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Tong Wang ran into this picture today in Beijing:


wǒmen shì dàyé


"We are masters"

大爷 can be read as dàyé ("master") or dàye ("father's elder brother"). In this case it should be the former.

This is a particularly interesting and intricate intermingling of scripts and languages.



We have had many posts on biscriptalism, multiscriptalism, and mixed script writing in diverse languages on Language Log.  Here are just a few for Chinese:


  1. Bruce Rusk said,

    March 9, 2019 @ 10:41 am

    A key element of this graphic design is the visual reference to pinyin computer input systems. This is one way the phrase in sinographs could be entered in an inputting system that accepts partial syllables.

  2. WSM said,

    March 11, 2019 @ 12:03 pm

    Kind of disappointed that doesn't actually pop out by default when trying to input the string "wo'men's'da'y" into MS Pinyin IME: “我们是打印” (we are… printers!) is a good deal less entertaining.

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