Tìngäzìk: a Retrospective – ep. 26 “X-SAMPA”


Expected solvable difficulty

  • nohint+: experienced solvers
  • keywords+: most solvers

Level design

X-SAMPA was an alphabet designed to be an ASCII-compatible version of IPA. The phonetic symbols used in Vocaloid is also based on X-SAMPA. This question is inspired by a previous poster I put up a few years ago, featuring the same kind of phonetic symbols.

However, due to the simple pronunciation structure of the Japanese language, it would be too easy to guess with samples. Then I turned to English words instead. The questions are taken from the CMU X-SAMPA dictionary, with words chosen such that the X-SAMPA notation resembles less the form of the original word.

Expected thought process

Figure out the question is an X-SAMPA notation by experience (nohint+) or keywords (keyword+), then look it up in dictionary for the English word.


[S i][N\][dZ i][t a][m o][n o][w a][ts M][g o][-][n o][i][-][m o][-][s o][-][-][k M][4’ i][k a][e][S i][M][ts M][S i][d a][S M][k a][N a][m’ i] in the notation means シンジタモノワツゴーノイーモーソーークリカエシウツシダスカガミ, and together with the melody in the background, shows the first line of the chorus of the Disappearance of Hatsune Miku.

The lines below it, “蛻晞浹繝溘け縺ョ豸亥、ア?シ壹ョ繝?繝峨お繝ウ繝?繧ウ繧ケ繝「繧「繝?繝域垓襍ー繝斐?シ繝輔ぅ繝シ繝√Ε繝ェ繝ウ繧ー蛻晞浹繝溘け”, is “初音ミクの消失〜デッドエンド〜コスモアット暴走ピーフィチャリング初音ミク” encoded in UTF-8 and then decoded as Shift-JIS.

The numbers at the corners are Unix Timestamps showing the 11th anniversary of the original upload of 初音ミクの消失 Long Version on 8 April 2008.


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