Appendix F 
Glossary for Transcribers

acronym: a word formed by using the initial letters of other words

radar (radio detecting and ranging)

acute: an accent mark


alliteration: repetition of initial sounds in two or more syllables or words

The initial b in each word is underlined; Bill’s boy Bobbie bent the bike.

alphabetic reference: text listed in alphabetical order, such as a dictionary, index, or glossary.

analogies: comparisons of words

a leaf is to a tree as a page is to a book

arabic numbers: numbers written as 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0

asterisk: print symbol * often used as a footnote or reference indicator

attribution: identification of the source or author of the material

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You

—Inaugural Address by John F. Kennedy, January 20, 1961

author segment: portion of braille title page with information concerning author(s)

authorized entity: a nonprofit organization or governmental agency having a primary mission to provide specialized services related to training, education, or adaptive reading or information access needs of the blind or other persons with disabilities

back matter: the material following the main body of the text; it may include, but is not limited to, a bibliography, glossary, and index

bar graph: a diagram showing information using vertical or horizontal bars

Sample bar graph

bibliography: a list of books, magazine articles, stories, and other resources used in the writing of the text

ten with breve over the e

blank line: a line with no braille on it between lines of braille

blank space: a cell with no braille in it

blocked paragraph: a paragraph with no indent

body matter: the main text, including state-mandated materials and extra explanatory material

boldface: a font attribute used for emphasis

braces: enclosure symbols, { }

Get your book {history, science, health} and follow me.

brackets: enclosure symbols, [ ]

Get your book [history, science, health] and follow me.

breve: an accent mark indicating a short vowel

ten with breve over the e

bullet: print symbol • often used at the beginning of a list item; may appear also with another shape, such as a triangle Triangle character or diamond Diamond character

caesura: double vertical lines representing a break in poetic meter

To err is human; || to forgive, divine.

capitalization indicator: the composition sign indicating the next braille character is capitalized

caret: a print proofreading symbol indicating letters or words are to be inserted

Sample of caret indicating where word is to be inserted; to be or (not) to be

cedilla: an accent mark with a hook below the letter


chart: method of visually representing information, such as a pie chart, bar chart, and line chart

circumflex: an accent mark, often called a caret


column entry: intersection of rows and columns

commentaries: material inserted to explain or elaborate on the text, often in a biblical context

Introduction to Psalm (Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary)

David was the penman of most of the psalms, but some evidently were composed by other writers, and the writers of some are doubtful. …

composition indicators: symbols used in braille to indicate font attributes or give the following character special meaning, e.g., number, accent, etc.; there is no corresponding print symbol

compound hyphen: 33 (25, 25) used when compound words are divided between the two component words

compound word: a word composed of two or more words; specifically, two or more words joined together by a hyphen

concept map: a visual arrangement of material to show relationships

Sample concept map

consumable material: pages intended to be written on by the student

contracted braille: transcription which uses contractions for letter combinations or words

credit lines: identification of the source or author of the material (see attribution)

cross-reference: reference directing the reader to another location in the same book

declension: listing of a verb in all its forms, such as past and present

Sample declension table

definition segment: includes the part-of-speech label, definition, descriptions, examples, etc.

diacritic hyphen: 3 (25), used to show syllable division in diacritic pronunciation; used when a hyphen is in contact with a dash; used in place of a compound hyphen

diacritic mark: a symbol which shows the pronunciation of a letter, such as the breve and acute

Table showing diacritic marks

diaeresis: two dots placed over a vowel to indicate that the vowel is pronounced as a separate syllable

naïve, Brontë

diagramming: linear diagramming shows sentence structure on one line, using font attributes to distinguish parts of speech; spatial diagramming shows sentence structure using visual cues such as horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines

digraph: two successive letters which indicate a single sound

ea in bread

diphthong: a sound made by two vowels that seems to be pronounced without hesitation between the vowels

oy in toy

directions: instructions given to the student concerning material immediately following the instructions

Write the same words without endings in the second column.

directive sentences: similar to directions, but not followed by an activity in the book to be completed

Ask your grandparents about a significant world event in their life.

