Published on 12 January 2018 by Rajamanickam Antonimuthu

The Search Engine Google is showing this animated Doodle in many countries for Zhou Youguang’s 112th birthday.

Zhou Youguang was a Chinese economist, banker, linguist, publisher, and supercentenarian, known as the "father of Pinyin", a system for the romanization of Mandarin Chinese, which was officially adopted by the government of the People's Republic of China in 1958, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 1982, and the United Nations in 1986.

Popularly dubbed ‘the Father of Pinyin,’ Youguang spent three years developing the system of ‘spelled sounds’ that is now the international standard for Romanized Chinese. The new system transformed China’s literacy rate, providing more natural passage into the written language, which requires mastering thousands of characters. It bridged multiple Chinese dialects with its shared designations of sound. Today, schoolchildren learn Pinyin before characters, and it is often used to input characters on smartphones and computers.

Pursuing his love of language throughout his life, Youguang authored more than 40 books and translated the Encyclopedia Britannica into Chinese

The O’s in today’s Google Doodle flip from Pinyin (Gǔgē) to Chinese characters (谷歌). Were it not for celebrated linguist Zhou Youguang, this phonetic translation would never have come to life, and the world would still be referring to ‘Beijing’ as ‘Peking,’

Read more details about Zhou Youguang at
See the Google Doodle for Zhou Youguang’s 112th birthday at

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