Notes Tone Unturned
(formerly Asia/Pacific Computer Services, closed down at the end of 2013).
This is now the PERSONAL website of Tony Austin, not a business site.
Do not contact me offering to provide business-related services, such as
Web Design and SEO, marketing campaigns, or any other such proposal.
If you do, you will be billed for wasting my valuable time!
NOTE: These pages are no longer being actively updated.
"Website on a single page"

Click one of the links just below to jump to that section ...
Words, Spoken Languages & Cultures, Keeping Face, Translation Tools,
Translation Services & Training, Voice technology, Software Globalization
with a focus on the Asia/Pacific region
Our information-crammed links ... Tips, Tools, Techniques, Services, Resources for Operators, Designers, Developers, Contractors, Consultants, Managers, Marketeers - and general users
Add this Asia/Pacific Computer Services page to your browser's list of Favorites.Our own selection of important IT news items, interesting developments and tips, plus key guides for IT managers, web designers, programmers, security administrators and more! Send an e-mail to a friend or colleague about a product, service or resource described on our web site."Love me and leave me!" ... Please give this web site a rating. Use the e-mail link (at the top of this page) to give us more detailed feedback, and help us make the site better.
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My weblogs ...
Notes Tone Unturned ~ Basic Questions ~ NotesTracker news
~ Leave Good Enough Alone

ITU Broadband Report, 2010
WordnikTop 10 Languages (by Internet users) on the Internet, 2009

  • "I should have sat down at Yuendumu and learnt the local language. We don't know Aboriginal languages. We've never tried from 1788. And it's the biggest shortcoming in Australia. And...only where local language has been understood has there ever been any success." -- Northern Territory Administrator, Ted Egan, on the TV show "Enough Rope, with Andrew Denton" (02 August 2004), speaking about his interactions with Australian aboriginal communities while previously working for the NT Department of Native Affairs. -- Webmaster comment: Probably a truism applied to relations between races/tribes/communities anywhere in the world!

  • Lost in Translation - What happens when an English phrase is translated (by computer) back and forth between 5 different languages? Brilliant!
  • 5 Tips to Overcome Language Barriers

  • Politics and the English Language [Webmaster: George Orwell's essay, published in 1946 and surely still applicable today] - "A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?" (Also available here in PDF format.) Another interesting essay by Orwell is The Prevention of Literature
  • Speaking Their Language: How to Localize Your Message for Global Customers - Smart companies realize that to strike a chord with more buyers, they'll have to "localize" their messages so that audiences will feel that everything about an electronic or printed communication has been produced by someone just like them.

See also: Dictionaries

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See also: Australia Travel & Culture Outsourcing in India: A View From the Recruiting Trenches [The baffling world of Indian employment] -
   After just eight days on the job, Sanjay (not his real name) stepped down from his position as head of the 200-person India-based development center of a European multinational corporation. Sanjay was a young, dynamic manager with the assertive style and blue-chip resume that tend to impress Western employers. Following a lengthy search led by a recruiting firm, the hiring company's management team was completely sold on the candidate. He had everything the interview team had felt the other local candidates lacked: youth, charisma and confidence. Moreover, his background was a veritable who's who of prestigious employers. Everyone was dumbfounded when the new hire failed after little more than a week. That is, everyone but the recruiter. An Indian national, she had cautioned the client repeatedly that despite Sanjay's energy and presence, he lacked the requisite experience and credibility to lead a team of senior people, according to Indian culture. The Indian business environment is a hierarchical one that venerates seniority and considers gray hair a sign of wisdom. The hiring firm's interview team had previously rejected more senior candidates because they seemed older or more soft-spoken than one would expect in the Western world. But in reality, these contenders would have enjoyed far greater organizational support than Sanjay eventually did. To the India-based development team, Sanjay came across as too junior and brash to win respect. It was a classic example of culture clash.

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  • Slip and fall Down carefully
    (warning sign at a swimming pool)
    Slip and fall Down carefully (swimming pool warning sign)


