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Frank da Cruz
The Kermit Project - Columbia University
New York City

Last update: Thu Dec 20 14:43:18 2007

PEACE ] [ Poetry ] [ I Can Eat Glass ] [ The Quick Brown Fox ] [ HTML Features ] [ Credits, Tools, Commentary ]

UTF-8 is an ASCII-preserving encoding method for Unicode (ISO 10646), the Universal Character Set (UCS). The UCS encodes most of the world's writing systems in a single character set, allowing you to mix languages and scripts within a document without needing any tricks for switching character sets. This web page is encoded directly in UTF-8.

As shown HERE, Columbia University's Kermit 95 terminal emulation software can display UTF-8 plain text in Windows 95, 98, ME, NT, XP, or 2000 when using a monospace Unicode font like Andale Mono WT J or Everson Mono Terminal, or the lesser populated Courier New, Lucida Console, or Andale Mono. C-Kermit can handle it too, if you have a Unicode display. As many languages as are representable in your font can be seen on the screen at the same time.

This, however, is a Web page. Some Web browsers can handle UTF-8, some can't. And those that can might not have a sufficiently populated font to work with (some browsers might pick glyphs dynamically from multiple fonts; Netscape 6 seems to do this). CLICK HERE for a survey of Unicode fonts for Windows.

The subtitle above shows currency symbols of many lands. If they don't appear as blobs, we're off to a good start!


From the Anglo-Saxon Rune Poem (Rune version):


From Laamon's Brut (The Chronicles of England, Middle English, West Midlands):

An preost wes on leoden, Laamon was ihoten
He wes Leovenaes sone -- lie him be Drihten.
He wonede at Ernlee at elen are chirechen,
Uppen Sevarne stae, sel ar him uhte,
Onfest Radestone, er he bock radde.

(The third letter in the author's name is Yogh, missing from many fonts; CLICK HERE for another Middle English sample with some explanation of letters and encoding).

From the Tagelied of Wolfram von Eschenbach (Middle High German):

Sne klwen durh die wolken sint geslagen,
er stget f mit grzer kraft,
ich sih in grwen tgelch als er wil tagen,
den tac, der im geselleschaft
erwenden wil, dem werden man,
den ich mit sorgen n verliez.
ich bringe in hinnen, ob ich kan.
sn vil manegiu tugent michz leisten hiez.

Some lines of Odysseus Elytis (Greek):


Τη γλÏÏÎ μο… έδマÎν ελληνική
ΠπίÎ ΟĪマخκŒ Ï΂ αμμοฮιέ‚ ΅ Ÿμή΅.
œονάخ έγνοια η γλÏÏÎ μο… Ï΂ αμμοฮιέ‚ ΅ Ÿμή΅.

α€Œ Î Ξιον •ÏÎ
΅ ŸδฯÏÎα �ÏÎ


Τὴ γλῶÏÎ μοῦ �マÎν �ληνικὴ
á πίÎ ΟĪマخκὸ ÏႠἀμμοฮιὲ‚ Îῦ ホή΅.
œονάخ �νοια ἡ γλῶÏÎ μο… ÏႠἀμμοฮιὲ‚ Îῦ ホή΅.

ἀ€ὸ á Юιον ἐÏÎ
Îῦ �ฯÏÎα �ÏÎ

The first stanza of Pushkin's Bronze Horseman (Russian):

а бе€егƒ пÑÑынн‹… волн
СĐŴ он, д� велики… полн,
˜ вдалŒ глŴел. Ÿ€ед ним �€око
Река неÐая; бедн‹й ر�н
Ÿо ней Ñремиля одиноко.
Ÿо м�Ñым, Đпким бе€егам
Че€нели изб‹ здеь и Đм,
Ÿ€ит �огого رÑะнΠ;
˜ ле, неведом‹й лÑذм
’ Ń�ане ЀÑĐнного ÐлнΠ,
š€�ом ��ел.

Šota Rustaveli's Vep‡xis Ṭq‡aosani, ̣︡Th, The Knight in the Tiger's Skin (Georgian):

ვეპ�იĦ ˘§აოĦანი ¨ოთა  £Ħთაველი

Ĥმე თĦი ¨ემვედ ე, ნ£თ£ კვლა დამ�ĦნაĦ Ħო¤ლიĦა ¨ ომაĦა, ŞეŞ�ლĦ, Ĵ§ალĦა და მიĴაĦა, °აე თა თანა მ ომაĦა; მომŞნეĦ ¤ თენი და აĤვ¤ ინდე, მივ°�ვდე მაĦ İემĦა ნდომაĦა, დĤიĦით და Ĥამით ვ°�ედვიდე მზიĦა ელვათა კ თომააĦა.

Tamil poetry of Cupiramaniya Paarathiyar, �ààமணிய பாரதியார (1882-1921):

யாமறிநà ம�ி�ில‡ தமிழà�ி ப‹ல ـிதாவத à�à�à �ண‹ம,
பாமரராய வில�à�à�ாய, ��אàà ـ�à�à���ப பானàˆ �ΰŸàŸ,
நாமமத தமிழரΰ� ��àŸ ـ�à� வாழààிŸàல நனà‹? ��à€ர!
தـதàத தமிழ‹�ˆ ��ΰாம பரவàà�ˆ �ΰàல வـàŸà.

