Thursday, February 19, 2015

mojibake (文字化け)

Mojibake is the word for gibberish text characters or garbled text.

The first part of the first paragraph in Wikipedia's article on mojibake states:

Mojibake (文字化け) (IPA: [mod͡ʑibake]; lit. "character transformation"), from the Japanese 文字 (moji) "character" + 化け (bake) "transform", is the garbled text that is the result of text being decoded using an unintended character encoding.[1] The result is a systematic replacement of symbols with completely unrelated ones, often from a different writing system

The article goes on to specify problems that come up when running Japanese software on an English OS. 

In Japanese, the phenomenon is, as mentioned, called mojibake 文字化け. It is often encountered by non-Japanese when attempting to run software written for the Japanese market.

I've found that this can be a serious issue with living in Japan.  I want English OS machines because, well, computers are hard enough for me to deal with in my own language.  But in setting up internet connections, there are invariably mojibake occurrences.  So far, good, smart, and nice people have helped me through them.  But they can be a frustration.

Someone posted a video on how to get rid of it in a Chrome situation.  I thought that was nice.  The things that people do!

And this person gives an anthropomorphic view of the concept of mojibake:


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