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Russian Braille

"Cyrillic braille" redirects here. For the Bulgarian braille alphabet, see Bulgarian Braille. For the Macedonian and Serbian braille blhohohkhalphabets, see Yugoslav braille.
Russian Braille
alphabet vkvlbkh
Languages Russian
Parent systems
  • Russian Braille
Print basis
Russian alphabet

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]


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 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
Print к k л l м m н n о o п p р r с s т t у u ф f
Braille 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
Print х kh ц ts ч ch ш sh щ shch ъ ы y ь э è ю ju я ja
Braille 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px

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

Further information: Reforms of Russian orthography

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 40px 40px 40px 40px

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


Single punctuation:[4]

Print , .[7]  ?  !  ;  : -
Braille 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px40px

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 40px40px40px 40px40px40px40px40px 40px40px40px 40px40px40px40px40px


italics capital number column
40px 40px 40px 40px

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 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px
Print < > ( )  %
Braille 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px40px 40px40px40px

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

Main article: 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 40px 40px 40px 40px

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

Belarusian Braille

Main article: Belorussian Braille

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

Print і ў
Braille 40px 40px

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

Kazakh Braille

Main article: 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 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px 40px

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

Kyrgyz Braille

Main article: 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 40px 40px 40px

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

Mongolian Braille

Main article: Mongolian Braille

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

Print ө ö ү ü
Braille 40px 40px

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

Main article: 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.

fr:Braille cyrillique