Alphabets and Codes

There are many methods of communication apart from the standard alphabet. Here are some alternative alphabets and codes.

Braille

British Sign Language

Greek Alphabet

Maritime Flags

Morse Code

Moon Code

New York Point

Night Writing

Ogham Script

Phonetic Alphabets

Q Codes

Runic Alphabets

Semaphore

Wabun Code

Z Codes



the braille alphabet

The Braille alphabet.

Braille is an alphabet developed by Louis Braille at the beginning of the 19th Century.

The Braille alphabet is considered to be lower case unless it is preceded by a single dot (as shown below).

Numbers are simply represented by the first letters of the alphabet with a prefix (as shown below).

There is a lot more information and some tutorials at

HotBraille

Louis Braille

Louis Braille was born in a small village near Paris in 1809.

He was blinded after an accident with a leather workers awl in his father's workshop.

When he arrived at a school for the blind in Paris, he found that the books for the blind to read had large letters that were raised up off the page. He could feel each letter, but it took him a long time to read a sentence.

Louis believed that there must be a more efficient way to feel the words on a page.

An alphabet code that was being used by the French army at the time was made up of small dots and raised up off the paper so that soldiers could read them by running their fingers over them. It was however still slow and cumbersome, each page could only hold one or two sentences.

On one of his school holidays, while sat in his father's workshop, he realised that the tool that had caused his blindness could help him to read again.

Within a few days he devised an alphabet made up of six dots, the relative positions of the dots representing the letters of the alphabet.


New York Point

New York Point is a system of writing for the blind invented by William Bell Wait a teacher in the New York Institute for the Education of the Blind.

Wait advocated the New York System as more logical than either the American Braille or the British Braille systems.

Wait also invented the Kleidograph, a typewriter with twelve keys, for embossing the New York Point system on paper, and the Stereograph, for creating metal plates to be used in printing books for the blind.


Moon Code

Developed by Dr William Moon in 1843 and known as the Moon System of Embossed Reading, Moon writing, Moon alphabet, Moon type or Moon code.

Rather than the dots of Braille, Moon Writing is made up of raised curves, angles, and lines.

Its entire alphabet is made up of only nine glyphs in various orientations and is claimed by its supporters to be easier to understand than Braille.

As Braille is easier to produce Moon Writing has diminished in popularity and is virtually unknown outside of the UK.

It is however still possible to obtain literature in Moon type from the National Library for the Blind in Stockport.

Numbers are simply represented by the first letters of the alphabet with the prefix


Night Writing

Night writing was designed by Charles Barbier as a system of code that soldiers could use to communicate silently and without light.

It used symbols of twelve dots arranged as two columns of six dots embossed on a square of cardboard with each grid of dots representing a letter or phoneme.

1

2

3

4

5

6

1

a

i

o

u

é

è

2

an

in

on

un

eu

ou

3

b

d

g

j

v

z

4

p

t

q

ch

f

s

5

l

m

n

r

gn

ll

6

oi

oin

ian

ien

ion

ieu

It was discovered that the system was too hard for soldiers to learn, and was subsequently rejected by the military.


Other tactile alphabets include :

Edmund Frye's system : (based on capital letters only).
Jacob Snider, Jr.'s system : This method, which involved carving the letters into a sheet of copper by hand, was used to produce the first raised print book in the U.S. but was soon abandoned.
James Gall's "triangular alphabet" : using both capital and lower-case Roman letters, which was used in 1826 in the first embossed books published in English.
James Hatley Frere's system : based on shorthand, but written in a boustrophedon manner.
John Alston's system : based on capital letters only.
Julius Friedlander's Philadelphia Line : using all capital letters, and used at the Pennsylvania Institution for the Instruction of the Blind.
Samuel G. Howe's Boston Line : using lowercase angular letters, influenced by Gall's system but more closely resembling standard Roman letters.
Thomas Lucas' system : based on shorthand and the phonetic principle.
Valentin Haüy's system : based on embossed Roman characters (in italic style).
William Chapin's system : combining the lowercase letters of the Boston Line with the capitals of the Philadelphia Line, forming the "combined system" (used by 1868 in books printed by N. B. Kneass, Jr.)


British Sign Language

There are different "sign" languages used by those with hearing impairments but this page concentrates on the British version ( B.S.L.).



For more information on B.S.L. check out the

British Sign Language Page


The Greek Alphabet. The Greek Alphabet.

Letter

Name

Letter

Name

A, a

Alpha

B, b

Beta

G, g

Gamma

D, d

Delta

E, e

Epsilon

Z, z

Zeta

H, h

Eta

Q, q

Theta

I, i

Iota

K, k

Kappa

L, l

Lambda

M, m

Mu

N, n

Nu

X, x

Xi

O, o

Omicron

P, p

Pi

R, r

Rho

S, s

Sigma

T, t

Tau

U, u

Upsilon

F, f

Phi

C, c

Chi

Y, y

Psi

W, w

Omega


Maritime
Signal Flags

Flags used to signal messages in the Navy with the most famous message probably being that signalled by Nelson at the Battle of Trafalgar:

ENGLAND EXPECTS EVERY MAN TO DO HIS DUTY


Morse codes

Standard
Morse

Arabic

Hebrew

Cyrillic

Greek

Other
Characters

Prosigns

Wabun Code

American Morse
(obsolete)

Standard Morse

Letter

Code

Letter

Code

Digit

Code

A

. -

N

-.