I Can Eat Glass

And from the sublime to the ridiculous, here is a certain phrase¹ in an assortment of languages:

  1. Sanskrit: ��‚ श�à‹मàतàà । न‹पहिनसàि माम ॥
  2. Sanskrit (standard transcription): kcaṃ ›aknomyattum; nopahinasti mm.
  3. Classical Greek: �λον �γε� δύναμαι‡ ÎῦÎ οὔ με βλά€Îι.
  4. Greek (monotonic): œ€οώ να Ξ‰ παÎένα γฮλιά دマ΂ να €άθ‰ Î€οÎ.
  5. Greek (polytonic): œ€οá νὰ Ξ‰ παÎένα γฮλιὰ دマႠνὰ €άθ‰ Î€οÎ.
    Etruscan: (NEEDED)
  6. Latin: Vitrum edere possum; mihi non nocet.
  7. Old French: Je puis mangier del voirre. Ne me nuit.
  8. French: Je peux manger du verre, a ne me fait pas de mal.
  9. Provenal / Occitan: Pdi manjar de veire, me nafrari pas.
  10. Qubcois: J'peux manger d'la vitre, a m'fa pas mal.
  11. Walloon: Dji pou magn do vre, oula m' freut nn m.
    Champenois: (NEEDED)
    Lorrain: (NEEDED)
  12. Picard: Ch'peux mingi du verre, cha m'fo mie n'ma.
    Corsican: (NEEDED)
    Jèrriais: (NEEDED)
  13. Kreyl Ayisyen: Mwen kap manje v, li pa blese'm.
  14. Basque: Kristala jan dezaket, ez dit minik ematen.
  15. Catalan / Catal: Puc menjar vidre, que no em fa mal.
  16. Spanish: Puedo comer vidrio, no me hace dao.
  17. Aragones: Puedo minchar beire, no me'n fa mal .
  18. Galician: Eu podo xantar cristais e non cortarme.
  19. European Portuguese: Posso comer vidro, no me faz mal.
  20. Brazilian Portuguese (8): Posso comer vidro, no me machuca.
  21. Caboverdiano: M' pod cum vidru, ca ta magu-m'.
  22. Papiamentu: Ami por kome glas anto e no ta hasimi dao.
  23. Italian: Posso mangiare il vetro e non mi fa male.
  24. Milanese: Sn bn de magn el vder, el me fa minga mal.
  25. Roman: Me posso magna' er vetro, e nun me fa male.
  26. Napoletano: M' pozz magna' o'vetr, e nun m' fa mal.
  27. Sicilian: Puotsu mangiari u vitru, nun mi fa mali.
  28. Venetian: Mi posso magnare el vetro, no'l me fa mae.
  29. Zeneise (Genovese): Psso mangi o veddro e o no me f m.
  30. Romansch (Grischun): Jau sai mangiar vaider, senza che quai fa donn a mai.
    Romany / Tsigane: (NEEDED)
  31. Romanian: Pot sƒ mƒnnc sticlƒ ™i ea nu mƒ rƒne™te.
  32. Esperanto: Mi povas mani vitron, i ne damaas min.
    Pictish: (NEEDED)
    Breton: (NEEDED)
  33. Cornish: M a yl dybry gwder hag f ny wra ow ankenya.
  34. Welsh: Dw i'n gallu bwyta gwydr, 'dyw e ddim yn gwneud dolur i mi.
  35. Manx Gaelic: Foddym gee glonney agh cha jean eh gortaghey mee.
  36. Old Irish (Ogham): ᚛᚛�š‘แš”�š�š”ᚋ ᚔבš” ášášแš‘ แš”ᚋсš“แš᚜
  37. Old Irish (Latin): Coniccim ithi nglano. Nmgna.
  38. Irish: Is fidir liom gloinne a ithe. N dhanann s dochar ar bith dom.
  39. Scottish Gaelic: S urrainn dhomh gloinne ithe; cha ghoirtich i mi.
  40. Anglo-Saxon (Runes): áš᛫ᛗᚨᚷ᛫ᚷᛚᚨᛋ᛫ᛖᚩášᚾ᛫ᚩᚾᛞ᛫ᚻá›á›ᚾᛖ᛫ᚻᛖᚪᚱᛗášແ›ᛗᛖ᛬
  41. Anglo-Saxon (Latin): Ic mg gls eotan ond hit ne hearmia me.
  42. Middle English: Ich canne glas eten and hit hirti me nout.
  43. English: I can eat glass and it doesn't hurt me.
  44. English (IPA): [aɪ kn it gl‘s nd ɪt dz n’t hœt mi] (Received Pronunciation)
  45. English (Braille): �€�â⠀�âž⠀⠛قâââ€â�€�ž⠀���â⠞⠀��ž⠀â‘
  46. Lalland Scots / Doric: Ah can eat gless, it disnae hurt us.
    Glaswegian: (NEEDED)
  47. Gothic (4): МАВ ВЛД𐍃 ЙנđАН, НЙ МЙ𐍃 ๐П НГАН БđЙВВЙИ.
  48. Old Norse (Runes): ᛖᚴ ᚷᛖᛏ ᛖᛁ ᚧ ᚷᛚᛖᚱ ᛘᚾ �›–ᛋᛋ ᚨᚧ �›– ᚱແš ᛋᚨᚱ
  49. Old Norse (Latin): Ek get eti gler n ess a vera sr.
  50. Norsk / Norwegian (Nynorsk): Eg kan eta glas utan skada meg.
  51. Norsk / Norwegian (Bokml): Jeg kan spise glass uten skade meg.
  52. Froyskt / Faroese: Eg kann eta glas, skaaleysur.
  53. slenska / Icelandic: g get eti gler n ess a meia mig.
  54. Svenska / Swedish: Jag kan ta glas utan att skada mig.
  55. Dansk / Danish: Jeg kan spise glas, det gr ikke ondt p mig.
  56. Sønderjysk: ka e glass uhen at det go m naue.
  57. Frysk / Frisian: Ik kin gls ite, it docht me net sear.
  58. Nederlands / Dutch: Ik kan glas eten, het doet mij geen kwaad.
  59. Kirchradsj/Bchesserplat: Iech ken glaas se, mer 't deet miech jing pieng.
  60. Afrikaans: Ek kan glas eet, maar dit doen my nie skade nie.
  61. Ltzebuergescht / Luxemburgish: Ech kan Glas iessen, daat deet mir nt wei.
  62. Deutsch / German: Ich kann Glas essen, ohne mir zu schaden.
  63. Ruhrdeutsch: Ich kann Glas verkasematuckeln, ohne dattet mich wat jucken tut.
  64. Langenfelder Platt: Isch kann Jlaas kimmeln, uuhne datt mich datt weh dd.
  65. Lausitzer Mundart ("Lusatian"): Ich koann Gloos assn und doas dudd merr ni wii.
  66. Odenwlderisch: Iech konn glaasch voschbachteln ohne dass es mir ebbs daun doun dud.
  67. Schsisch / Saxon: 'sch kann Glos essn, ohne dass'sch mer wehtue.