  • Greater numbers speak Mandarin - More and more Chinese nowadays are able to communicate with Chinese Mandarin, says a survey that indicates that 53 per cent of the population can communicate with the language known as putonghua. ... Only 18 per cent of those surveyed speak Mandarin while talking to the family members, while 42 per cent speak at school, work or play. ... Many parts of China are now seeing a situation of what linguists call diglossia, where there is one public language and one local language that is used among friends and family.
  • ... Use of dialects may even be strengthening in some areas, said [one respondent]. As a boy [who] grew up in the northern part of the country, he speaks wonderful Mandarin but he began to learn the Cantonese when he started to work in Shenzhen in South China's Guangdong Province in 2001. He said the prevalence of the local dialect have excluded outsiders from social networks. "I am learning Cantonese because I want to better integrate into local society."
  • Dialectal Chinese Speech Recognition - As people become ever more mobile and national and global economies ever more integrated, an ever larger population finds themselves needing to communicate in a language that is not their own. ... This report is about the recognition of accented speech in Chinese. China is a huge country and speech recognition of Chinese is an socially, economically, and politically important goal. Furthermore, there is a single standard spoken language in China, called Putonghua (‘common language’) in Chinese. But Putonghua is spoken extremely differently in different parts of China.
  • The People's Republic of China (PRC) -- an excellent article, in
    • Pinyin (拼音, pīnyīn) literally means "join (together) sounds" (a less literal translation being "phoneticize", "spell" or "transcription") in Chinese and usually refers to Hànyǔ Pīnyīn (汉语拼音, literal meaning: "Han language pinyin"), which is a system of romanization (phonemic notation and transcription to Roman script) for Standard Mandarin. Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó;
    • Traditional Traditional Chinese characters are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. It is the set of characters that has been used since the 5th century during the Southern and Northern Dynasties. It is called traditional in opposed to the other form - the simplified Chinese characters, created or standardised by the government of the People's Republic of China (mainland China) starting from the 1950s. 中華人民共和國
    • SimplifiedSimplified Chinese characters (Simplified Chinese: 简体字; Traditional Chinese: 簡體字; pinyin: jiǎntǐzì; also called 简化字/簡化字, jiǎnhuàzì) are one of two standard character sets of printed contemporary Chinese written language. 中华人民共和国)
  • Microsoft woos Asia in Asia - In Southeast Asia, the software giant is offering unprecedented bargain prices on its Windows operating system and Office suite.


    • Austronesian and Australian Languages - Australian, Hawaiian, Indonesian, Oceanic (Gilbertese, Maori, Samoan, Nauruan, Rotuman, Tongan), Balinese, Chamorro, Malagasy, Malay, Tahitian, Tetun, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), Rarotongan, Rovania, Philippine (Aklanon, Buhi Bicol, Cebuano (Bisaya), Hiligaynon (Ilongo), Kapampangan, Tagalog)
    • A Comparison of Austronesian Languages

    • A list of word comparisons in the following tongues: Indonesian, Javanese, Balinese, Sundanese, Madurese, Sawu, Toraja, Acehnese, Tetun, Tagalog, Hiligaynon, Maori, Fijian, Hawaiian, Malagasy, Rapanui


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  • An Oxford comma walks into a bar, where it spends the evening watching the television, getting drunk, and smoking cigars.
  • A dangling participle walks into a bar. Enjoying a cocktail and chatting with the bartender, the evening passes pleasantly.
  • A bar was walked into by the passive voice.
  • An oxymoron walked into a bar, and the silence was deafening.
  • Two quotation marks walk into a “bar.”
  • A malapropism walks into a bar, looking for all intensive purposes like a wolf in cheap clothing, muttering epitaphs and casting dispersions on his
  •  magnificent other, who takes him for granite.
  • Hyperbole totally rips into this insane bar and absolutely destroys everything.
  • A question mark walks into a bar?
  • A non sequitur walks into a bar. In a strong wind, even turkeys can fly.
  • Papyrus and Comic Sans walk into a bar. The bartender says, "Get out -- we don't serve your type."
  • A mixed metaphor walks into a bar, seeing the handwriting on the wall but hoping to nip it in the bud.
  • A comma splice walks into a bar, it has a drink, then leaves.
  • Three intransitive verbs walk into a bar. They sit. They converse. They depart.
  • A synonym strolls into a tavern.
  • At the end of the day, a cliché walks into a bar -- fresh as a daisy, cute as a button, and sharp as a tack.
  • A run-on sentence walks into a bar it starts flirting. With a cute little sentence fragment.
  • Falling slowly, softly falling, the chiasmus collapses to the bar floor.
  • A figure of speech literally walks into a bar and ends up getting figuratively hammered.
  • An allusion walks into a bar, despite the fact that alcohol is its Achilles heel.
  • The subjunctive would have walked into a bar, had it only known.
  • A misplaced modifier walks into a bar owned by a man with a glass eye named Ralph.
  • The past, present, and future walked into a bar. It was tense.
  • A dyslexic walks into a bra.
  • A verb walks into a bar, sees a beautiful noun, and suggests they conjugate. The noun declines.
  • A gerund and an infinitive walk into a bar, drinking to forget.
  • A hyphenated word and a non-hyphenated word walk into a bar and the bartender nearly chokes on the irony.
  • A simile walks into a bar, as parched as a desert.
See Linda K. Sienkiewicz's cpmmentary on the above list

See also: Inklish Signs in Various Non Inklish Countries
Computer messages in Haiku and Alternate Meanings

What is it about the following? ...
Facetious and abstemious, but not gregarious or nefarious!

