Joi Ito's Web

Joi Ito's conversation with the living web.

Going to Naples today, the UK on the 6th, Helsinki on the 9th, Stockholm on the 11th, back to Helsinki on the 13th and back to Tokyo on the 17th. Speaking at Culture Digitali on the 4th and the EVA conference in Helsinki on the 10th. Meetups in Naples on the 5th and UK on the 6th. See you then!

Thanks to everyone who gave me ideas for stuff to do in Europe this trip!


Hi Joi,

is "Culture Digitali". I only mention that because it's funny to see how Japanese people writing in Italian always seems to swap "l" with "r". :)

Looking forward to have you in our country... since you're in Naples, don't forget to have a pizza.

hehe. Fixing this now. ;-p

But seriously, I noticed that Japanese people have difficult writing Ls in words, and usually swap them for Rs. Is this because the Japanese language doesn't have Ls or what? By the way, I'm reading an excellent book called "Riding the waves of culture", and I recommend it to everyone interested in understanding cultural difference in business.



I screwed it up because I was thinking about Digirati... but the Japanese L/R thing is pretty well documented and has a lot to do with the wiring of the brain. In Japanese, we have a sound which is just about right in the middle of L and R and it occupies one place in our brains instead of two. You really need to be tuned for non-Japanese languages when you are a child to be able to easily recognize the difference if you're native Japanese. The swapping happens because people learn to intentionally or more deliberately understand the difference, but this this bit flips sometimes and things come out backwards when there is too much concentration.

Eeep! o.o

xD I read an article from CNN and I had to come peek in.

Very cool.

Nice to see you coming to Sweden! What brings you here?

Maybe it would be possible to create some kind of meetup here as well?

Kim, yes. I'm visiting friends. I'll know my schedule soon and will post if I have time for a meetup.

Which phone are you taking? That funky Nokia CDMA-GSM unit that you showed recently? Does that work with the GSM in Europe and the systems in Japan? How about China? Have you had any luck with 3G systems in Europe?

I'm looking for a dual band phone with CDMA-GSM and thought that might do the trick. I have a slew of SIM cards from different countries I visit and like to swap in a GSM SIM to save $$ on calls (something I gather you can relate to).

##The swapping happens because people learn to intentionally or more deliberately understand the difference, but this this bit flips sometimes and things come out backwards when there is too much concentration.##

申し訳ないけど、上記は何だかわけわからんと思いますよ(藁) 。

This is not a question of identifying the sound, it's one of visualizing the spelling of the foreign word, the very same way you see with your mind's eye a particular 漢字 (kanji) as you go through the process of writing it.

Of course, everybody remembers the famous banner that was displayed by the Japanese during the occupation:

"We pray for General McArthur's erection!"

gosunkugi-san, I need to dig up references, but I disagree. If you test children with the sounds "ba" and "pa" and you slowly change from "ba" to "pa", they hear a steady change from "ba" to "pa". Adults, on the other hand, hear it switch from "ba" to "pa". Our brains become tuned to categorize sounds. In Japanese, there is no "la", but the "ra" sounds is just about half way between "la" and "ra", so the English "la" sounds the same as "ra". Now, there may be some visual elements to this, but I think this is more aural. Does anyone else have better information? I'm at the airport and about to board, or I would google around myself...

As Kim remarked, excellent choice of you to come to Stockholm. Hope to see you there!

1 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: Off to Europe.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Back in Lancaster, working intensely now on the scraps of notes, fragmented narratives, fuzzy ideas, whatever there’s to go on in the general direction of a PhD thesis. Yet it’s June, and there’s always much happening in June: local L... Read More