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The Moon alphabet


The moon alphabet (the Moon Code) was developed in 1845 by Dr. William Moon (new window) and is as a tactile alphabet the most well-known relief writing for the blind.

The font consists of simple geometric symbols whose six basic patterns are repeated in different directions. With this relief font, blind people can learn to read faster, because the symbols are partly similar or similar to the letters of the Latin alphabet.


Moon Alphabet
Moon Alphabet
    ---------- Moon Alphabet: ----------

    A = two straight lines form an open angle
    B = vertical straight line followed by a bow below right
    C = semicircle, opening on the right
    D = semicircle, opening on the left
    E = vertical and horizontal straight lines form an angle open to the bottom right
    F = vertical straight line followed by a bow on the top right (walking stick)
    G = vertical straight line followed by a bow at the top left
    H = small full circle, half filled
    I = a vertical straight line
    J = vertical straight line followed by a curve at the bottom left
    K = two straight lines form an angle open to the right
    L = vertical and horizontal lines form an angle open to the right
    M = vertical and horizontal lines form an angle open to the left below
    N = vertical zig-zag line starting at the bottom left and ending at the top right
    O = full circle
    P = horizontal straight line with a small acute angle upwards at the left end
    Q = horizontal straight line with a small acute angle upwards at the right end
    R = oblique line from top left to bottom right
    S = oblique line from bottom left to top right
    T = a horizontal straight line
    U = semicircle, opening at the top
    V = two straight lines form an upwardly open angle
    W = semicircle, opening at the bottom
    X = two straight lines form an angle open to the left
    Y = vertical and horizontal lines form an angle open to the left above
    Z = horizontal zig-zag line beginning at top left and ending at bottom right

    ------------------------------------------
    Full print version of the Moon alphabet as text output (new window)

    to the top
    ---------- Table Dotty-Moon Code: ----------
    [Numbers behind the d in parentheses are occupied dots according to the following scheme:
     (column1) (column2)  (column3)  (column4)  (column5)
      Line 1: [1] [1] [1] [1] [1]
      Line 2: [2] [2] [2] [2] [2]
      Line 3: [3] [3] [3] [3] [3]
      Line 4: [4] [4] [4] [4] [4]
      Line 5: [5] [5] [5] [5] [5]
     Each character consists of 5 rows of 5 columns each.
     The dots are so close that they can not be felt individually.

    (Punkte spaltenweise!)
    Character A  =  d 45    + d 23    + d 1     + d 23    + d 45
    Character B  =  d 1234  + d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 4
    Character C  =  d 234   + d 15    + d 15    + d 15    + d 15
    Character D  =  d 15    + d 15    + d 15    + d 15    + d 234
    Character E  =  d 12345 + d 1     + d 1     + d 1     + d 1
    Character F  =  d 2345  + d 1     + d 1     + d 1     + d 2
    Character G  =  d 2     + d 1     + d 1     + d 1     + d 2345
    Character H  =  d 34    + d 2345  + d 25    + d 34    + d -
    Character I  =  d -     + d -     + d 12345 + d -     + d -
    Character J  =  d 4     + d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 1234
    Character K  =  d 3     + d 24    + d 24    + d 24    + d 15
    Character L  =  d 12345 + d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 5
    Character M  =  d 1     + d 1     + d 1     + d 1     + d 12345
    Character N  =  d 2345  + d 2     + d 3     + d 4     + d 1234
    Character O  =  d 234   + d 15    + d 15    + d 15    + d 234
    Character P  =  d 45    + d 35    + d 5     + d 5     + d 5
    Character Q  =  d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 35    + d 45
    Character R  =  d 1     + d 2     + d 3     + d 4     + d 5
    Character S  =  d 5     + d 4     + d 3     + d 2     + d 1
    Character T  =  d 3     + d 3     + d 3     + d 3     + d 3
    Character U  =  d 234   + d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 234
    Character V  =  d 12    + d 34    + d 5     + d 34    + d 12
    Character W  =  d 345   + d 2     + d 2     + d 2     + d 345
    Character X  =  d 15    + d 24    + d 24    + d 24    + d 3
    Character Y  =  d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 5     + d 12345
    Character Z  =  d 1     + d 145   + d 135   + d 125   + d 5
    ------------------------------------------
    Complete print version of the Dotty-Moon Alphabet as text output (new window)

    to the top
print version of Moon Alphabet (new window)   [text version of Moon Alphabet (new window) ]

But fluent reading is not possible and for writing by hand, the Moon alphabet is hardly suitable. Because lines (that sighted show the connection) can be difficult to understand by the blind. Likewise, the detection of angular degrees, slopes or arcs is difficult.

