Multilingual Eye Chart.

See the World: A multilingual eye chart “features characters from more than 25 languages — including Japanese, Icelandic, Russian, Hindi, Tamil, Tibetan and Thai.” You can see information about each of the characters here; I got the links from this MeFi post, which includes other goodies like an investigation of what typeface is used on eye charts and the Таблица Головина-Сивцева (Golovin–Sivtsev Table) for testing visual acuity used in the USSR.

Also, via Anatoly Vorobey, an amazing list of resources for studying Latin, if Latin is something you’re interested in.


  1. Talking of eye tests …

    Following the UK PM’s Strategic Advisor’s 65-mile drive during the lockdown to test his eyesight (allegedly), there’a been an amusing series of eye charts/merchandise, here’s a couple of links

  2. David Eddyshaw says

    I really feel that I ought to comment on this post, but unfortunately I can’t think of anything to say, so I won’t.

    Ah! Thought of something. The ordinary Snellen chart is extremely multilingual. I find it works for Italian and Kusaal!

  3. AJP Crown says

    Did I miss the part where it says how the lady on the Clapham omnibus is supposed to know how to describe Thai Character Do Dek or Hebrew Letter Shin or is the chart only for linguists? When I have an eye test (about every 3 months), I just read off letters in the English alphabet; it doesn’t even have Norwegian Æ Ø or Å.

  4. David Eddyshaw says

    The matter doesn’t arise; she’s obviously on the Clapham omnibus because she’s failed the eye test for her driving licence.

  5. is the chart only for linguists?

    No, it’s for anybody who thinks it’s a neat idea. It’s pretty obviously not for practical purposes.

  6. John Cowan says

    The chart is clearly for myopic Unicode weenies (such as myself), so I sent it off to the Unicode-weenie mailing list.

  7. It would be easy to pass this test. “I see a squiggly thing, then another squiggly thing, then a thing that’s not quite so squiggly, etc etc.”

  8. David Eddyshaw says

    And when they all look squiggly, consult your doctor.

  9. Jen in Edinburgh says

    Did someone earlier in the year not link to a genuinely multilingual eye chart, with different sections for people who used different writing systems, all in the same thing?

    It came from the ‘see also’ links of a website which confused us all by showing different links to different people, I think.

    ETA: Aha, once I said that about the links at the bottom of the page I remembered that it was the book covers post. The chart is here

  10. A collection of funny eye charts (in Russian). The real gem is #6, unfortunately you cannot see all the details clearly on the web page. There are must be similar examples in other languages.

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