Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sacha G. has emailed me about a website called I tried to understand what the site is about by reading its About US section, then quickly got bored by all the vague catchy phrases.

However, both Sacha and I were curious about the significance of all the characters plastered on the site. For example, 加西生學由天誼 does not even form a sentence, but random characters placed together.

Luckily, after I emailed them, Bryce Green replied and confirming that "the characters are just random. They were selected by our designer because they looked compositionally cool."


  1. Heh, don't see any happy, sister, or tree in there though.

  2. One point for being straightforward about it, at least.

  3. What worries me is the fact the examples he gave were "happy, sister, tree" when none of the characters given are any of those.

    加 = add, increase
    西 = west
    生 = life, birth
    學 = study (Japanese 学)
    由 = reason
    天 = sky, heaven
    誼 = intimacy

  4. Heck, I can make a sentence out of that: Increasing the western life, [one] studies because of heavenly intimacy.

    The cause seems to come as an afterthought.

    (For the humor impaired: I'm kidding.)

  5. I can't wait for the day when Japanese/Chinese websites use random latin letters because they look good.


  6. The random characters are easy to understand. All the stuff in English on that site is what's incomprehensible. KF

  7. At least they were good enough to make sure they weren't using anything offensive!

    And to the "anonymous" who posted, I had a teacher who went to Japan and saw a guy get on the bus with a shirt that said, "Carol" across the front. Pink, nonetheless.

  8. Hey, anonymous, that sentence should be このウェブサイトへ、ようこそ!

    Dead perfect on the English part, though. :)

  9. Tian should take a look at that "your name in kanji" ad that I see on his page... (

    Just looking at both the translations of the characters, and the terrible butchering of the combination of katakana and kanji... I'm surprised he hasn't commented yet.

    Keep up the good work!

  10. Yeah, I thought that was amusingly ironic, the google ads on this page. Google ads are often humorously inappropriate.

  11. Having studied these characters for years, I can no longer see what makes some characters look "cool." I'm curious to see what characters people think are "uncool."

    Bah. Maybe I'll go ahead and learn Sanskrit.

  12. Off-topic, has anyone seen this NBA ad? There's some Chinese characters about 20 seconds in, but (being an absolute beginner) I don't recognise them. The top one might be "big" sideways? Is it written sideways?

  13. Oops. Forgot to link to the ad I was talking about!

  14. I don't know if anyone's answered your question Ravenswood, but I'm about 95% certain that those characters are (simplified) chang2 cheng2, which is the Chinese name for the Great Wall.

  15. I answered it, but I guess it didn't go through. I also posted it on the YouTube comments though. In traditional Chinese, it's 長城, and in Japanese, it's 万里の長城.