double dash: ---- (36, 36, 36, 36) same as omission dash

elision: the omission of a letter, or shortening of a word, e.g. comin' for coming

emphasis: accentuation of a word or words using color or attributes such as bold, underlining or italics

ellipsis: a symbol which shows the omission of a word or words, or numbers in a series ...

em dash: a typographic dash, which is supposed to be as wide as an "m" (can vary between fonts), but frequently is twice as wide as an en dash; used as a break between two thoughts

She is—according to her brother—a geek.

en dash: a typographic dash the width of an "n"; typically used as a range in numbers

It will be 14–16 days before the application can be processed.

enclosure symbols: any symbols that come in pairs, such as quotation marks, parentheses, brackets, braces

endnotes: footnotes (references) compiled at the end of a chapter, section, or book in print

entry: a word or phrase, and all its accompanying information, in an alphabetical listing

entry-word segment: a word(s), its respelling, and its pronunciation

enunciate: to pronounce, articulate; to state or set forth precisely or systematically

enunciate a doctrine

epigraph: a quotation, with or without quotation marks, at the beginning of a chapter or unit which sets the theme of the section

"Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot."

—From Huckleberry Finn

exercise set: the complete assignment, which includes directions, examples, questions, and answer choices

expendable materials: classroom worksheets, etc., meant to be discarded after completion

flowchart: diagram showing the step-by-step progression through a procedure or system, using connecting lines and symbols

Sample flowchart

font: a specific size and style of a typeface

Times New Roman, 14 pt, bold

Arial, 14 pt, italic

Courier New, 14 pt

,sim,brl1 #ad pt (SimBraille 14 pt)

font attribute: the look of the print letter, e.g., boldface, italics, color, underlining, etc.

footnote: an explanation or comment about a word or phrase; also called a reference in braille

front matter: the print preliminary pages, e.g., dedication, table of contents, and other material not included with the main body of the text

guide words: in print, words usually at the top of a dictionary page listing the beginning and ending word on the page or facing pages. In braille, words centered on the last line listing the beginning and ending words on the page

guillemet: either of the marks « or » used as quotation marks in French

highlighting: using a colored background to emphasize a word, phrase, sentence, etc.

hyperlink: a word, phrase, or image that can be clicked on to jump to a different location

idea web: see concept map

incidental note: a note directing the reader to another source, e.g., an accompanying handbook, a website, etc.

IPA: International Phonetic Alphabet; used by linguists to show exact pronunciations

ISO: International Organization for Standardization; sets the standards for state and country abbreviations

italics: font attribute used for emphasis

Latin alphabet: the alphabet that is the direct derivation of the alphabet first used to write Latin

letter indicator: the braille composition indicator which indicates the following character is a letter

liaison: the upper   Upper tie bar   or lower  Lower tie bar    tie bar symbol, connecting two letters

ng with upper tie bar, ring

libretto: lyrics without the musical notation

ligature: connected print letters


line graph: a diagram of connecting lines between data points

Sample line graph

lower-case letters: uncapitalized letters, a b c d e

macron: an accent mark indicating a long vowel


marginal notes: marked or unmarked word definitions, which have a specific location and direct relationship with an element of the text on that page, or possibly the previous/next page in some situations

middle hyphen: see diacritic hyphen

nested list: a multi-level list, e.g., questions/answers, table of contents, poetry, etc.

NIMAS: National Instructional Materials Accessibility Standard, which is the technical standard K-12 textbook publishers use to produce source files that may be used to create specialized formats, such as braille, for students with print disabilities

note separation line: a line used to separate regular text from notes at the bottom of the print page; "333333 (5, 25, 25, 25, 25, 25, 25)

number indicator: the braille composition symbol which indicates the next braille character is a number

numbered lines: lines in prose or poetry that are numbered in print, either in the left or right margin; in braille, every print line is numbered in prose; print numbering is followed for poetry (verse)

oblique stroke: slash


omission dash: ---- (36, 36, 36, 36) same as a double dash

organizational chart: a chart showing areas of responsibility, usually with the most important person or thing at the top

Sample organization chart

page information line: used as the last line on the braille page to indicate the first and last page entries, e.g., guide words in an alphabetic reference, outline numbers, etc.

