LAO Lao Flag

Please also see Improving Lao Braille: Word Endings

TABLE DESIGNATOR

lao

This page describes the internal functioning of the respective DBT translation table. If you want more information about languages, scripts, and template choices, please click here.

The initial language table for a translation is determined by the selected template, and may be changed using the Document / Translation Tables menu. Using those menus does not involve explicit use of the table designator. However, to switch to a different translation table partway through a file, one must enter a DBT code and the designator for the table to switch to. For switching secondary languages within a base language table, see the [lng~X] command. For switching from one base language to another, see the [lnb~...] command.

FUNCTIONAL SUMMARY

The Lao tables support print-to-braille translation of Lao-language literary text into uncontracted Lao braille.

Uncontracted English is also supported. Technical (mathematics and computer) notation is generally transcribed as in Unified English Braille (UEB).

BRAILLE to PRINT (also known as Back-translation)

Braille-to-print translation is supported for this language. However Braille-to-print translation may not be perfect, therefore errors could occur. If you find any errors or have suggestions, please send both the *.dxb and *.dxp files along with an explanation to: languages@duxsys.com (Please be sure to include sample files).

SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS AND LIMITATIONS

Although DBT Win DBT 11.1 and later are able to display accented letter combinations and many non-Roman scripts, it is nevertheless often more convenient to use Microsoft Word for entering and editing print text, which can then be imported into DBT for subsequent translation. When preparing the text in Word, be sure to use a Unicode font (such as Lucida Sans or the default Times Roman), so that the underlying characters are encoded in Unicode. (Note that the appearance on screen is not the issue. Fonts that merely cause standard ASCII characters to be displayed as the desired accented or non-Roman letters will not work, because they will be imported according to their standard interpretation, not their appearance.)

SECONDARY LANGUAGES SUPPORTED

Roman script is generally transcribed as in Unified English Braille (UEB).

There are no secondary languages supported within the Lao table itself; however it is possible to switch to any of the available translation tables listed in DBT. (See the [lnb~...] code below.)

TECHNICAL BRAILLE CODES SUPPORTED

Technical (mathematics, computer, or scientific) notation is generally transcribed as in Unified English Braille (UEB). It is also possible to switch to any of the available translation tables listed in DBT (see the [lnb~...] code below), many of which do support various technical codes, such as for mathematics or computer notation, or which support “unified” treatment of technical notation as well as literary text in the base language associated with the table.

SUPPORTED DBT TRANSLATION CODES

The following DBT translation codes are available when using the Lao table. Codes related to the entry of type forms, mathematics, etc. as in the English/Unified tables may also be used and will generally be treated in the same way. Any other translation codes used will be ignored, or indeed may cause unexpected results. If using an alternative translation table, i.e when switching to another base language table by means of the[lnb~...] code, please refer to the relevant topic and available codes for that table.

[cz]

[lnb]

[lnb~...] (for switching to another base [primary] language table)

[tx]

CHARACTERS SUPPORTED

The table is designed to work with the following groups of characters:

All ASCII printable characters

Lao letters and punctuation marks

Mathematical signs, shapes, etc. (DUSCI pages D+df..., D+e2..., D+e5..., D+ef..., D+f0..., D+f1...)

The above is a general guide only (see "General Notes" section under the main “Language Translation Tables” topic).

REFERENCES, HISTORY AND CREDITS

(Documentation reviewed May 2010)

Improving Lao Braille: Word Endings

Duxbury now has a new list of vowel/consonant rules for Lao. We thank Kongkeo Tounalom and his co-workers at the Lao Association of the Blind for their hard work.

The Problem of Word or Syllable Endings

Inkprint files containing Lao (and Thai) text do not usually have spaces between words. In the process of producing braille, we end up with the braille characters, but no idea where the word divisions are. The result is braille output that divides the line at the wrong places. Duxbury DBT needs to know how to divide braille at the division points between words in these two languages.

In search for a way to insert word endings into Lao text, we came across software named LaoScript8. It is basically an add-on for Microsoft Word (or Open Office) to improve functionality for Lao, distributed by Tavultesoft, a company located in Tasmania. Tavultesoft CEO, Marc Durdin, may be producing similar software to assist with Thai braille production as well. There are three purchase levels of LaoScript8:

As you use Microsoft Word (after obtaining, installing and licensing the LaoScript8 software), you find a menu choice LaoScript8 inside of Word.

Just as you are finished with a document (and are ready to produce braille), click on the LaoScript menu. This produces a ribbon in Word. There are two choices we are interested in Wrap and Join. Wrap inserts special markers in the file that show where words divide (good for DBT). Join takes out these markers (perhaps useful when sharing Word files with others).

To be technical, LaoScript8 inserts Unicode U+200B as its end of word markers. This Unicode character is called a zero length space. Usually, these cause two characters to be printed closer together by adding a zero-length non-printing character which tells the inkprint rendering to potentially divide lines at these positions. Duxbury DBT looks for these U+200B characters, and divides braille lines based on where these are placed.