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Translating The Black Hack to Braille

Posted in Braille Translation, and Brialle Books

I’m slowly teaching myself braille so that I can better delve into the DOTS project. That being said, I have by no means mastered braille but do have a pretty good grip on Grade One braille. Most braille publications, however, use Grade Two braille which introduces contractions and such that makes the embossed text much shorter. I have found a great text to braille translation application called Braille Blaster that helps on 2 fronts. First, it enables importing large amounts of text and generates a Braille Grade Two UEB translation to work from. Second, it enables someone like me, who doesn’t know Grade Two yet, a starting point.

I thought I’d share a screenshot to give sighted players a better understanding of what braille looks like compared to the original text. This screenshot shows the original text in the window on the left, and the braille translation in the window on the right.

Braille Blaster: The Black Hack Screenshot

I reached out to David Black, the developer of the super popular “The Black Hack” role-playing game…he graciously allowed me to start a translation (with a few tweaks) of the game. Once I have this done, I am going to look into what it will take to get the game printed in braille. You can also find follow The Black Hack on The Black Hack on Facebook. The black hack is a brilliant, rules light RPG. But don’t let “rules light” fool you, the game is exceedingly well thought out and offers an incredible gaming experience…please check it out!

Braille is very interesting, it’s more of a code than a language. I’ll post more on my journey to learn this brilliant system in future posts.

If you’re interested in the DOTS project, make sure to join our DOTS Facebook Group!


  1. I was really interested to get a look at your progress. Transcribing an entire rule book is an enormous undertaking. I would suggest looking into the NLS Transcriber’s course for a systematic introduction to the process of translating print material to Braille. A lot of nuances of print publishing and layoutare equally applicable in their own way to Braille and a good grasp of those principles will make the end result a whole lot more readable.

    August 14, 2017
    • DOTSAdmin

      Thank you so much for sharing this! I am definitely going to look at that course!

      August 14, 2017

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