In the Klingon Empire, charity
A tactile writing system was thus a natural development of a culture of true warriors and free citizens, not a system created and taught by well-
There are, in fact, two varieties of tactile writing in Klingon. For simplicity’s sake, we can refer to both as ‘Braille’, as both employ the basic system known to Terrans by that name. The two varieties are Earth Normalized (EN) and Streamlined Galactic (SG). Both use the same 6-dot cell which consists of two columns of three dots: ⠿. To facilitate discussion, dots are numbered. The left column contains dots 1, 2, and 3 from top to bottom and the right dots 4, 5, and 6, also from top to bottom. Characters are created by utilizing combinations of those six dots.
EN is used primarily by off-
EN ⠃ ⠠⠙ ⠉⠓ ⠛⠓ ⠠⠓ ⠚ ⠇ ⠍ ⠝ ⠝⠛ ⠏ b D ch gh H j l m n ng p EN ⠗ ⠟ ⠠⠟ ⠠⠎ ⠞ ⠞⠇⠓ ⠧ ⠺ ⠽ ⠄ r q Q S t tlh v w y ’ EN ⠁ ⠑ ⠠⠊ ⠕ ⠥ a e I o u
SG is different from EN in several ways. First, it eliminates the use of the prefixed capital sign. The dot six (which indicated the capital) is added to the dots used to make the letter itself. Thus, D ⠠⠙ becomes ⠹, H ⠠⠓ becomes ⠳, Q ⠠⠟ becomes ⠿, S ⠠⠎ becomes ⠮, and I ⠠⠊ becomes ⠪.
Another difference between EN and SG lies in how two and three letter combinations are written. One symbol is used in each case where two letters are used in the EN or print system. These symbols bear no resemblance to the letters they replace; they must be memorized. Those familiar with old Terran English Braille will be familiar with some of these. This similarity of systems is taken by many scholars as evidence that the Terran system was derived from the much older Klingon rather than being invented separately. In SG, ch is written ⠡, gh is written ⠣, and ng is written as ⠬. The usual esthetic that operates in Braille codes would tend to indicate that tlh should be written as
Below, you will find the SG system, followed by EN and the print representations for reference.
SG ⠃ ⠹ ⠡ ⠣ ⠳ ⠚ ⠇ ⠍ ⠝ ⠬ ⠏ EN ⠃ ⠠⠙ ⠉⠓ ⠛⠓ ⠠⠓ ⠚ ⠇ ⠍ ⠝ ⠝⠛ ⠏ b D ch gh H j l m n ng p SG ⠗ ⠟ ⠿ ⠮ ⠞ ⠭ ⠧ ⠺ ⠽ ⠄ EN ⠗ ⠟ ⠠⠟ ⠠⠎ ⠞ ⠞⠇⠓ ⠧ ⠺ ⠽ ⠄ r q Q S t tlh v w y ’ SG ⠁ ⠑ ⠪ ⠕ ⠥ EN ⠁ ⠑ ⠠⠊ ⠕ ⠥ a e I o u
Equivalents of the Terran punctuation symbols are available in EN and SG. They are written immediately following the sentenced with no space between the symbol and the last letter of the sentence. All of these symbols are written in the lower part of the Braille cell, using only dots 2, 3, 5, and 6.
EN/SG ⠲ ⠦ ⠖ ⠂ ⠶ . ? ! , ( and )
On earth, there are two basic options for producing Braille on paper by hand. One is a Perkins Brailler: a machine akin to a typewriter with six keys (one for each dot) a space bar, backspace and line-
controlled by each of the six keys, perforate the paper from beneath. A more portable option is a slate and stylus. A slate is a metal or plastic frame into which a piece of paper is inserted. The pointed stylus is used to perforate the paper with placement of each dot in each cell guided by the frame. Note that dots are pressed into the paper so that the embossed dots appear on the other side when the paper is turned over. This is like writing into a mirror and means each letter is made backwards and writing proceeds from right to left.
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Machines such as the Perkins Brailler, are, of course, disdained by true warriors who prefer the slate and (preferably very sharp) stylus.
There are two possible options for writing Braille on skin. Using a slate to guide tattoo needles, SG or EN messages can be easily pressed into the skin. Alternatively, messages can be written with short nails on pieces of wood (sharp ends up).
One need only strike
This is faster than tattooing, but less permanent as the marks will presumably heal with the passage of time. Both of these methods for writing on skin are indenting rather than embossing per se unless some contaminant is sprinkled over the wound to encourage infection.
You may wish to practice your SG by reading the following phrases:
⠠⠝⠥⠟⠹⠁⠟ ⠄⠕⠳ ⠏⠥⠡⠏⠁⠄⠄⠑⠄⠦
⠳⠁⠃ ⠮⠕⠮⠇⠪⠄ ⠠⠿⠥⠡
⠳⠑⠣⠇⠥⠄⠍⠑⠳ ⠿⠁⠿ ⠚⠁⠚⠧⠁⠍