Urdu Braille


According to UNESCO (2013),[1] there are different braille alphabets for Urdu in India and in Pakistan. The Indian alphabet is based on national Bharati Braille, while the Pakistani alphabet is based on Persian Braille.

Pakistani Urdu Braille
Script type
Print basis
Urdu alphabet
LanguagesUrdu (in Pakistan)
Related scripts
Parent systems
Indian Urdu Braille
Script type (?)
Print basis
LanguagesUrdu (In India)
Related scripts
Parent systems

Differences from Persian and Bharati BrailleEdit

Besides the addition of Urdu-specific consonants analogous to the additional letters in the print Urdu alphabet compared to the Persian alphabet, Pakistani Urdu Braille differs from Persian Braille in the transcription of the print letter ژ ž, which is written as a digraph in Urdu braille rather than as Persian , which in Urdu is used for ڈ .

Indian Urdu Braille differs from other Bharati braille alphabets in having several letters borrowed from Persian, such as for ق q (Bharati kṣ), for ح (Bharati ), and for ع (Bharati ). Another such letter, for خ x, is shared with Gurmukhi Braille ਖ਼ x but with no other Bharati alphabet, where is otherwise the vowel o.


Note: It is not clear if these are written right-to-left or left-to-right. The directionality of some of the digraphs may have gotten confused.
Print Pakistan India
ا   (?)
آ ā  
ب b  
بھ bh    
پ p  
پھ ph  
ت t  
تھ th    
ٹ  [2]  
ٹھ ṭh  [2]  
ث /s/     
ج j  
جھ jh  
چ c  
چھ ch  
خ x  
د d  
دھ dh   [3]  
ڈھ ḍh   [3]  
ذ /z/     
ر r  
ڑھ ṛh   [3]   
ز z  
ژ ž   [4]   
س s  
ش š  
ص /s/  
ض /z/     
ط /t/     
ظ ż /z/     
غ ğ     
ف f  
ق q  
ک k  
کھ kh   [3]  
گ g  
گھ gh   [3]  
ل l  
م m  
ن n  
ں (nasal)  
و v/w   v  
ه h  
ء   (?)
ی y   y  
ے ē   ē  
َ◌ a   (?)
ِ◌ i   (same?)
ُ◌ u   (same?)
ّ◌ (dbl)   (?)

It is not clear if vowels in Indian Urdu Braille follow pronunciation and their Devanagari Braille equivalents, or print orthography.


Pakistani Urdu Braille has several contractions beyond the aspirated consonants:

كو , سا , نا ,[5] و ن گ , نا ,[5] نے , يا , لا , بے , اء .[6]


Basic punctuation in Pakistan is the same as in India. See Bharati Braille#Punctuation.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ World Braille Usage, UNESCO, 2013
  2. ^ a b Or perhaps the reverse, and ṭh. (Combinatorial Image Analysis: 12th International Workshop, IWCIA 2008, p 345ff.)
  3. ^ a b c d e Not specifically attested. Assumed from the assignment of to the print digraph element ھ.
  4. ^ Or perhaps a single glyph, ž (Combinatorial Image Analysis: 12th International Workshop, IWCIA 2008, p 345ff), though according to UNESCO, that is the braille glyph for يا .
  5. ^ a b A duplication in the UNESCO reference, presumably an error. may be ان instead, in which case is probably also a mistake for اس. It appears that UNESCO got the letters backwards for several of the contractions.
  6. ^ Written hamza–alif, but labeled alif–hamza.