How to Tell a Driver You are Blind

Ridesharing companies like Lyft and Uber have a problem. Many times, a blind passenger needs to tell their driver that they cannot see, but the driver does not understand due to the language barrier. At best it will work out. At worst it can present a physical safety issue. The blind have no other way to communicate.

Recently, I had an idea. I asked ChatGPT 4:

I am blind. Often when I get a Lyft I get an immigrant who cannot speak English well, and does not understand the situation. I would like you to make a table of how to say “I am blind.” in all of the languages commonly used by drivers from other countries. The table should include the language, the text, and an approximate pronunciation for American English speakers.

In less than a minute it had produced the following table. In another fifteen seconds it rendered it into Markdown for my blog. Welcome to 2023

Language Translation Pronunciation
Spanish Soy ciego. Soy cee-ay-go
Mandarin Chinese 我是盲人。 (Wǒ shì máng rén.) Wo shi mang ren
Hindi मैं अंधा हूँ। (Main andha hoon.) Main and-ha hoon
Arabic أنا أعمى. (Ana a’ma.) Ana a’ma
French Je suis aveugle. Je swi aveugle
Russian Я слепой. (Ya slepoy.) Ya slep-oy
Portuguese Eu sou cego. Eh-o soo se-go
Bengali আমি অন্ধ (Ami ondho) Ami on-dho
Punjabi ਮੈਂ ਅੰਧਾ ਹਾਂ। (Main andha haan.) Main and-ha haan
Japanese 私は盲目です。 (Watashi wa mōmoku desu.) Wa-ta-shi wa mo-mo-ku des
German Ich bin blind. Ich bin blind
Vietnamese Tôi mù. Toy moo
Turkish Ben körüm. Ben kor-um
Polish Jestem niewidomy. Yes-tem niewi-domy
Dutch Ik ben blind. Ik ben blind
Greek Είμαι τυφλός. (Eimai tyflos.) Ee-mai ti-flos

I would like to see ridesharing companies do more to train their drivers to better accommodate people with disabilities. Until then, I hope this table will help. I just hope it doesn’t end up like Monty Python’s Dirty Hungarian Phrasebook sketch!