The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #92136

Title:A Braille Translator and Braille Maths Tutor
Date: 1992
Abstract:The aim of a Braille translator is to convert inkprint text characters into their appropriate Braille characters. The conversion is not simply a transliteration of inkprint characters to Braille ones, it considers the application of Braille translation rules conforming to the grammar of Braille translation. Translation of inkprint documents into Braille is commonly carried out by human transcribers which is both time-consuming and expensive. There are existing computerised systems which can mass-produce Braille documents relatively inexpensively, but the inkprint text must be manually pre-formatted to be acceptable to these systems and the user must have a knowledge of Braille to use these systems. This thesis describes the design and implementation of a Braille translation system which entails little manual pre-formatting of the inkprint text and which does not require the user to have a knowledge of Braille and Braille translation rules. This project is a continuation of Sturtridge's work on a translator of general text of alphabetic characters [Sturtridge 92]. The present translator has upgraded Sturtridge's translator to include Braille translation rules concerned with mathematical text. Computerised Braille translators are desirable partly because one no longer needs to rely on the small number of trained human Braille transcribers. However, even with the intervention of computerised translators, there is still the need for human Braille transcribers. This thesis also describes a tutoring system implemented which aims aid trainee transcribers in learning the rules of Braille translation concerned with mathematical text added to Sturtridge's original translator [Sturtridge 92]. The most fundamental aim of this thesis is to show how the same implementation of the rules of Braille translation concerned with mathematical text is used in both the translation and tutoring systems.

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