conversion of Bangla to Braille code has been found accurate and also free from grammatical errors.
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Generally, the communication between two people for writing becomes an easy task since both can read and write the same language. However if this communication takes place between a sighted and a visually impaired person, then this will cause problems since the sighted person really does not understand the language of the visually impaired which is called Braille. In this case, a translator of any sort is needed to convert the print message into Braille, which works as a mediator for a blind person in order to read as well as produce expressions.

The Braille system is a method that is widely used by blind people to read and write. Braille was devised in 1821 by Louis Braille, a blind Frenchman. Each Braille character or cell is made up of six dot positions, arranged in a rectangle containing two columns of three dots each. A dot may be raised at any of the six positions to form sixty-four (26) permutations, including the arrangement in which no dots are raised. For reference purposes, a particular permutation may be described by naming the positions where dots are raised, the positions being universally numbered 1 to 3, from top to bottom, on the left, and 4 to 6, from top to bottom, on the right. For example, dots 1-3-4 would describe a cell with three dots raised, at the top and bottom in the left column and on top of the right column, i.e., the letter m. The lines of horizontal Braille text are separated by a space, much like visible printed text, so that the dots of one line can be differentiated from the Braille text above and below. Punctuation is represented by its own unique set of characters.

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