Inkyō Onji #chinese
Expected solvable difficulty
1sample+: experienced solvers with Chinese proficiency
keywords+: most solvers
Reaching the finale of the game, we have a question related to Chinese. This question was inspired by tweet of 波鴻漫錄 || Sven Osterkamp, who mentioned a rather rare way of annotating pronunciation of Mandarin Chinese.
Shinkoku Kanwa Inkyō Onji (清国官話韻鏡音字) is a pronunciation symbol system designed by Izawa Shūji (伊沢修二) in 1904. The full content of it can be viewed in the National Diet Library Digital Collections of Japan. Interestingly, Inkyō Onji symbols usually don’t have a one-to-one correspondence to Pīnyīn or Zhùyīn. (In fact, Pīnyīn and Zhùyīn are not strictly one-to-one matching either.)
For the answer, an ASCII variant of pīnyīn is used.
The sentences used in the answers are all being used in type specimens:
“All their equipment and instruments are alive.”
Used in Google Fonts.
“On a summer afternoon, the cicadas are chirping incessantly.”
“The aroma of baking bread fills the air.”
“The first ray of sunlight in the morning casted on her desk.”
All 3 are used in font demos in Windows 10+.
Even if you cannot manage to find the book to translate the words, using all 3 samples given, you can still decode 90% of the main. question.
Expected thought process
Lookup for the symbols to find the Inkyō Onji book and translate the symbols to Pīnyīn, or to use the sample question to translate most part of the question, and attempt to complete the rest.