0

-----

B

-...

O

---

1

.----

C

-.-.

P

.--.

2

..---

D

-..

Q

--.-

3

...--

E

.

R

.-.

4

....-

F

..-.

S

...

5

.....

G

--.

T

-

6

-....

H

....

U

..-

7

--...

I

..

V

...-

8

---..

J

.---

W

.--

9

----.

K

-.-

X

-..-

L

.-..

Y

-.--

M

--

Z

--..

Arabic

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

ا

A

•-

د

D

-••

ب

B

•---

ذ

Z

--••

ت

T

-

ر

R

•-•

ث

C

-•-•

ز

Z

---•

ج

J

•---

س

S

•••

ح

H

••••

ش

SH

----

خ

O

---

ص

X

-••-

ض

V

•••-

ك

K

-•-

ط

U

••-

ل

L

•-••

ظ

Y

-•--

م

M

--

ع

Ä

•-•-

ن

N

غ

G

--•

و

W

•--

ف

F

••-•

ي

Y

••

ق

Q

--•-

N/A

•

Hebrew

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

א

A

•-

ל

L

•-••

ב

B

•---

מ

M

--

ג

G

--•

נ

N

ד

D

-••

ס

C

-•-•

ה

O

---

ע

J

•---

ו

E

•

פ

P

•--•

ז

Z

--••

צ

W

•--

ח

H

••••

ק

Q

--•-

ט

U

••-

ר

R

•-•

י

I

••

ש

S

•••

כ

K

-•-

ת

T

-

Cyrillic

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

A

A

• −

Л

L

• − • •

Х

H

• • • •

Б

B

− • • •

М

M

− −

Ц

C

− • − •

В

W

• − −

Н

N

− •

Ч

Ö

− − − •

Г

G

− − •

О

O

− − −

Ш

CH

− − − −

Д

D

− • •

П

P

• − − •

Щ

Q

− − • −

Е

E

•

Р

R

• − •

Ь (Ъ)

X

− • • −

Ж

V

• • • −

С

S

• • •

Ы

Y

− • − −

З

Z

− − • •

Т

T

Э

É

• • − • •

И

I

• •

У

U

• • −

Ю

Ü

• • − −

Й

J

• − − −

Ф

F

• • − •

Я

Ä

• − • −

К

K

− • −

Greek

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

Letter

In Latin

Code

Α

A

•-

Ι

I

••

Ρ

R

•-•

Β

B

-•••

Κ

K

-•-

Σ

S

•••

Γ

G

--•

Λ

L

•-••

Τ

T

-

Δ

D

-••

Μ

M

--

Υ

Y

-•--

Ε

E

•

Ν

N

Φ

F

••-•

Ζ

Z

--••

Ξ

X

-••-

Χ

CH

----

Η

H

••••

Ο

O

---

Ψ

Q

--•-

Θ

C

-•-•

Π

P

•--•

Ω

W

•--

HY

•••-

YI

•---

OY

••-

OI

---••

EI

•••

AI

•-•-

AY

••--

EY

---•

Other Characters

Char.

Code

Char.

Code

Char.

Code

ä
æ

· — · —

è

· — · · –

ñ

— — · — —

à
å

· — — · —

é
đ

· · — · ·

ö
ø

— — — ·

ç
ĉ

— · — · ·

ĝ

— — · — ·

ŝ

· · · — ·

ch
š

— — — —

ĥ

— — — —

þ ("Thorn")

· — — · ·

ð ("Eth")

· · — — ·

ĵ

· — — — ·

ü
ŭ

· · — —

Prosigns

Sign

Code

Meaning

AC

·--·-·

@ symbol used in email addresses

AR

·-·-·

Stop (end of message)

AS

·-···

Wait (for 10 seconds)

BK

-···-.-

Break

BT

-···-

Separator within message

CL

-·-··-··

Going off the air

DO

-··---

Shift to wabun code

KN

-·--·

Invitation to a specific station to transmit

SK

···-·-

End (end of contact)

SOS

···---···

Serious distress message and request for urgent assistance

Wabun Code (Japanese text)

Mora

Code

Mora

Code

Mora

Code

Mora

Code

Mora

Code

a

--•--

ka

•-••

sa

-•-•-

ta

na

•-•

I

•-

ki

-•-••

shi

--•-•

chi

••-•

ni

-•-•

u

••-

ku

•••-

su

---•-

tsu

•--•

nu

••••

e

-•---

ke

-•--

se

•---•

te

•-•--

ne

--•-

o

•-•••

ko

----

so

---•

to

••-••

no

••--

ha

-•••

ma

-••-

ya

•--

ra

•••

wa

-•-

hi

--••-

mi

••-•-

ri

--•

fu

--••

mu

-

yu

-••--

ru

-•--•

n

•-•-•

he

•

me

-•••-

re

---

ho

-••

mo

-••-•

yo

--

ro

•-•-

wo

•---

Control

Code

Control

Code

Control

Code

Control

Code

Control

Code

Dakuten

••

Handakuten

••--•

Long vowel

•--•-

Comma

•-•-•-

Full stop

•-•-••

Variations in American Morse (obsolete)

Letter

Code

Letter

Code

Digit

Code

0

———

O

. _ .