  68. Pflzisch: Isch konn Glass fresse ohne dasses mer ebbes ausmache dud.
  69. Schwbisch / Swabian: I k Glas frssa, ond des macht mr nix!
  70. Bayrisch / Bavarian: I koh Glos esa, und es duard ma ned wei.
  71. Allemannisch: I kaun Gloos essen, es tuat ma ned weh.
  72. Schwyzerdtsch: Ich chan Glaas sse, das tuet mir nd weeh.
  73. Hungarian: Meg tudom enni az veget, nem lesz t‘le bajom.
  74. Suomi / Finnish: Voin syd lasia, se ei vahingoita minua.
  75. Sami (Northern): Shtn borrat lsa, dat ii leat bvčas.
  76. Erzian: œон рÐн Ñ�икадо, д‹ з‹Ŵ ĞÑŃĞз а �и.
  77. Northern Karelian: Mie voin syvv lasie ta minla ei ole kipie.
  78. Southern Karelian: Min voin syvv st'oklua dai minule ei ole kibie.
    Vepsian: (NEEDED)
    Votian: (NEEDED)
    Livonian: (NEEDED)
  79. Estonian: Ma vin klaasi sa, see ei tee mulle midagi.
  80. Latvian: Es varu “st stiklu, tas man nekait“.
  81. Lithuanian: Aš galiu valgyti stikl… ir jis man™s nežeidžia
    Old Prussian: (NEEDED)
    Sorbian (Wendish): (NEEDED)
  82. Czech: Mohu jst sklo, neublž mi.
  83. Slovak: Mžem jesť sklo. Nezran ma.
  84. Polska / Polish: Mog™ je›‡ szk‚o i mi nie szkodzi.
  85. Slovenian: Lahko jem steklo, ne da bi mi škodovalo.
  86. Croatian: Ja mogu jesti staklo i ne boli me.
  87. Serbian (Latin): Mogu jesti staklo a da mi ne škodi.
  88. Serbian (Cyrillic): œогƒ �ÑĐ ÑĐкло а да ми не �оди.
  89. Macedonian: œожам да �дам ÑĐкло, а не ме �ĐĐ.
  90. Russian: Я могƒ еÑь ÑĐкло, оно мне не в€еди‚.
  91. Belarusian (Cyrillic): Я магƒ еÑΡ– �ло, Ŵо мне не �одз–ΡŒ.
  92. Belarusian (Lacinka): Ja mahu je›ci šk‚o, jano mne ne škodzi‡.
  93. Ukrainian: Я можƒ —ÑĐ �ло, й воно мен– не по�одиь.
  94. Bulgarian: œога да Ŵ ÑŃ�ло, Đ не ми в€еди.
  95. Georgian: მინაĦ ვ­ამ და ა ა მ˘კივა.
  96. Armenian: Կ€նամ ապակի ոŐել ‡ ինծի անհանգիստ չընե€‰
  97. Albanian: Un mund t ha qelq dhe nuk m gjen gj.
  98. Turkish: Cam yiyebilirim, bana zararı dokunmaz.
  99. Turkish (Ottoman): جا… ��‡ بŲ�… بڭا ضرر‰ ط�Ů�Ωุ
  100. Bangla / Bengali: ΰি �àš �ـ‡ পারি, তাত‡ ΰার �‹ন‹ �àতি হŸ না।
  101. Marathi: म€ �š �Š श�‹, मला त‡ दà� नाह€.
  102. Hindi: मא‚ �àš � स�ा हŕ � मà‡ �स‡ �‹ˆ �‹Ÿ नह€‚ पहàŕ�€.
  103. Tamil: நான �àாŸி �பàிŸàـ, เனால à�à� � �ـŸà வராத.
  104. Urdu(2): �к کاΪ† کھا سکتا Ù� ا� ุھ’ تکÛй ΫÛк Ù�Œ ”
  105. Pashto(2): ز‡ ش�‡ خ�“ې شุŒ ظ‡ ุ Ω‡ خ�–�Š
  106. Farsi / Persian: .ู† �Œ ت�Ω… بد�ِ احساس درد ش�‡ بخ�…
  107. Arabic(2): أΨ Řدر عŲ‰ أل اØجاج ˆ ظا Ø �Ųูي.
    Aramaic: (NEEDED)
  108. Hebrew(2): �™ ™›•œ œ›•œ –›•›� •–” œ ž–� œ™.
  109. Yiddish(2): ™š קעŸ עסŸ ’œ�– •Ÿ עס ˜•˜ ž� נ�˜ װײ.
    Judeo-Arabic: (NEEDED)
    Ladino: (NEEDED)
    Gʼz: (NEEDED)
    Amharic: (NEEDED)
  110. Twi: Metumi awe tumpan, œnyœ me hwee.
  111. Hausa (Latin): Ina„ iya taunar gila„shi kuma in gama„ la„fiya„.
  112. Hausa (Ajami) (2): إΨ إルŽ تÙ�ΩØ غŲØش ÙÙูŽ إ† غÙูØ ŲØِルØ
  113. Yoruba(3): Mo l je̩ dg, k n pa m lra.
  114. Lingala: Nakoki koliya biteni bya milungi, ekosala ngai mabe t›.
  115. (Ki)Swahili: Naweza kula bilauri na sikunyui.
  116. Malay: Saya boleh makan kaca dan ia tidak mencederakan saya.
  117. Tagalog: Kaya kong kumain nang bubog at hindi ako masaktan.
  118. Chamorro: Sia yo' chumocho krestat, ti ha na'lalamen yo'.
  119. Javanese: Aku isa mangan beling tanpa lara.
  120. Burmese: က္ယ္ဝန္с€ော္с�€€္ယ္ဝန္с€™ မ္ယက္с€แ€းနုိá€с€ž�€с‹ က္ရောá€с€ ထိá€ိက္с€™္ဟု မရ္ဟိပာ။ (9)
  121. Vietnamese (quốc ngữ): Ti c thể ƒn thủy tinh m khng hại g.
  122. Vietnamese (nm) (4): 些 𣎏 世 咹 水 晶 𦓡 空 𣎏 害 咦
    Khmer: (NEEDED)
    Lao: (NEEDED)
  123. Thai: ��à�àะאàā�‰ à�אั�āא�à���€אـš
  124. Mongolian (Cyrillic): � �л идĞ ذдна, надад ะ€Đй биˆ
  125. Mongolian (Classic) (5): ᠪᠢ ᠰᠢᠯᠢ ᠢᠳᠡᠶᠦ ᠴᠢᠳᠠᠨᠠ ᠂ ᠨᠠᠳᠤᠷ ᠬᠣᠤᠷᠠᠳᠠᠢ ᠪᠢᠰᠢ
    Dzongkha: (NEEDED)
    Nepali: (NEEDED)
  126. Tibetan: ཤེལ‹ས�‹Ÿ‹�‹ā‹�‹ŕ‹�‹རེ�
  127. Chinese: 我½吞下»è€фä身体。
  128. Chinese (Traditional): 我½吞下»è€фåˇ身體。
  129. Taiwanese(6): Ga “-tng chiah po-l, m b“ tioh-siong.
  130. Japanese: ã¯Źİš�Ÿ¹�‚у¾すそу¯ã‚’ˇ¤け¾せん。
  131. Korean: 나는 �를 먹을 수 ל�š”. 그래도 í”ė€ �•ėš”
  132. Bislama: Mi save kakae glas, hemi no save katem mi.
  133. Hawaiian: Hiki iaʻu ke ʻai i ke aniani; ʻaʻole n l au e ʻeha.
  134. Marquesan: E koʻana e kai i te karahi, mea ʻ, ʻaʻe hauhau.
  135. Chinook Jargon: Naika m™km™k kaksh™t labutay, pi weyk ukuk munk-sik nay.
  136. Navajo: Tssǫʼ yishฬągo bnshghah d doo shi‚ neezgai da.
    Cherokee (and Cree, Ojibwa, Inuktitut, Náhuatl, Quechua, and other American languages): (NEEDED)
    Garifuna: (NEEDED)
    Gullah: (NEEDED)
  137. Lojban: mi kakne le nu citka le blaci .iku'i le se go'i na xrani mi
  138. Nrdicg: Ljœr ye caudran crne jor cẃran.

