Learn Braille In No Time Using Your Binary System


Here is A, B, and C in Braille:

:black_circle::white_circle: :black_circle::white_circle: :black_circle::black_circle:
:white_circle::white_circle: :black_circle::white_circle: :white_circle::white_circle:
:white_circle::white_circle: :white_circle::white_circle: :white_circle::white_circle:

…and here the rest of the alphabet:

You can connect them to your existing binary system by placing the binary system’s object next to a picture of the letter the cell represents. You can find animal alphabets, etc. on the internet to assign an image to each letter. Do this either on a 26 loci journey or just use the alphabet itself as a peg system.

First cell shown above:
Say your animal for A is “alligator” and your major code for TS (100 000) is “toes”. You can imagine 10 tiny alligators biting into each one of your toes. You don’t have to read top to bottom but reading bottom up for RS instead of TS feels a bit upside down to me (personal preference though).

Another one further down the alphabet:
Say your animal for T is a “tiger” and your major code for JM (011 110) is “gem”. You can think of a Tiger’s eye (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tiger’s_eye)

For those of you that don’t have a binary system yet but images for 00…99, here’s how you read the binary as decimal:

① ①
② ②
④ ④

Consider the braille cell: two columns of three dots each. The left will give you the tenth digit and the right will give you the unit digit. If a dot is raised, its value is counted for the column total. The above examples for A, B, and C are: 10, 30, and 11, respectively.

For the tiger example above, it’s 2 + 4 = 6 in the first column and 1 + 2 = 3 in the second column; so 63 for JM which could then be “gem”, “gym”, “Jim”, etc.

Where to use it (other than reading braille of course):

Say you memorized the periodic table but you have trouble with the symbols for the elements. You can just store A (“toes”) and U (“lyre”) next whatever represents gold in your memory palace. Say Goldfinger (James Bond villain) using his toes to play the lyre, maybe even let him play ABBA’s Money, Money, Money… detail of the image is personal preference of course.

This is different from just using a word with A and another one with U, because you are using only images that exist in your 00…99 system, which you are probably very familiar with. Toes is TS (100 000) and you know those got bit by “A” (alligators) and Lyre is LR (101 001) which you got somehow tied to a “U” (let’s say: unicorn).

If you’re just starting out learning Japanese you can use it to reference Hiragana instead of the Latin alphabet. It works the same way as described above, only that the braille cells represent a different set of characters. Have a took here:

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How do you do multiple castles?
Lettering System other than Speffz
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(Silvio B.) #2

This is great!

I use Dominic O’Brien’s approach on binary and I can just combine it with the images I have for the alphabet.
I think I’ll actually learn braille now! :smiley: And I guess I’ll add something to my journey to remember how to build the braille numbers.

Thank you!


Happy to hear that it sparked your interest, @SilvioB.

Forgot to mention that the whole thing really only happens in the top 4 dots with the bottom 2 dots acting like shift and option keys on a keyboard. Have a look at the first column in the link:

  • K is the same as A with the bottom left dot active
  • U is the same as A with both bottom dots active

This is true for the rest of the cells if you move “W” out of the way. Back when Louis Braille came up with his system the “W” wasn’t really used in French, so the third column becomes C-M-X. The next two also shift left in the same way.

Cuts down the memorization time even more because you really only need to know the first 10 cells (A-J), because the next 10 (K-T) is just the same again with ③ turned on and the last 5 cell (U-Z) the same again with ③ and ⑥ turned on. Last but not least, W is just a backwards R. (You sit backwards when RoWing.)

Also, if you have an iPhone you can turn on Braille Input under Accessibility and then just use it in Notes to practice… bonus points for using it in a forum post here :wink:

You use the input screen by actually holding the phone screen away from you, so the ① is on your left index finger and the ④ is on your right index finger. Imagine looking “through” your phone when you type the cell, so left index finger alone is “A”.

ps: I assume they have it for Android as well, but not sure.

(Silvio B.) #4

I have an iphone. I‘ll try this!

(Silvio B.) #5

i typed this in braille no idea about punctuation though

(Silvio B.) #6

This took me like 10 minutes to type :joy:
But I could get used to it with more practice. I just have no idea how to put in punctuation with the braille input on iphone.


Same as with the letters… braille uses all 64 possible cells but after the alphabet it gets a bit language dependent on where things end up. It’s a bit like the ASCII table past 127 where you’ll have ä, ö, ü, ß, etc. in German and é, é, ê, etc in French.

Easiest is to just try it out… punctuation marks are the same as the first 10 letters but pushed down one row. So instead of 10 for A you use you left middle finger instead of index finger to get 20 which could be a comma (for example). After that middle and ring instead of index and middle (letter B), etc. I think there is also some information on it in the link I posted.

…would you mind sharing a handful of images you’ve used since this is slightly different from the major system approach I was suggesting? Then others that use the Dominic System for binary might have a better idea how to go about learning braille.

(Silvio B.) #8

I „translate“ binary digits like this:
001 = 1
011 = 2
111 = 3
110 = 4
100 = 5
010 = 6 (010 kind of looks like an elephant and and elephant is also my number shape for 6)
101 = 7

So for a „b“ in Braille it would be:
110 000 (each read from top to bottom)
This translates to 40.
In my Dominic System 40 is (coincidentally) Dominic O‘Brien.
(In the Dominic System it‘s A=1, B=2, C=3, 4=D, 5=E (but I use F for 5 because it worked better for me), 6=S, 7=G, 8=H, 9=N, 0=O)

Another example:
The letter „y“ is 101 111 in Braille.
Translates to 73.
George Clooney.

I made a palace to memorize all braille letters, where I put my images for the letters (using the NATO alphabet) together with the image for the decimal numbers.

So at the location for „y“ there‘s George Clooney with a baseball bat (with a NY Yankee logo on it).

Braille letter „s“ = 011 100 = 25
So Benjamin Franklin is waving the flag of Sierra Leone.

Hope this makes sense :slight_smile:


Nice… for me it’s two eyes and a Nose and “N” is 2 in the major system.

Maybe because the way you highlighted B and F, I just realized that people that don’t have a 00 … 99 system yet can just use number shapes.

  • Left column = Swan (2)
  • Right column = Seahorse (5)
  • Letter “s” = Sierra Tequila.

So a swan taking shots of tequila with a seahorse (instead of a worm) in the shot glass… I know that’s Mezcal with the worm but to stick with the spelling alphabet.

So this way, you’d only need letter shapes from 0 to 7 and putting three instead of two images per location. Basically, left column shape + right column shape + spelling alphabet image.