For Lao, there are two DBT Templates:
Nemeth refers to the use of the Nemeth Code (code for mathematics and science), used in the United States and in India. The Template without Nemeth makes use of the UEB (Unified English Braille) for mathematics and science notation.
For documents not using math symbols, it does not matter which one you choose. For documents using math symbols, you have two choices. If you prepare your file using MathType, a program that embeds math equations within Microsoft Word, the preparation of braille mathematics is automatic, no matter which of these two braille codes you have chosen.
For the details about the DBT translator used by Lao: click here.
Lao is usually produced in uncontracted braille. This means that words in the text are produced in braille on a one-for-one basis. One braille character for each inkprint symbol. Some inkprint punctuation may require more than one braille character. Showing upper case, emphasis, or numbers will add braille characters to the character count.But there are no abbreviations or contractions. If you have questions about how braille is produced, please contact a member of the relevant braille authority.
Lao is written in a script other than the Roman alphabet. This may result in problems when importing files into DBT.Your best option is to import files from Microsoft Word or Open Office that are written in a Unicode font.You can contact support at Duxbury Systems if you have a file which does not import properly into DBT. Please send the file which does not import (the original inkprint file), not a screen shot of DBT.
Please contact us if you have any concerns.
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 resulting braille output divides the line at the wrong places. Duxbury DBT needs to know where the division points between words are in these two languages.
Inkprint files containing Lao (and Thai) 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 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.