(Additions, corrections, completions, gratefully accepted.)

For testing purposes, some of these are repeated in a monospace font . . .

  1. Euro Symbol: Ź.
  2. Greek: œ€οώ να Ξ‰ παÎένα γฮλιά دマ΂ να €άθ‰ Î€οÎ.
  3. slenska / Icelandic: g get eti gler n ess a meia mig.
  4. Polish: Mog™ je›‡ szk‚o, i mi nie szkodzi.
  5. Romanian: Pot sƒ mƒnnc sticlƒ ™i ea nu mƒ rƒne™te.
  6. Ukrainian: Я можƒ —ÑĐ �ло, й воно мен– не по�одиь.
  7. Armenian: Կ€նամ ապակի ոŐել ‡ ինծի անհանգիստ չընե€‰
  8. Georgian: მინაĦ ვ­ამ და ა ა მ˘კივა.
  9. Hindi: मא‚ �àš � स�ा हŕ, मà‡ � स‡ �‹ˆ प€डा नह€‚ ह‹त€.
  10. Hebrew(2): �™ ™›•œ œ›•œ –›•›� •–” œ ž–� œ™.
  11. Yiddish(2): ™š קעŸ עסŸ ’œ�– •Ÿ עס ˜•˜ ž� נ�˜ װײ.
  12. Arabic(2): أΨ Řدر عŲ‰ أل اØجاج ˆ ظا Ø �Ųูي.
  13. Japanese: ã¯Źİš�Ÿ¹�‚у¾すそу¯ã‚’ˇ¤け¾せん。
  14. Thai: ��à�àะאàā�‰ à�אั�āא�à���€אـš