The old books in Moon Writing font have a peculiarity: the lines can be read alternately from left to right and from right to left, so that not first the new beginning of the line must be searched. This pendulum pressure was abolished in 1990 in the course of the conversion to computer.

reading hand on a Moon book

Although the Moon Alphabet was invented 20 years later than the Braille alphabet, but since William Moon had a rich sponsor, the Moon alphabet spread quickly. In some cases it is still used as a standard writing for the blind in a few regions of the world (Latin America).

Embossed Moon-letters and the presentation of the Ddevelopment from the Latin letters - contemporary presentation
The characters of the Moon alphabet are partly similar to Latin letters.


Written with a stencil and reversed on a foil, alternatively there are rubberized signboards, which can be written in the right way. However, only a few affected people achieve useful results.
stencil for writing of Moon, single squares

With the blind-typewriter Moon-Writer (invented only in 1986) is also written in principle by hand, since the letters are traced while pressing the write key only with the finger in the writing area.
Moonwriter
How do you use the Moonwriter? (new window)

In modern times, too, Moon is used for rehabilitation (eg, in the UK), but even the writing "Dotty Moon" (new window) remains a relief script because the fine dots are not captured individually but only the geometric shapes. The moon alphabet is mainly used by late-blind people for easy reading and multi-disabled children for learning initiation.

Moon-Dotty smal     Hand touches Moon font from 5 times 5 dots

The Moon alphabet is mainly intended for reading, but only printed material is read. On the PC, Moon can not be read. There are a variety of books for children and adults and Moon printers for individual printouts (usable with acoustic PC systems, for example). For mathematics own numbers have been developed:
1234567890 in Maths-Moon


Here is a sample in moon writing:
Mustertext in Moon 'MOON SPIELT IN DEUTSCHLAND ALS ALTERNATIVE ZU BRAILLE NACH WIE VOR KEINE ROLLE.'


For the tactile operation of an iPhone, Apple even developed in 2008 a keyboard cover (new window):
iPhone Moon keyboard excerpt


Exercises:

->> here you can create and print your own moon texts (new window)
->> encrypt or decode (new window) the dot versions of Moon


Further information:

More information about the Moon Alphabet can be found at www.wikipedia.de (new window)

look also ->> Development of the writings of the blind


TTF Font:
Moon TTF
Here you will find different Moon fonts.



Neunauge FAKOOSY im Zickzack liegend, Beschriftung: Das Neunauge FAKOOSY vertritt www.fakoo.de, die Lernseite um Alphabete behinderter Menschen (Beschreibung siehe fakoosy.txt)
fakoosy.txt



Alternatives to the well-known Moon alphabet (by Alexander Fakoó):


'ALTERNATES OF MOON' in Fakoo

Quadoo

An alternative for handwritten notes would be the curveless writing for the blind Quadoo, in which only the four side lines and the two diagonals of a square are used.

Quadoo alphabet including numbers in two lines

For this writing, it is possible to use the 'Moon Writer' or to write on drawing sheets using a hole template with square holes.



Fakoo

A good alternative to the Moon alphabet is the Fakoo Alphabet, in which the characters are formed from only 9 dots. These characters can be written by hand or by Braille technique and visually better fit the Latin alphabet than Moon. The character recognition is done by Fakoo not by lines and arcs but directly as a dot pattern as in Braille.

Fakoo-Alphabet including numbers in two lines

However, it was not taken into account that reduction rules were also introduced in the Moon Alphabet, which partially change the value of the character by adding additional dots or arcs. Since Fakoo must remain readable for the sighted, a reduction is not possible. Therefore, for a shorthand only Braille remains as a real alternative!



Siekoo

Another alternative would be the 7-segment writing Siekoo, in which is used the known 7-segment display tactile.

Siekoo-Alphabet including numbers in two lines

The Siekoo alphabet has the advantage that it is easy to learn and read quickly because of the known structure. For writing you could use a corresponding hole template.



Moon-9

For the use of the Moon writing with braille technique, the dot-writing Moon-9 was developed by Alexander Fakoó. Each Moon character is represented by two Braille characters and is 3 times 3 dots tall.

Moon-9 alphabet for use with braille technique (designed by Alexander Fakoó 2008)
print versions of Moon-9 Alphabet (new window) and the text version (new window)

Text 'IN MOON LESEN' in Moon-9 auf einer Braillezeile
Der Text  IN Moon LESEN  auf einer Braillezeile in Moon





Moon Alphabet Dotty