1

· — — ·

C

· · _ ·

P

· · · · ·

2

· · — · ·

Q

· · — ·

3

· · · — ·

R

· _ · ·

F

· — ·

5

— — —

6

· · · · · ·

7

— — · ·

8

— · · · ·

J

— · — ·

9

— · · —

X

· — · ·

L

——

Y

· · _ · ·

Z

· · · _ ·

Period

· · — — · ·

Comma

· — · —

Question
mark

· · — — · ·

Exclamation
mark

— — — ·

Ampersand

· _ · · ·


Ogham script is an ancient symbolic language form.

I am hoping to build on this soonish.


Phonetic Alphabets.

LetterNATO &
International Aviation
RAF
( 1942-43 )
N.Y.P.D.
AAlphaAppleAdam
BBravoBeerBoy
CCharlieCharlieCharlie
DDeltaDogDavid
EEchoEdwardEdward
FFoxtrotFreddieFrank
GGolfGeorgeGeorge
HHotelHarryHenry
IIndiaInIda
JJulietJug/JohnnyJohn
KKiloKingKing
LLimaLoveLincoln
MMikeMotherMary
NNovemberNutsNora
OOscarOrangeOcean
PPapaPeterPeter
QQuebecQueenQueen
RRomeoRoger/Robert Robert
SSierraSugarSam
TTangoTommyTom
UUniformUncleUnion
VVictor VicVictor
WWhiskyWilliamWilliam
XX-rayX-rayX-ray
YYankeeYoke/YorkerYoung
ZZuluZebraZebra


The Viking Runic Alphabet.

There are several different runic alphabets this is the Viking one.

Once again I am hoping to build on this soonish..


SEMAPHORE


A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

Q

R

S

T

U

V

W

X

Y

Z

ANNUL

NUMERICAL

ERROR

The semaphore alphabet, ( as demonstrated by Burt )


Q Codes

Q codes were created, circa 1909, by the British government as a way in which maritime radio operators speaking different languages could communicate more efficiently.

Applicability of codes by type of emission Civilian radio continuous wave (CW) : Q codes.
Military radio continuous wave (CW) : Q codes and Z codes.
Civilian shipboard signal lamp : Q codes.
Military shipboard signal lamp : Q codes and Z codes.
Military Flag semaphore : Q codes and Z codes.
Military teletype : Z codes used as routers in message header.

First Twelve Q Codes Listed in the 1912 International Radiotelegraph Convention Regulations

QRA What ship or coast station is that? QRH What is your wave length in meters?
QRB What is your distance? QRJ How many words have you to send?
QRC What is your true bearing? QRK How do you receive me?
QRD Where are you bound for? QRL Are you receiving badly?
QRF Where are you bound from? QRM Are you being interfered with?
QRG What line do you belong to? QRN Are the atmospherics strong?

Q Codes Commonly Used by Radio Amateurs

QRG Exact frequency QSA Signal strength
QRI Tone QSB Fading of signal
QRK Intelligibility QSD Your keying is defective
QRL This frequency is busy. QSK Break-in
QRM Man-made interference QSL I Acknowledge receipt
QRN Natural interference QSM Repeat last message
QRO Increase power QSN I heard you
QRP decrease power QSO A conversation
QRQ Send faster QSP Relay
QRR temporarily unavailable/away, please wait QST General call to all stations
QRRR Distress QSX I am listening on ... frequency
QRS Send slower QSY Shift to transmit on ...
QRT Stop sending QTA Disregard last message
QRU Have you anything for me? QTC Traffic
QRV I am ready QTH Location
QRX will call you again QTR Exact time
QRZ You are being called by ________

Unofficial Q Codes

QLF "try sending with your LEFT foot" QNB 45/15 means "45, and I know what 15 of them do."
QSC "send cigarettes" QRK sometimes used to refer to the cost of something
QNB? "How many buttons does your radio have?" QSK "I can hear you during my transmission"

Aviation

Altimeter Settings

QFE Atmospheric pressure at airfield elevation
QNE Atmospheric pressure at sea level
QNH Atmospheric pressure at mean sea level

Radio Navigation

QDM Magnetic bearing to a station
QDR Magnetic bearing from a station
QFU Runway in use
QTE True bearing from a station
QUJ True bearing to a station
Radio Procedures
QSY Free-call another frequency

Some Example Z Codes

ZAL Alter your wavelengthZAP Acknowledge, please
ZBK Are you receiving my traffic clear? ZBK1I am receiving your traffic clear
ZBK2 I am receiving your traffic garbledZBM2 Place a competent operator on this circuit
ZSF Send fasterZBW # Change to backup frequency #

A full list of Q and Z codes can be found in the document ACP-131 but be warned - last time I looked it was a 166 page document.


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