page tab: a print indication of what is on the page; it may be numbers or words and is usually along the outside edge of the page in a tabbed layout

Sample of page tab on outer edge of page

paragraph heading: generally an indication of the subject of a paragraph; text in a different font at the beginning of a paragraph

partial table of contents: a short table of contents at the beginning of a unit or chapter

pie chart: a diagram showing information using sections of a circle

Sample pie chart

poetic line: a unit of verse ending in a visual or typographic break and generally characterized by its length and meter

poetry: a form of literary art in which language is used for its aesthetic and evocative qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its apparent meaning

primary stress mark: the larger or darker of the stress marks used to indicate the pronunciation of a word

prose: ordinary speech or writing, without metrical structure

publisher and copyright segment: portion of braille title page with the publisher and copyright information

pull quote: quotation or excerpt from an article that typically is placed in a larger or distinctive typeface on the same page, serving to entice readers into an article or to highlight a key topic (Wikipedia)

Sample pull quote on a page

puzzle grid: a puzzle pattern with open and filled-in squares

roman numerals: numbers written as i, ii, iii, or I, II, III

run-in headings: headings that are shown at the beginning of a paragraph, i.e. paragraph headings

running footer: a word, phrase, or number that is repeated at the bottom of more than one print page

Sample running footer

running head: the title of the book, centered on line one of each braille page

running header: a word, phrase, or number that is repeated at the top of more than one print page, such as Chapter 11 Nouns

Sample running header

scansion: the metrical analysis of verse

secondary stress mark: the smaller or lighter of the stress marks used to indicate the pronunciation of a word

separation line: in tables, the line separating the column headings from the cell entries; in footnotes, the line separating the footnotes from the body of the text

shared poetic line: two or more short lines of poetry that, together, are a complete line in the rhyme scheme or layout of the poem

sidebar: a typographically distinct section of a page, as in a book or magazine, that amplifies or highlights the main text

source citations: identification of the source or author of the material (see attribution)

stairstep table: a braille format for a wide table, using a stepped format (1-1, 3-3, 5-5, etc.) for each cell entry

STEM: description guidelines for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math content; helpful for writing transcriber's notes

stress marks: primary, secondary, and tertiary marks indicating syllable stress

subentry: an entry that is indented further than the main entry

subject-specific table of contents: a table of contents arranged by subject or type of material

sub-subentry: an entry that is indented further than the subentry

summary table of pronunciation: table in the running footer at the bottom of each print page or alternate print page

swung dash: symbol for a dash which resembles a tilde, ~

syllable stress: a syllable with a stress mark before or after the syllable; if there is more than one stress mark, the darker or larger of the two is the primary stress, and the lighter or smaller is the secondary stress

table: a chart in which the information is arranged in columns and rows

Sample table

table of pronunciation: the key to the pronunciation symbols used in print

Sample table of pronunciation

termination indicator: a braille composition sign which stops previous composition signs, such as italics, and boldface; can also be used to indicate the end of a color indicator

tertiary stress: rarely used third level of syllable stress

tilde: an accent mark, ~, frequently over the letter n


time line: a vertical or horizontal listing of points of information, such as historical dates and events

Sample time line

title case: capitalization of the first and last words in titles and subtitles and all other major words (The Chicago Manual of Style, 16th ed. The Univ. of Chicago Press, 2010)

title segment: portion of braille title page with book title information

transcriber's note: information inserted by the transcriber

transcriber/transcription segment: portion of braille title page concerning the transcriber and his/her location and affiliation

typeface: set of characters of the same design, including letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols; popular typefaces are Arial, Helvetica, Times, and Verdana (Verdana is a typeface, Verdana 12 pt bold is a font)

umlaut: a diacritical mark with two dots placed over a vowel to indicate a more central or front articulation


uncontracted braille: transcription which uses none of the braille contractions and is transcribed letter for letter

uppercase letters: capitalized letters A B C D

Venn diagram: overlapping shapes (typically circles) used to show differences and similarities

Sample Venn diagram

volume segment: portion of braille title page that states information about the volume: number, paging, etc.