Russian Braille
Script type
Print basis
Russian alphabet
Related scripts
Parent systems
  • Russian Braille

Russian Braille is the braille alphabet of the Russian language. With suitable extensions, it is used for languages of neighboring countries that are written in Cyrillic in print, such as Ukrainian and Mongolian. It is based on the Latin transliteration of Cyrillic, with additional letters assigned idiosyncratically. In Russian, it is known as Шрифт Брайля Shrift Braylya 'Braille Script'.[1][better source needed]


The Russian Braille alphabet is as follows:[2][3][4]

Print а a б b в v г g д d е e ё jo ж zh з z и i й[5] j
Braille ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠺ (braille pattern dots-2456) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245) ⠙ (braille pattern dots-145) ⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠡ (braille pattern dots-16) ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356) ⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠯ (braille pattern dots-12346)
Print к k л l м m н n о o п p р r с s т t у u ф f
Braille ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134) ⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345) ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234) ⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235) ⠎ (braille pattern dots-234) ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345) ⠥ (braille pattern dots-136) ⠋ (braille pattern dots-124)
Print х kh ц ts ч ch ш sh щ shch ъ ы y ь э è ю ju я ja
Braille ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345) ⠱ (braille pattern dots-156) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346) ⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356) ⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346) ⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456) ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246) ⠳ (braille pattern dots-1256) ⠫ (braille pattern dots-1246)

The adaptation of q to ч [tɕ] and x to щ [ɕː] is reminiscent of the adaptation in Chinese pinyin of q to [tɕ] and x to [ɕ].

Contractions are not used.[2]

Obsolete letters

The Russian braille alphabet, ca 1900.

The pre-Revolutionary alphabet, reproduced at right from an old encyclopedia, includes several letters which have since been dropped. In addition, the letter э is shown with a slightly different form.[6]

Print ѳ th і i ѣ ě э è
Braille ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126)

Although obsolete in Russian Braille, these letters continue in several derivative alphabets.


Single punctuation:[4]

Print , .[7] ? ! ; : -
Braille ⠂ (braille pattern dots-2) ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠢ (braille pattern dots-26) ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠆ (braille pattern dots-23) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36)⠤ (braille pattern dots-36)

Paired punctuation:[citation needed][The inner quotes and the brackets are from Unesco (1990) and have not been confirmed.]

Print « ...... »
(outer quote)
„ ...... “
(inner quote)
( ...... ) [ ...... ]
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠴ (braille pattern dots-356) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠴ (braille pattern dots-356)⠄ (braille pattern dots-3) ⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356)⠄ (braille pattern dots-3)


italics capital number column
⠸ (braille pattern dots-456) ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46) ⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456) ⠿ (braille pattern dots-123456)

Columns marked with are shown in the braille-chart image in the box, above right.

Numbers and arithmetic

Numbers are the letters a–j introduced with , as in other alphabets. Arithmetical symbols are as follows. The lowered g used for parentheses in prose becomes an equal sign in arithmetic, where a symmetrical pair of parentheses is used instead:[4]

Print + × · : =
Braille ⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36) ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠄ (braille pattern dots-3) ⠲ (braille pattern dots-256) ⠶ (braille pattern dots-2356)
Print < > ( ) %
Braille ⠪ (braille pattern dots-246) ⠕ (braille pattern dots-135) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126) ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠩ (braille pattern dots-146)⠱ (braille pattern dots-156) ⠼ (braille pattern dots-3456)⠚ (braille pattern dots-245)⠴ (braille pattern dots-356)

Arithmetical symbols are preceded but not followed by a space, with the exception of the multiplication dot. For example:

6 × 7 : 14 = 3
3 · (9 − 7) = 6
10 000 < 101

Extensions for other languages

In print, many languages of the ex–Soviet Union are written in Cyrillic alphabets derived from the Russian alphabet by adding new letters. Their braille alphabets are similarly derived from Russian Braille. The braille assignments for the letters found in Russian print are the same as in Russian Braille. However, there is no international consistency among the additional letters, apart from і, which is used in Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Kazakh – and even then, Kyrgyz uses for ң (ŋ), and it might be that Tajik uses it for қ (q). Generally not all of the Russian letters are used, except perhaps in Russian loans. Punctuation and formatting, as far as they are attested, agree with Russian Braille, though Kazakh Braille is reported to use the Russian arithmetical parentheses .

Ukrainian Braille

Ukrainian has the additional letters і, ї, є, ґ. The є is the mirror image of old Russian э, while і is the old Russian і (that is, it is the mirror image of й, making it the same as French/English y), and ї is old Russian ѣ.[8]

Print є ґ і ї
Braille ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)

Unesco (2013) was unable to verify these values.[9]

Belarusian Braille

Belarusian has the additional letters і and ў. They are the mirror images of й and у.[unreliable source?]

Print і ў
Braille ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠬ (braille pattern dots-346)

Unesco (2013) was unable to verify these values.[9]

Kazakh Braille

Kazakh has the additional letters ә, ғ, қ, ң, һ, ө, ү, ұ, і.[9]

Print ә ғ қ ң ө ү ұ һ і
Braille ⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456) ⠩ (braille pattern dots-146) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126) ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠬ (braille pattern dots-346) ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456)

See Kazakh alphabets#Correspondence chart for the whole braille alphabet aligned with the Cyrillic.

Kyrgyz Braille

Kyrgyz has a subset of the Kazakh letters, ң, ө, ү, but with completely different braille values from the languages above:[9][10]

Print ң ө ү
Braille ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456) ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236)

See Kyrgyz alphabets#Correspondence chart for the whole braille alphabet aligned with the Cyrillic.

Mongolian Braille

Mongolian has ө, ү, but with different braille assignments again:[9]

Print ө ö ү ü
Braille ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456)

These are two of the obsolete Russian Braille letters. The Mongolian vowel ө (ö) is coincidentally similar in print to the old Russian consonant ѳ (th), and takes the latter's braille assignment; the Mongolian vowel ү (ü) takes the assignment of the old Russian vowel yat.

See Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet for the whole alphabet aligned with Cyrillic.

Tatar Braille

Additional alphabets

Unesco reported additional braille adaptations of Cyrillic in 1990, for Tajik, Turkmen, and Uzbek, but was not able to confirm them by 2013.[9] The additional letters in the report are shown here, but like those of Ukrainian and Belarusian, they are unverified and should be treated with caution.

Tajik[unreliable source?]
ғ, ӣ, қ, ӯ, ҳ, ҷ
Turkmen[unreliable source?]
ә (ä), җ (j), ң (ň), ө (ö), ү (ü)
Uzbek[unreliable source?]
ғ (gʻ), [miscopied] қ (q), ў (oʻ), ҳ (h)


  1. ^ "Шрифт Брайля". Russian Wikipedia. Retrieved 2012-04-19.
  2. ^ a b [1]
  3. ^ 萬明美, 2001, 「視障教育」, 五南圖書出版股份有限公司, p. 108
  5. ^ note this is the mirror image of Braille y
  6. ^ It is possible this is just a copy error. However, the fact that Ukrainian є is the mirror image of this letter in both braille and print lends it credence.
  7. ^ And thus for ellipsis
    (ґ is not reported)
  9. ^ a b c d e f World Braille Usage, UNESCO, 2013
  10. ^ Unesco (2013) has a typographic error for и.