Dzongkha Braille

Dzongkha Braille
Bhutanese Braille
Languages Dzongkha
Parent systems
Print basis
Tibetan alphabet

Dzongkha Braille, or Bhutanese Braille, is the braille alphabet for writing Dzongkha, the national language of Bhutan. It is based on English braille, with some extensions from international usage. As in print, the vowel a is not written.

Despite Dzongkha and Tibetan using nearly the same alphabet in print, the braille alphabets differ radically, with Tibetan Braille closer to German conventions and assigned letter values according to different sound correspondences.


Consonant ka kha ga nga ca cha ja nya
Braille ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠣ (braille pattern dots-126) ⠛ (braille pattern dots-1245) ⠬ (braille pattern dots-346) ⠉ (braille pattern dots-14) ⠡ (braille pattern dots-16) ⠚ (braille pattern dots-245) ⠧ (braille pattern dots-1236)
Consonant ta tha da na pa pha ba ma
Braille ⠞ (braille pattern dots-2345) ⠹ (braille pattern dots-1456) ⠮ (braille pattern dots-2346) ⠝ (braille pattern dots-1345) ⠏ (braille pattern dots-1234) ⠋ (braille pattern dots-124) ⠃ (braille pattern dots-12) ⠍ (braille pattern dots-134)
Consonant tsa tsha dza wa zha za 'a ya
Braille ⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠻ (braille pattern dots-12456) ⠵ (braille pattern dots-1356) ⠺ (braille pattern dots-2456) ⠟ (braille pattern dots-12345) ⠭ (braille pattern dots-1346) ⠱ (braille pattern dots-156) ⠽ (braille pattern dots-13456)
Consonant ra la sha sa ha
Braille ⠗ (braille pattern dots-1235) ⠇ (braille pattern dots-123) ⠩ (braille pattern dots-146) ⠎ (braille pattern dots-234) ⠓ (braille pattern dots-125)

The reversed letters used in Sanskrit loanwords are indicated with the diacritic :

, , , , .

The vowel "a" is inherent in a consonant letter, and is not written explicitly. Other vowels are written after a consonant as in English Braille. When a vowel occurs at the beginning of a word, the vowel letter is carried by a null consonant :

Vowels a i u e o
(on <span style="font-size:190%; "line-height:125%;"> ཨ )
ཨི ཨུ ཨེ ཨོ
Braille ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)⠥ (braille pattern dots-136) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠁ (braille pattern dots-1)⠕ (braille pattern dots-135)
(on <span style="font-size:190%; "line-height:125%;"> ཀ )
ཀི ཀུ ཀེ ཀོ
Braille ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13)⠊ (braille pattern dots-24) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13)⠥ (braille pattern dots-136) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13)⠑ (braille pattern dots-15) ⠅ (braille pattern dots-13)⠕ (braille pattern dots-135)

Sanskrit vowel-marking includes:

ཨཿ aḥ, ཨྃ aṃ,

as in ཀིཿ kiḥ, ཀོྃ koṃ.

It's not clear how conjuncts are indicated. However, the conjunct ཀྵ kṣa in Sanskrit loans suggests that the 45 points conjoin two consonants.


Digits are as in English Braille. Native punctuation (syllable divider, comma, stop) is:

Braille ⠂ (braille pattern dots-2) ⠸ (braille pattern dots-456) ⠆ (braille pattern dots-23)⠆ (braille pattern dots-23)

Roman punctuation differs from that of English Braille. The question and exclamation marks, for example, are prefixed by a point 6, and .

Print , ? ! ;  : . ... - / *
Braille ⠂ (braille pattern dots-2) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠦ (braille pattern dots-236) ⠠ (braille pattern dots-6)⠖ (braille pattern dots-235) ⠆ (braille pattern dots-23) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5)⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)⠜ (braille pattern dots-345) ⠄ (braille pattern dots-3)⠄ (braille pattern dots-3)⠄ (braille pattern dots-3) ⠤ (braille pattern dots-36) ⠸ (braille pattern dots-456)⠌ (braille pattern dots-34) ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)⠔ (braille pattern dots-35)
Print “ ... ” ( ... ) [ ... ] { ... }
Braille ⠦ (braille pattern dots-236)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠴ (braille pattern dots-356) ⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456) ⠈ (braille pattern dots-4)⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠈ (braille pattern dots-4)⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456) ⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)⠷ (braille pattern dots-12356)⠀ (braille pattern blank)⠨ (braille pattern dots-46)⠾ (braille pattern dots-23456)


  1. UNESCO (2013) World Braille Usage, 3rd edition.
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