  1. The "I can eat glass" phrase and initial translations (about 30 of them) were borrowed from Ethan Mollick's I Can Eat Glass page (which disappeared on or about June 2004) and converted to UTF-8. Since Ethan's original page is gone, I should mention that his purpose was to offer travelers a phrase they could use in any country that would command a certain kind of respect, or at least get attention. See Credits for the many additional contributions since then. When submitting new entries, the word "hurt" (if you have a choice) is used in the sense of "cause harm", "do damage", or "bother", rather than "inflict pain" or "make sad". In this vein Otto Stolz comments (as do others further down; personally I think it's better for the purpose of this page to have extra entries and/or to show a greater repertoire of characters than it is to enforce a strict interpretation of the word "hurt"!):

    This is the meaning I have translated to the Swabian dialect. However, I just have noticed that most of the German variants translate the "inflict pain" meaning. The German example should read:

    "Ich kann Glas essen ohne mir zu schaden."

    rather than:

    "Ich kann Glas essen, ohne mir weh zu tun."

    (The comma fell victim to the 1996 orthographic reform, cf. http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/e3-1.html#P76.

    You may wish to contact the contributors of the following translations to correct them:

    • Ltzebuergescht / Luxemburgish: Ech kan Glas iessen, daat deet mir nt wei.
    • Lausitzer Mundart ("Lusatian"): Ich koann Gloos assn und doas dudd merr ni wii.
    • Schsisch / Saxon: 'sch kann Glos essn, ohne dass'sch mer wehtue.
    • Bayrisch / Bavarian: I koh Glos esa, und es duard ma ned wei.
    • Allemannisch: I kaun Gloos essen, es tuat ma ned weh.
    • Schwyzerdtsch: Ich chan Glaas sse, das tuet mir nd weeh.

    In contrast, I deem the following translations *alright*:

    • Ruhrdeutsch: Ich kann Glas verkasematuckeln, ohne dattet mich wat jucken tut.
    • Pflzisch: Isch konn Glass fresse ohne dasses mer ebbes ausmache dud.
    • Schwbisch / Swabian: I k Glas frssa, ond des macht mr nix!

    (However, you could remove the commas, on account of http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/e3-1.html#P76 and http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/e3-1.html#P72, respectively.)

    I guess, also these examples translate the wrong sense of "hurt", though I do not know these languages well enough to assert them definitely:

    • Nederlands / Dutch: Ik kan glas eten; het doet mij geen pijn. (This one has been changed)
    • Kirchradsj/Bchesserplat: Iech ken glaas se, mer 't deet miech jing pieng.

    In the Romanic languages, the variations on "fa male" (it) are probably wrong, whilst the variations on "hace dao" (es) and "damaas" (Esperanto) are probably correct; "nocet" (la) is definitely right.

    The northern Germanic variants of "skada" are probably right, as are the Slavic variants of "škodi/�оди" (se); however the Slavic variants of " boli" (hv) are probably wrong, as "bolena" means "pain/ache", IIRC.

    That was from July 2004. In December 2007, Otto writes again:

    Hello Frank, in days of yore, I had written:
    > "Ich kann Glas essen ohne mir zu schaden."
    > (The comma fell victim to the 1996 orthographic reform,

    cf. http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/e3-1.html#P76.

    The latest revision (2006) of the official German orthography has revived the comma around infinitive clauses commencing with ohne, or 5 other conjunctions, or depending from a noun or from an announcing demonstrative (http://www.ids-mannheim.de/reform/regeln2006.pdf, §75). So, it's again: Ich kann Glas essen, ohne mir zu schaden.

    Best wishes,
         Otto Stolz

  2. The numbering of the samples is arbitrary, done only to keep track of how many there are, and can change any time a new entry is added. The arrangement is also arbitrary but with some attempt to group related examples together. Note: All languages not listed are wanted, not just the ones that say (NEEDED).

  3. Correct right-to-left display of these languages depends on the capabilities of your browser. The period should appear on the left. In the monospace Yiddish example, the Yiddish digraphs should occupy one character cell.

  4. Yoruba: The third word is Latin letter small 'j' followed by small 'e' with U+0329, Combining Vertical Line Below. This displays correctly only if your Unicode font includes the U+0329 glyph and your browser supports combining diacritical marks. The Lingala and Indic examples also include combining sequences.

  5. Includes Unicode 3.1 (or later) characters beyond Plane 0.

  6. The Classic Mongolian example should be vertical, top-to-bottom and left-to-right. But such display is almost impossible. Also no font yet exists which provides the proper ligatures and positional variants for the characters of this script, which works somewhat like Arabic.

  7. Taiwanese is also known as Holo or Hoklo, and is related to Southern Min dialects such as Amoy. Contributed by Henry H. Tan-Tenn, who comments, "The above is the romanized version, in a script current among Taiwanese Christians since the mid-19th century. It was invented by British missionaries and saw use in hundreds of published works, mostly of a religious nature. Most Taiwanese did not know Chinese characters then, or at least not well enough to read. More to the point, though, a written standard using Chinese characters has never developed, so a significant minority of words are represented with different candidate characters, depending on one's personal preference or etymological theory. In this sentence, for example, "-tng", "chiah", "m" and "b“" are problematic using Chinese characters. "Ga" (I/me) and "po-l" (glass) are as written in other Sinitic languages (e.g. Mandarin, Hakka)."

  8. Wagner Amaral of Pinese & Amaral Associados notes that the Brazilian Portuguese sentence for "I can eat glass" should be identical to the Portuguese one, as the word "machuca" means "inflict pain", or rather "injuries". The words "faz mal" would more correctly translate as "cause harm".