HINT: Check the order of the vowels in each word.

Four score and seven years ago ...
The Gettysburg PowerPoint Presentation
A presentation, with speaker notes -- by Abraham Lincoln (18 November, 1863).

Unplug That Projector! - PowerPoint has ruined business presentations
University of Chicago adds PowerPoint to entrance application

Nothing and Something ... Something surely is better than nothing -- or is it?

A lively young damsel named Menzies
Inquired: "Do you know what this thenzies?"
Her aunt, with a gasp,
Replied: "It's a wasp,
And you're holding the end where the stenzies."

and see also:
What has the "yogh" got to do with Menzies?

Mark Twain - "I don't give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way."
Elmira College Center for Mark Twain Studies - The Mark Twain Project and Papers
Mark Twain : Jim Zwick  - Mark Twain in His Times - The Mark Twain Forum

Can you recite this mathematical limerick?
Mathematical Limerick
(click to play video)

 Precise Use of the English Language, in All Its Glory  

"Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounced it to you, trippingly on the tongue: but if you mouth it, as many of your players do, I had as lief the town-crier spoke my lines." ... Hamlet, Act III, Scene 2

Shakespeare Side-By-Side - Irreverent commentary, side-by-side with the complete text of the plays of William Shakespeare
>> Start here

The Shakespeare Computational Stylistics Facility - presents a set of Shakespeare play texts with a ready-made apparatus for computational-stylistics exploration. ... The texts can be analysed as whole plays, blocks, i.e. sequential segments of plays, or as character parts.

Dissecting the language of Shakespeare (a review of the above) - "The [Java] applet allows particular words within a set of plays or characters to be graphed. It focuses on the variations in frequency of common words"

Shakespearean Insulter - "Thou gorbellied rough-hewn skainsmate!" (and many more of the bard's barbs)
... based on Shakespeare Insult Kit

The Plays of Shakespeare in XML

Shakespeare Web Service - Submit a phrase from the plays of William Shakespeare and get back the speech, speaker, and play. (the "GetSpeech" service comes with both Web browser and mobile Web client interfaces.)

The Web's first edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare - this MIT site has offered Shakespeare's plays and poetry to the Internet community since 1993 Online Shakespeare >> Who Actually Wrote Shakespeare?

Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet

Damp Squid: The top 10 misquoted phrases in Britain (including misquotes of Shakespeare)

Knock, Knock.
Who's there?
To who?
To whom!

Jabberwocky Variations
Translations, parodies, and other variants of Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"
  • 'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
    Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
    All mimsy were the borogoves,
    And the mome raths outgrabe. ...

How does word usage arise?
The following notice appears in Sydney and Brisbane (Australia) train carriages:
(Why not say "plain-clothed"? Can "plain clothes" patrol trains all by themselves?
Or perhaps there's a new breed of invisible police officers?)

And here's a word or two: ... Portmanteau - from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Calculator Words - words you can write when you turn your calculator upside down.

Chiller e-mail blender - type in your words and the blender will rearrange them!

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest -- where WWW means Wretched Writers Welcome
"It was a dark and stormy night ..."
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2004 - Results
Real-life presents us with creative license to write bad
Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest 2005 - Results

The Story Starter

For writers who want ideas for novels, short stories, mysteries, tales of horror, science fiction adventures or silly stories using one of the 98,889,336 possible different story prompts that The Story Starter randomly generates.

Tackle bloggers' writer's block with The Blog Post Ideas Generator

- Your goal is find that elusive query (two words, with no quote marks) that generate a single, solitary Google search result! ... For example, squirreling dervishes or unmerciless politician or insolvent pachyderms. (Of course, constant changes to the web and to Google's index sooner or later compromise nearly every Googlewhack.)

Which is worse: Ignorance or apathy? (hover the mouse over the link to find out) Meanings and Origins of Phrases, Sayings and Idioms
You might be "taken aback" by this web site, find yourself "between the devil and the deep blue sea" -- maybe even "bite the dust" or "vanish into thin air" if you're not careful.

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