Yup, a topic about braille. But not one asking people if they even use braille this time; if you don’t, this one is not for you.
When talking to a friend yesterday, I was told something that perhaps should’ve been obvious to me, but apparently is not common practice in Slovenia. Namely, that a part of learning a new language is also learning its braille symbols. Specifically, my friend was surprised I did not read English books using the English grade 2 braille, because that apparently speeds things up a lot.
Slovenian has no grade 2 braille. We used to have a few symbols that combined letters together – 5 or so – but they are not commonly used anymore. So, all we have is grade 1 braille and computer braille. When reading a book using my braille display, regardless of the language it’s in, I tend to use the Slovenian computer braille table, since that’s what I’m most used to and grade 1 would be even slower.
I looked through NVDA’s braille tables, and it appears we are not alone in this, but there is a couple other languages with grade 2 braille as well besides English. Hell, Norwegian seems to have grade 0 to 3!
So, I have a couple questions for all of you.
Native speakers of English and other languages with grade 2 braille, how commonly is that taught? How common is it in physical books, signs, etc? Do you ever use it on your braille display, or do you just use computer braille for that?
People learning a second language, has the fact that you should learn its braille ever been brought up? Have you done so? And again, do you use it now?
And lastly, does anyone know any good resources for learning English grade 2 braille? I know I could just switch to that braille table and experiment, but it’d be lovely to at least have a little cheat sheet of all the things it changes. I have found something, of course, but it seems to be paid, and I’m way too stingy.