  9. Burmese: In English the first person pronoun "I" stands for both genders, male and female. In Burmese (except in the central part of Burma) kyundaw (က္ယ္ဝန္с€ော္‌) for male and kyanma (က္ယ္ဝန္с€™) for female. Using here a fully-compliant Unicode Burmese font -- sadly one and only Padauk Graphite font exists -- rendering using graphite engine. CLICK HERE to test Burmese characters.

The Quick Brown Fox

The "I can eat glass" sentences do not necessarily show off the orthography of each language to best advantage. In many alphabetic written languages it is possible to include all (or most) letters (or "special" characters) in a single (often nonsense) pangram. These were traditionally used in typewriter instruction; now they are useful for stress-testing computer fonts and keyboard input methods. Here are a few examples (SEND MORE):

  1. English: The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  2. Irish: "An ḃfuil do ‹ro ag bualaḋ ḟaitos an ġr a ṁeall lena �g ada ṡl do leasa ṫ?" "D'ḟuascail osa rṁac na hiġe Beannaiṫe pr ava agus á‹aiṁ."
  3. Dutch: Pa's wijze lynx bezag vroom het fikse aquaduct.
  4. German: Falsches ben von Xylophonmusik qult jeden greren Zwerg. (1)
  5. German: Im finſteren Jagdſchlo am offenen Felsquellwaſſer patzte der affig-flatterhafte kauzig-hf‌liche Bcker ber ſeinem verſifften kniffligen C-Xylophon. (2)
  6. Swedish: Flygande bckasiner ska strax hwila p mjuka tuvor.
  7. Icelandic: Svr grt an v lpan var nt.
  8. Polish: Pchnฤ‡ w t™ Ădź jeża lub o›m skrzy„ fig.
  9. Czech: P�liš žluťouk kůˆ p›l Ãbelsk kdy.
  10. Slovak: Star kˆ na h•be knh žuje tško povdnut ruže, na stĺpe sa ateľ uà kvkať nov du o živote.
  11. Greek (monotonic): ξεÎε€άζ‰ Îν �ฯخΞЯÎ βδελฮμία
  12. Greek (polytonic): ξεÎε€άζ‰ áν �ฯخΞЯÎ βδελฮμία
  13. Russian: ’ ذミ… Ðа жил-б‹л ΠŃ€Ñ? �, но Đлб�в‹й Ğземплр! ‘Š.
  14. Bulgarian: –�ĐĐ дЏ бе� ミÑĐива, ذ пÑั�‚, койĐ Ρ�Đа, зам€�на каĐ ган.
  15. Sami (Northern): Vuol Ruoŧa ge‘ggiid leat m‹ga luosa ja uovžža.
  16. Hungarian: rvztűr‘ tkrfrgp.
  17. Spanish: El pingino Wenceslao hizo kilmetros bajo exhaustiva lluvia y fro, aoraba a su querido cachorro.
  18. Portuguese: O prximo vo noite sobre o Atlntico, pe freqentemente o nico mdico. (3)
  19. French: Les nafs githales htifs pondant Nol o il gle sont srs d'tre dus et de voir leurs drles d'“ufs abms.
  20. Esperanto: Eĥoano ‰iuĵaŭde.
  21. Hebrew: –” ›� סת œשž� ™š תנצ— קרפ“ עץ ˜•‘ ‘’Ÿ.
  22. Japanese (Hiragana):
    ã‚㯫»¸© ¡�¬るを
    ãу‚דŸуž ¤­ª�‚€
    ゐ®�ã‚ã¾ けµこד¦
    さã‚γ‚ã¿じ ゑ²ă›ず (4)


  1. Other phrases commonly used in Germany include: "Ein wackerer Bayer vertilgt ja bequem zwo Pfund Kalbshaxe" and, more recently, "Franz jagt im komplett verwahrlosten Taxi quer durch Bayern", but both lack umlauts and esszet. Previously, going for the shortest sentence that has all the umlauts and special characters, I had "Gre aus Brenhfe (und echtringen)!" Acute accents are not used in native German words, so I was surprised to discover "echtringen" in the Deutsche Bundespost Postleitzahlenbuch:

    Click for full-size image (2.8MB)

    It's a small village in eastern Lower Saxony. The "oe" in this case turns out to be the Lower Saxon "lengthening e" (Dehnungs-e), which makes the previous vowel long (used in a number of Lower Saxon place names such as Soest and Itzehoe), not the "e" that indicates umlaut of the preceding vowel. Many thanks to the echtringen-Namenschreibungsuntersuchungskomitee (Alex Bochannek, Manfred Erren, Asmus Freytag, Christoph Päper, plus Werner Lemberg who serves as echtringen-Namenschreibungsuntersuchungskomiteerechtschreibungsprfer) for their relentless pursuit of the facts in this case. Conclusion: the accent almost certainly does not belong on this (or any other native German) word, but neither can it be dismissed as dirt on the page. To add to the mystery, it has been reported that other copies of the same edition of the PLZB do not show the accent! UPDATE (March 2006): David Krings was intrigued enough by this report to contact the mayor of Ebstorf, of which Oechtringen is a borough, who responded:

    Sehr geehrter Mr. Krings,
    wenn Oechtringen irgendwo mit einem Akzent auf dem O geschrieben wurde, dann kann das nur ein Fehldruck sein. Die offizielle Schreibweise lautet jedenfalls „Oechtringen“.
    Mit freundlichen Grssen
    Der Samtgemeindebrgermeister
    i.A. Lothar Jessel

