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February 18, 2004

Gyaru-moji

Seen on Japan.com (via Smart Mobs):

In the GSM world, youths often use an abbreviated language to reduce the time and effort to type an SMS message. Japanese girls, however, now prefer to communicate amongst each other using special characters that require more time to input. These characters are called "gyaru-moji" (gyaru is the slang word for girl). The words made from gyaru-moji are a mixture of Japanese syllables, numbers, mathematical symbols and Greek characters. It's like a secret code used by teenagers; at first glance, the code resembles hieroglyphics.

Typing gyaru-moji takes at least twice as long as inputting standard Japanese. When we asked a Japanese girl in Shibuya about gyaru-moji, she told us that she likes to use them because it makes her emails look more artistic. "Plus," she added, "people who want to read over my shoulder cannot understand gyaru-moji, and in this way we keep our group language." For those people not familiar with gyaru-moji, several mobile and Web sites offer conversion tools from normal written Japanese to gyaru-moji.

Recently a new trend to send personalized messages was introduced by these girls. They do not send emails to friends anymore. Instead, they jot down their message on a piece of paper, take a photo of it and send it as a picture message to their friends.


Neat. One of my frustrations with text-messaging has been how painful it is to type stuff using a phone keypad. I tried out writing a message down on paper, capturing the image and sending it. You can see how well it works (despite the low resolution of my cameraphone) here. Now, it would be nice if textamerica also did OCR on the image and sent out a text email to the intended recipient.

Posted by Narasimha Chari at 09:18 PM in communications, technology, Weblogs | Permalink

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Girls i Japan are actually developing a more cumbersome way of typing messages on their cells in order to feel more artistic and keep a specific feeling of group belonging.... [Read More]

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Comments

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