Mojibake facts for kids

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Mojibake Japanese CC Licence
This is what a website can look like if the wrong font encoding is used.

Mojibake (文字化け, pronounced /modʑibake/) is the name for incorrect, unreadable characters shown when computer software fails to show text correctly.

When problems like these appear, the reason is that when transferring text on the internet, it is actually sent as numbers (bytes). For example, "A" is sent as 65. There are not enough numbers to handle all letters in all languages when using bytes. Only the numbers 0-255 are usually available. Therefore every language has its own interpretation of these numbers. Often the computers misunderstand what the meaning of a number (a byte) is.


Mojibake is a Japanese word. The word 文字化け ([moʥibake]) is composed of two parts. 文字 (moji) means letter, character. 化け (bake), from the verb 化ける (bakeru), means to appear in disguise, to take the form of, to change for the worse. Literally, it means "character mutation".

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