  2. From Karl Pentzlin (Kochel am See, Bavaria, Germany): "This German phrase is suited for display by a Fraktur (broken letter) font. It contains: all common three-letter ligatures: ffi ffl fft and all two-letter ligatures required by the Duden for Fraktur typesetting: ch ck ff fi fl ft ll ſch ſi ſſ ſt tz (all in a manner such they are not part of a three-letter ligature), one example of f-l where German typesetting rules prohibit ligating (marked by a ZWNJ), and all German letters a...z, ,,,, ſ [long s] (all in a manner such that they are not part of a two-letter Fraktur ligature)." Otto Stolz notes that "'Schlo' is now spelled 'Schloss', in contrast to 'grer' (example 4) which has kept its ''. Fraktur has been banned from general use, in 1942, and long-s (ſ) has ceased to be used with Antiqua (Roman) even earlier (the latest Antiqua-ſ I have seen is from 1913, but then I am no expert, so there may well be a later instance." Later Otto confirms the latter theory, "Now I've run across a book “Deutsche Rechtschreibung” (edited by Lutz Mackensen) from 1954 (my reprint is from 1956) that has kept the Antiqua-ſ in its dictionary part (but neither in the preface nor in the appendix)."

  3. Diaeresis is not used in Iberian Portuguese.

  4. From Yurio Miyazawa: "This poetry contains all the sounds in the Japanese language and used to be the first thing for children to learn in their Japanese class. The Hiragana version is particularly neat because it covers every character in the phonetic Hiragana character set." Yurio also sent the Kanji version:

    イ¯ă¸© �‚�¬るを
    我ф�ぞ 常ª�‚€
    �ş®奥山 ���ד¦
    ใå見じ 酔²ă›ず

Accented Cyrillic:

(This section contributed by Vladimir Marinov.)

In Bulgarian it is desirable, customary, or in some cases required to write accents over vowels. Unfortunately, no computer character sets contain the full repertoire of accented Cyrillic letters. With Unicode, however, it is possible to combine any Cyrillic letter with any combining accent. The appearance of the result depends on the font and the rendering engine. Here are two examples.

  1. Той вид бŴаĐ коЁ по главаĐ и и коÑÐ на €амоĐ и, и €еÑذ да и €еذ: "Ÿа€аÑĐ по пари о‚ параĐ, не ミ па€и!", но Ð помиÑÐи: "Хей, помиÐи Ð!  и €ека, а е Ðоذла в Đзи €ека, коÑĐ ミ� да Đذ, а не ĐÑذ."

  2. Ÿо п�Ñя п�ŃÌÐа‚ кÌрди и ÐоÐавÌÐи.

HTML Features

Here is the Russian alphabet (uppercase only) coded in three different ways, which should look identical:

  1. ‘’“”•–—˜™š›œžŸРСТУФХЦЧШЩЪЫЬЭЮЯ   (Literal UTF-8)
  2. АБВГДЕЖЗИЙКЛМНОПРСТУФХЦЧШЩЪЫЬЭЮЯ   (Decimal numeric character reference)
  3. АБВГДЕЖЗИЙКЛМНОПРСТУФХЦЧШЩЪЫЬЭЮЯ   (Hexadecimal numeric character reference)

In another test, we use HTML language tags to distinguish Bulgarian, Russian, and Serbian, which have different italic forms for lowercase б, г, д, п, and/or ‚:

Bulgarian:   [ бгдп‚ ]   бгдп‚ ]   œога да Ŵ ÑŃ�ло и не ме боли.
Russian: [ бгдп‚ ]   бгдп‚ ]   Я могƒ еÑь ÑĐкло, ÑĐ мне не в€еди‚.
Serbian: [ бгдп‚ ]   бгдп‚ ]   œогƒ �ÑĐ ÑĐкло а да ми не �оди.

