IPA Braille Tables on BrailleNote Touch Plus


To Whom it May Concern,

I am pursuing a bachelor of music degree in vocal performance, and to that end, I will be reading and writing International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) for all of my language and diction classes. I am therefore studying IPA braille so that I can use it in class. I checked this evening, and the BrailleNote Touch Plus has the following braille tables for IPA braille onboard:

  • International Phonetic Alphabet Liblouis grade 1
  • IPA Phonetic System Duxbury grade 1
  • IPA Phonetic System Duxbury grade 2

For starters, the fact that multiple tables are available is confusing on its own. However, adding to the confusion are the Duxbury tables as IPA braille does not seem to have "grades" or contractions. Further, the IPA Braille Translation Table page on the Duxbury site reads: "Braille Contractions: This language is usually produced in uncontracted braille. This means that the letters of each word are rendered into braille on a one-for-one basis." This would seem to indicate that "grades" indeed do not exist within the IPA braille code, which was my understanding. But then, why does Duxbury apparently provide two distinct tables labeled "grade 1" and "grade 2?"

I contacted Humanware with all of these questions, however support also had no idea and suggested I contact both Duxbury and other braille professionals, which I have done. The braille transcriber who I contacted (who is familiar with IPA braille) was also unaware of the difference between the tables, and I have yet to hear back from Duxbury. I am therefore posting this here in hopes that someone might have some answers. Does anyone here have any insight into this? Additionally, does anyone know which tables support back-translation of braille IPA into inkprint IPA characters in KeyWord and other applications? Any support is greatly appreciated.


Noah Carver