Some recent news and posts from

« previous post | next post »

OMG, it’s nougat (4/15/23) — "OMG" borrowed into Mandarin

A long post on puns, multiscriptal writing, and the difficulties of Hanzi.

Puns piled upon puns.

Microsoft Translator and Pinyin (4/15/23)

Microsoft's not very good character-to-Pinyin conversion.

They have the resources and could surely do better.

Japan likely to regulate pronunciations of personal names (4/14/23) — “No, no, no. It’s spelled ‘Raymond Luxury Yacht,’ but it’s pronounced ‘Throatwobbler Mangrove.’” — Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Among the stories listed in the current e-mail message, this is the biggest news.

Japan to add romanization to names on My Number cards (4/11/23) — The Japanese government has reportedly decided to add romanization for names on My Number cards, starting next year (2024). My Number cards — also known as Individual Number cards (or kojin bangō kādo / 個人番号カード) are a form of national ID.

This is probably something aimed at helping people deal with foreigners, but it seems significant nevertheless.

This will be a much welcome improvement.

Tone marks on Taiwan store sign’s Pinyin (4/10/23) — An observant reader sent in this relatively rare example in Taiwan of the use of Hanyu Pinyin with tone marks on signage

Elegantly esthetic.


Selected readings


  1. cameron said,

    April 20, 2023 @ 8:00 am

    Throatwobbler? I always thought it was Throatwarbler!

  2. Bob Ladd said,

    April 21, 2023 @ 1:45 am

    @Cameron: Google agrees with you. Start typing Monty Python Throa and it will autocomplete as Throatwarbler Mangrove. That said, it sounds a lot like Wobbler to me as well.

  3. Tom Dawkes said,

    April 21, 2023 @ 12:08 pm

    On Pinyin with accents: I thought it interesting that a contestant in a recent edition of the quiz game "University Challenge" on BBC 2 had her name displayed as CHÉN: see

RSS feed for comments on this post