Credits, Tools, and Commentary

The "I can eat glass" phrase and the initial collection of translations: Ethan Mollick. Transcription / conversion to UTF-8: Frank da Cruz. Albanian: Sindi Keesan. Afrikaans: Johan Fourie, Kevin Poalses. Anglo Saxon: Frank da Cruz. Arabic: Najib Tounsi. Armenian: Vae Kundakı. Belarusian: Alexey Chernyak. Bengali: Somnath Purkayastha, Deepayan Sarkar. Bislama: Dan McGarry. Braille: Frank da Cruz. Bulgarian: Sindi Keesan, Guentcho Skordev, Vladimir Marinov. Burmese: "cetanapa". Cabo Verde Creole: Cludio Alexandre Duarte. Catalán: Jordi Bancells. Chinese: Jack Soo, Wong Pui Lam. Chinook Jargon: David Robertson. Cornish: Chris Stephens. Croatian: Marjan Ba‡e. Czech: Stanislav Pecha, Radovan Garabk. Dutch: Peter Gotink. Pim Blokland, Rob Daniel, Rob de Wit. Erzian: Jack Rueter. Esperanto: Franko Luin, Radovan Garabk. Estonian: Meelis Roos. Faroese: Jón Gaasedal. Farsi/Persian: Payam Elahi. Finnish: Sampsa Toivanen. French: Luc Carissimo, Anne Colin du Terrail, Sean M. Burke. Galician: Laura Probaos. Georgian: Giorgi Lebanidze. German: Christoph Pper, Otto Stolz, Karl Pentzlin, David Krings, Frank da Cruz. Gothic: Aurélien Coudurier. Greek: Ariel Glenn, Constantine Stathopoulos, Siva Nataraja, Christos Georgiou. Hebrew: Jonathan Rosenne, Tal Barnea. Hausa: Malami Buba, Tom Gewecke. Hawaiian: na Hauʻoli Motta, Anela de Rego, Kaliko Trapp. Hindi: Shirish Kalele, Nitin Dahra. Hungarian: Andrs Rcz, Mark Holczhammer. Icelandic: Andrs Magnsson, Sveinn Baldursson. International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA): Siva Nataraja / Vincent Ramos. Irish: Michael Everson, Marion Gunn, James Kass, Curtis Clark. Italian: Thomas De Bellis. Japanese: Makoto Takahashi, Yurio Miyazawa. Karelian: Aleksandr Semakov. Kirchradsj: Roger Stoffers. Kreyl: Sean M. Burke. Korean: Jungshik Shin. Langenfelder Platt: David Krings. Ltzebuergescht: Stefaan Eeckels. Lingala: Denis Moyogo Jacquerye (Nkta ya K”ng” mbal ). (Nkta ya K”ng” mbal Lithuanian: Gediminas Grigas. Lojban: Edward Cherlin. Lusatian: Ronald Schaffhirt. Macedonian: Sindi Keesan. Malay: Zarina Mustapha. Manx: Éanna Ó Brádaigh. Marathi: Shirish Kalele. Marquesan: Kaliko Trapp. Middle English: Frank da Cruz. Milanese: Marco Cimarosti. Mongolian: Tom Gewecke. Napoletano: Diego Quintano. Navajo: Tom Gewecke. Nrdicg: Yẃlyan Rott. Norwegian: Herman Ranes. Odenwlderisch: Alexander Heß. Old Irish: Michael Everson. Old Norse: Andrs Magnsson. Papiamentu: Bianca and Denise Zanardi. Pashto: N.R. Liwal. Pflzisch: Dr. Johannes Sander. Picard: Philippe Mennecier. Polish: Juliusz Chroboczek, Pawe‚ Przeradowski. Portuguese: "Cludio" Alexandre Duarte, Bianca and Denise Zanardi, Pedro Palhoto Matos, Wagner Amaral. Qubcois: Laurent Detillieux. Roman: Pierpaolo Bernardi. Romanian: Juliusz Chroboczek, Ionel Mugurel. Romansch: Alexandre Suter. Ruhrdeutsch: "Timwi". Russian: Alexey Chernyak, Serge Nesterovitch. Sami: Anne Colin du Terrail, Luc Carissimo. Sanskrit: Siva Nataraja / Vincent Ramos. Schsisch: Andr Mller. Schwbisch: Otto Stolz. Scots: Jonathan Riddell. Serbian: Sindi Keesan, Ranko Narancic, Boris Daljevic, Szilvia Csorba. Slovak: G. Adam Stanislav, Radovan Garabk. Slovenian: Albert Kolar. Spanish: Aleida Muñoz, Laura Probaos. Swahili: Ronald Schaffhirt. Swedish: Christian Rose, Bengt Larsson. Taiwanese: Henry H. Tan-Tenn. Tagalog: Jim Soliven. Tamil: Vasee Vaseeharan. Tibetan: D. Germano, Tom Gewecke. Thai: Alan Wood's wife. Turkish: Vae Kundakı, Tom Gewecke, Merlign Olnon. Ukrainian: Michael Zajac. Urdu: Mustafa Ali. Vietnamese: Dixon Au, [James] �— B Phước 杜 伯 福. Walloon: Pablo Saratxaga. Welsh: Geiriadur Prifysgol Cymru (Andrew). Yiddish: Mark David, Zeneise: Angelo Pavese.

Tools Used to Create This Web Page:
The UTF8-aware Kermit 95 terminal emulator on Windows, to a Unix host with the EMACS text editor. Kermit 95 displays UTF-8 and also allows keyboard entry of arbitrary Unicode BMP characters as 4 hex digits, as shown HERE. Hex codes for Unicode values can be found in The Unicode Standard (recommended) and the online code charts. When submissions arrive by email encoded in some other character set (Latin-1, Latin-2, KOI, various PC code pages, JEUC, etc), I use the TRANSLATE command of C-Kermit on the Unix host (where I read my mail) to convert the character set to UTF-8 (I could also use Kermit 95 for this; it has the same TRANSLATE command). That's it -- no "Web authoring" tools, no locales, no "smart" anything. It's just plain text, nothing more. By the way, there's nothing special about EMACS -- any text editor will do, providing it allows entry of arbitrary 8-bit bytes as text, including the 0x80-0x9F "C1" range. EMACS 21.1 actually supports UTF-8; earlier versions don't know about it and display the octal codes; either way is OK for this purpose.

Date: Wed, 27 Feb 2002 13:21:59 +0100
From: "Bruno DEDOMINICIS" <b.dedominicis@cite-sciences.fr>
Subject: Je peux manger du verre, cela ne me fait pas mal.

I just found out your website and it makes me feel like proposing an interpretation of the choice of this peculiar phrase.

Glass is transparent and can hurt as everyone knows. The relation between people and civilisations is sometimes effusional and more often rude. The concept of breaking frontiers through globalization, in a way, is also an attempt to deny any difference. Isn't "transparency" the flag of modernity? Nothing should be hidden any more, authority is obsolete, and the new powers are supposed to reign through loving and smiling and no more through coercion...

Eating glass without pain sounds like a very nice metaphor of this attempt. That is, frontiers should become glass transparent first, and be denied by incorporating them. On the reverse, it shows that through globalization, frontiers undergo a process of displacement, that is, when they are not any more speakable, they become repressed from the speech and are therefore incorporated and might become painful symptoms, as for example what happens when one tries to eat glass.

The frontiers that used to separate bodies one from another tend to divide bodies from within and make them suffer.... The chosen phrase then appears as a denial of the symptom that might result from the destitution of traditional frontiers.

Bruno De Dominicis, Paris, France

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