I just got Skype. Except as usual, I’m technologically way behind my ambitions. I don’t yet have a microphone on my computer.

Thus you can imagine that last night’s conversation with a close mate, who recently moved to China, was a little strange; he was speaking into the microphone while I was frantically typing back.

Hearing him speak was how I became aware that my skin name, Jangari, is not the most orthographically regular word for English spelling (even if it epitomises regularity for Australian languages’ writing systems). “Jæŋgári” he kept on saying, it sounds like a name of a high-speed train or something.

Trying to teach someone phonetics when they can’t hear you is very difficult. “No”, I said typed, “‘ng’ as in singer, not finger: There is no G” but to no avail. I told him he’d have to wait until my webcam arrives (from the frustratingly mediocre eBay) before he knows how to pronounce it.

By the way, for those of you who can read phonetics, it’s [Jáŋari]. Except for the ‘J’; there seems to be no unicode for a palatal stop/affricate. In fact, if anyone knows how to get the bar-j or the d-with-tailed-z in unicode, could you tell me?

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