|Vastly Improved English Braille|
When I was a little kid, I had to learn Braille in school, however I never got to the point to where I could read books in it, and I forgot it all despite that it would probably have been very helpful to me. Why is that? Every braille alphabet I've heard of so far except for English's (and to a lesser extent, German's) follows at least one of these rules:
1. It's an almost 100% match to ink-print spelling (Swedish and Esperanto's braille are like this).
2. It's an almost 100% match to pronunciation (Mandarin and Japanese's braille are like this).
3. It follows both, because the ink-print writing is already almost a perfect match to pronunciation (Finnish and Esperanto's braille are like this).
English's braille effectively starts with a base of our nonsense ink-print spelling ("island" is not pronounced "is land"!) and then makes it even more difficult by adding on tons of abbreviations that are completely unique to Braille. Meaning, you can't read anything more than very, very basic things in Braille without learning all of these abbreviations first, on top of having to learn normal convoluted English spelling. : P
So here's my improved version of Braille. Each sound has its own letter when possible, and words are spelled according to their sounds and not according to their normal English spelling, because this speeds up reading without the need for abbreviations. For example, "through" sounds like "throo" and now becomes "þrú" in Braille. "Enough" sounds like "eenuff" and would become "ínöf". If we want to save even more space, we can do things similar to Old Norse, like "brother -> bruðer -> bruðr", because when we say r we automatically say the "er/ur" sound and so it doesn't need to be spelled out.
It would be easier if we also change some things with the normal Braille alphabet (ex. changed which dots mean which letters, in order to make it faster to write and easier to learn) but since most European-language's alphabets use the same letters as the French one, and apparently everyone wants to keep it that way despite it not being the best method, we'll keep it that way. The basic alphabet would then be:
a (ah) ⠁ b ⠃ d ⠙ e (eh) ⠑ f ⠋ g (goat) ⠛
h ⠓ i (it) ⠊ í (ee) ⠌ j (jacket, genre) ⠚ k ⠅ l ⠇ m ⠍ n (nut) ⠝ o (oh) ⠕ p ⠏
r ⠗ s (set) ⠎ t ⠞ u (put, her) ⠥ ú (oo) ⠻ v ⠧
w ⠺ x (ks) ⠉ x (gs) ⠭ y (yarn) ⠽ z (zebra) ⠵
C ⠉ is replaced by s ⠎ or k ⠅ depending on which sound the c makes (k = cats, section; s = cereal). The letter ⠉ becomes "ks" as below. Q ⠟ is replaced by k. The letter ⠟ becomes "st" as below (st is an abbreviation letter that exists in English braille right now).
X ⠭ actually stands for two sounds in English, both "ks" and "gs" (ks = hex, ex-girlfriend; gs = exaggeration, example), so we need to separate these and have one letter for ks and one for gs. Because we removed the letters for c and q, we can add in c's ⠉ (which is fast to write) for the ks sound, which is the more common one.
The new letters, like í ⠌, weren't chosen by accident - these exist in the alphabets of other languages' Braille (Icelandic, Swedish, IPA) with either the same or very similar sounds.
Here is the advanced alphabet. Most of the ink-print letters with special marks match their real sounds, but some (ẑ, ï, ÿ, ë, ṋ) don't and this is just because I wanted to be able to easily show the difference in the number of characters in the text samples below:
⠜ æ ("ah-eh") ⠣ å ("oh-ah", oar, poor, more) ⠪ ö (uh, the)
⠱ ð (father, this) ⠫ þ (path, theme)
⠩ ŝ (sh) ⠡ ĉ (ch) ẑ ⠮ (azure, pleazure, treasure)
⠢ ï ("ah-ih", I, my, high) ⠒ ÿ (oi, toy, boy, ploy) ⠴ ë ("eh-ih", a, hey, face)
⠬ ṋ ("ng", think, playing) ⠟ ṱ ("st", stuff)
⠂marks a double consonant of whatever follows after (gg, ss, tt etc). Japanese braille does this.|
⠒ marks a drawn-out or longer sound of whatever came before it (heeeey!). Japanese braille does this.
Examples of single words (full sentences are further down):