Friday, 27 June 2008


This short article in the Globe and Mail talks about how Japanese teens use abbreviations of the romanization of Japanese phrases:

Dubbed KY, the teen lingo is created by spelling out Japanese phrases using the English alphabet and then abbreviating these words to form acronyms. KY stands for kuuki yomenai, literally translated as "can't read the air," which means "not in tune."

Others include
HR: 一人ランチ (hitori ranchi) lunching alone
KW: 気持ち悪い (kimochi warui) gross.

Japanese is not the only language where this is done. On the right side of this Indian box of sweets is the Hindi लक्ष्मी मिष्ठान भण्डार, and on the left are the Roman letters LMB.

लक्ष्मी मिष्ठान भण्डार, meaning "Lakshmi sweet store", is romanized as lakṣmī miṣṭhān bhaṇḍār. So the first letters of the Roman transcription of the Hindi phrase are used as the initials of the store.

This is a building in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh. I assume it is part of Bishambhar Nath Shambhu Dayal Inter College. The lowest sign says बी.एन.एस.डी.कालेज (bī en es ḍī kālej). Read out loud, this is "BNSD College". The Hindi name, romanized to "Bishambhar Nath Shambhu Dayal", is turned into an English initialism, then spelled out phonetically in Hindi.


Drew said...

Interesting. Though when I saw your post title I expected an explanation of the sex lube brand.

Maybe one day, right?

AdamX said...

haha... language games :-) yay!

i was just doing a thing about verlan on my blog.