Monday, January 08, 2007

Good times grocery shopping

This one takes a little bit of explaining...

1. The Mandarin word for the number three is pronounced "San".

2. In Taiwan, there is an adjective used to describe a food that is pleasantly chewy (i.e. a gummy candy). This word is pronounced and written as "Q".

3. Many Mandarin speakers, particularly in Taiwan, have trouble pronouncing the "TH" sound. Instead, it usually comes out as "S".

Put it all together, and "3Q" magically becomes "Thank You". Given the relative ease in typing these two characters vs. the complete words in either language and you have the shorthand that nearly all Taiwanese use when sending instant/short messages to each other.

Here, you can see our lovely model is holding a flattened dried squid. This is in our local grocery store - similar to Albertson's in some ways and VERY different in others...


Nel Pastel said...

I've got a question that has almost nothing to do with the topic, but just enough to get away with it: Do the Chinese text and IM as much as the Japanese? And, how does the government control the information passed around through texting and IMs? Can it? I'm honestly curious so answer, damn it.

And that's a great picture of Mel.

Fred said...

The Chinese definitely text VERY often. All of my coworkers have both MSN and Yahoo Messenger installed on their systems, and use them all the time for both personal and professional purposes.

Taiwanese do not have to worry about the government monitoring the info passed around (at least it's never come up). The Chinese, on the other hand, have a very real paranoia about being narc'd on for various communications, including IM and SMS.

One thing I've noticed is that most Chinese tend to prefer using MSN Messenger over Yahoo - I'm not entirely sure why, but this has been true 99% of the time.

I've also noticed that they use the hell out of their MSN emoticons. I have a wide and varied collection of very cool (and oft naughty) custom emoticons that I've received from friends, coworkers and customers alike.

Good times...