Exotic letter in Taipei

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Paul M. sent in this photograph of the front of a fashion shop on Yongkang Street, Da’an District, Taipei City, Taiwan:

The official name of this shop, both in Chinese and in English, is "viga wang" (see here).

The "ï" in the name on the shop front is a design element, one that I rather like for its elegance and cleanness.  It reminds me of the "ä" in " Häagen-Dazs", but I'm not too fond of that one (though I love their ice cream).  Most people in the US pronounce that /ˈhɑːɡəndæs/ and in the UK /ˌhɑːɡənˈdɑːz/.  I don't know anybody who pronounces it according to the orthography as [ˌhæaɡenˈdɒʒ], and I have no idea how Reuben and Rose Mattus, who started the company in 1961, intended for it to be pronounced.


  1. John Rohsenow said,

    December 12, 2019 @ 4:57 pm

    If we really can read/write/understand HYPY w/o tone marks, then do
    diacritics become purely ornamental?

  2. Victor Mair said,

    December 12, 2019 @ 5:12 pm

    Umlauted letters are catching on in Philadelphia's Chinatown too (spotted by Grace Wu this afternoon):

  3. Keith Ivey said,

    December 12, 2019 @ 10:49 pm

    Some years ago there was an Asian restaurant near me in Washington, DC, named Yanÿu.

  4. Chas Belov said,

    December 14, 2019 @ 1:09 am

    I pronounce it /ˌhɑːɡənˈdɑːs/ or perhaps /ˌhɑɡənˈdɑs/.

  5. the Viking Diva said,

    December 14, 2019 @ 10:31 am

    Surely intended to invoke Chinese American designer Vera Wang?

  6. Jim Shapiro said,

    December 16, 2019 @ 5:55 pm

    Showing up late with purely anecdotal reportage here, but I've lived in the NE U.S., the Midwest, and the West Coast (mainly NY, Chicago, and SF) and never to my recollection heard anyone pronounce Häagen-Dazs as anything but /'hɑːɡən'dɑːs/

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