Several braille alphabets are used in South Africa. For English, Unified English Braille has been adopted. Nine other languages have been written in braille: Afrikaans, Ndebele, Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu. All print alphabets are restricted to the basic Latin alphabet, with diacritics in some cases; the braille alphabets are likewise basic braille with additional letters to render the diacritics.
The Nguni languages – Ndebele, Swazi, Xhosa, and Zulu – have no diacritics and will not be discussed further. The braille diacritics are shared by South African languages and are described in the sections that follow.
Punctuation for all South African braille alphabets is as in English Braille.
- ⠈⠁ á, ⠈⠑ é, ⠈⠊ í, ⠈⠕ ó, ⠈⠥ ú, ⠈⠽ ý
- ⠘⠡⠁ à, ⠘⠡⠑ è
- ⠘⠑ ê, ⠘⠊ î, ⠘⠕ ô, ⠘⠥ û
- ⠰⠑ ë, ⠰⠊ ï, ⠰⠕ ö, ⠰⠥ ü
Sesotho and Tswana Braille
|Languages||Sesotho, Northern Sotho, Tswana|
Sesotho and Tswana treat the caron (haček) as an acute:
- ⠘⠑ ê, ⠘⠕ ô, :⠈⠎ š
Venda has a unique letter, ⠨, for the subscript circumflex, and treats ṅ as acute:
- ⠨⠙ ḓ, ⠨⠇ ḽ, ⠨⠝ ṋ, ⠈⠝ ṅ, ⠨⠞ ṱ
- Ethnologue 17 reports that Tsonga is also written in braille.
- UNESCO (2013) World Braille Usage, 3rd edition.