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Google commemorates Chinese linguist Zhou Youguang with a doodle on his 112th birthday

By Zheng Qi (People's Daily)    09:33, January 15, 2018

The late father of pinyin Zhou Youguang was honored by Google Doodle with an animated version of its logo on Saturday.

Zhou's portrait appeared alongside an animation of “GU GE” -- Google's name in pinyin -- on the global search engine's homepage.

File photo: Zhou Youguang

Born in Changzhou in 1906, Zhou showed interest in linguistics at 12 and created the system of romanized Chinese writing in 1958.

Zhou died on January 14, 2017 in Beijing, China. At the time, he was the oldest known living person in China and the seventh-oldest known living man. Zhou had continued blogging on Sina Weibo until he was 105.

Neither a professional linguist nor a lexicographer, Zhou used to work on Wall Street and taught economics at Fudan University in Shanghai.

He authored more than 40 books and translated the Encyclopedia Britannica into Chinese.

File photo

Without Zhou's contribution, the world would rely on the Wade-Giles system that referred to “Beijing” as “Peking” and “Chongqing” as “Chungking”.

Zhou's replacement was adopted by the International Organization for Standardization in 1982 and by the United Nations in 1986.

Pinyin has boosted literacy rates in China and bridged the division between the country and the West over 60 years.

Pinyin lately has evolved into the principal vehicle for most Chinese language input on mobile phones and computers.

Google's first animated doodle in January 2010 honored Isaac Newton. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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