Saturday, December 26, 2009

Good Characters, Inc. (oh, the irony) has launched a new application for Apple iPhones called "Chinese Alphabet".


The application uses a set of random Chinese characters to correspond with 26 letters in English alphabet. The company claims this will "add mystery to your writing".

At least they are smart enough to put up this disclaimer at bottom of the page:

"The translation provided by Chinese Alphabet is intended for personal use and entertainment only. Not recommended for tattoo artists to use this to tattoo their clients, iPhone app developers to localize Chinese apps, CIA agents to communicate national secrets, or security professionals to encrypt passwords."

Sunday, December 13, 2009


At firs, it looks like pure gibberish - mixed Japanese and Chinese characters:

厉 カ ネ 羊

But looking more carefully, perhaps the idiot started with these characters:

But then he decided to switch from horizontal to vertical writing, and then split up the characters at the wrong places, making two characters into four.


By the way, what does mean anyway?

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

from: Herouth M.
date: Mon, Nov 30, 2009 at 1:43 AM
subject: [Fwd: Emailing: P1230294.JPG]

Hi. I'm from Israel. Love your blog.

The story goes like this: I study Japanese for several years now, and I can read about 1400 kanji more or less. One day, my co-worker approaches me with his cellphone. "Can you tell me what this says?" he asks me, showing me a photo of a piece of fabric carrying the kanji 私変態. I take a look, and reply "It's not grammatical, but it basically says "I'm a pervert".


"'I'm a pervert'. The first character means 'I', the other two mean 'pervert'", where did you get that from, anyway?

"It's on my 1.5 years old daughter's shirt!"

After LOLing for about 15 minutes straight, I kind of demanded that he get me a photo of the complete shirt so I can send it to Hanzi Smatter. And here is the shirt, complete with the cute, luckless 1.5 years old "hentai" herself.

I mean, yes, I have seen intentionally-made "hentai" shirts around the web (and on Hanzi Smatter). Adults buy them and wear them for the laughs. But who in his right mind would put this on a toddler's shirt, and sell it in a children's clothing store rather than a joke shop? I can't imagine.

Yes, I suppose it *could* mean "metamorphosis", but really, outside scientific contexts, it's almost always means "pervert". Or am I wrong?



Cute kid, though. The "bunny" or whatever kind of cute animal that is also on the shirt is a nice touch. We have obviously uncovered a diabolical plot to "pervert" innocent youth with inappropriate hanzi!

By the way, the T-shirt would be cuter and better if it was grammatically correct, like:

私、変態なんです。[I ... am a pervert.]
私、変態かも…[I might be a pervert...]
As it is, it sounds more like Tarzan-speak: "me - pervert." You kind of expect "you - Jane" next.