THAI   Thai Flag

TABLE DESIGNATOR

tha

(The initial translation 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, in cases where it is necessary to switch to a different translation table partway through a file, the designator for the table being switched to is required; see the general description of the [lnb~...] command for further details.)

FUNCTIONAL SUMMARY

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

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

REFERENCES, HISTORY AND CREDITS

The Thai tables support print-to-braille translation of Thai-language literary text into uncontracted braille. It is based on matching the characters found in the Unicode standard with World Braille Useage, 1990 and The Wikipedia article on Thai Braille at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thai_Bra- ille

We came into contact with Wiraman Niyomphol. He identified the countless times that the character ordering of Unicode conflicted with the character ordering of braille. These have been fixed in the present translator.

The Problem of Word or Syllable Endings

Inkprint files containing Thai (and Lao) text do not usually have spaces between words. In the process of producing braille, the user ends 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 where the division points between words are in these two languages.

In search for a way to insert word endings into Thai text, we came across software named LaoScript8. It is basically an add-on for Microsoft Word (or Open Office) to improve functionality for Lao and Thai, distributed by Tavultisoft, a company located in Tasmania. There are three purchase levels of LaoScript8:

The feature that helps Thai braille production will be in the next version. Until it is officially released, a copy of the software can be downloaded for those with a Gold Edition copy at http://laoscript.net/downloads/laoscript816.msi. The developer, John Durdin, warns there may be undiscovered bugs in this build, but it has worked well for him.

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. To use the new function, go to the LaoScript Menu, then click on Settings, then More Settings and set the

Thai to Thai Word selection option to None (wrap Thai with ZWSP).

Then, in a Word document, use LaoScript8 - Thai to Thai (Automatic) to insert ZWSP into the Thai text at word and syllable boundaries. While the current menu setting suggests translation into Lao, this does not occur. The result is a Thai file with ZWSP characters.

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.

(Documentation reviewed June 2010)

Duxbury DBT: Braille Translation in Many Languages.


Copyright Duxbury Systems, Inc. Friday, January 31, 2014

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