Messages from a Casino
One, two, many. Spin the wheel and see where the chips land.
editor’s note: the byline for the 也法的 Newslettr is now “Alan Lee”. Alan Lee is a “composite character” developed and managed by Yevaud Platforms LLC. While the Newslettr is currently still a one-man operation, this may change in the next few months.
One thing I like to do at the casino is people-watch. You can see a lot by watching. And one can imagine what the people are thinking …
a message from a Translation Consultant:
I have been doing multi-lingual transcriptions recently.
On both iOS and Android, there is a “fast layout shift” key, and a “slow layout shift” key. The slow key simply brings up an intermodal window. The fast key jumps between keyboards in a mildly-predictable way.
When one is only using two languages (English and Greek, English and Chinese) the fast-layout key works quite well to switch. Once one needs more than two languages, the phone has no choice but to guess what you want.
At a high level: on Android, it is always slow to switch to Chinese from a non-Latin charset. On iOS, this is faster — but other switches are slower as a tradeoff.
The note goes on, but we are cutting it off there. The issues with EN-ZH transcription are more than complicated enough to confuse our audience.
When a Mandarin speaker types Chinese, ta types the pinyin for the word, and then selects the character from the displayed options. On a physical keyboard, one uses the number keys to select; on a soft keyboard (aka an iPhone keyboard) it is just autocomplete.
The “shift” key isn’t used in typing Mandarin - and is the way to intermingle English in Mandarin. Although it does lead to the convention of always capitalizing English words …
a Message from a Professional Gambler:
When I am at the poker table, I try to tip the dealers well. But it is improper to tip them too well. One needs a reason to tip the staff at a casino.
One approach I have found to manage this is the Trivia game. I ask a trivia question to the poker table. For a “good” wrong answer, the dealer gets a $2 tip. For the right answer, the dealer gets a $5 tip and the game ends. This tends to liven up a quiet table.
Occasionally, you meet someone who asks “why does the dealer get the money when I said the right answer”. The name for that type of person is a bum. And my only advice for bums is “if you want to make money at a casino, get a job”.
a Message from a Solar Panel Salesman:
The number one reason people don’t want to get solar panels installed on their roof is because it is extremely difficult to find a contractor who isn’t going to over-charge you dramatically. Demand is so high, they can get away with it. And the top ad on Google Search will always go to whoever can over-charge the most.
The number two reason people don’t want to get solar panels installed on their roof is because they recently got a new roof and don’t want to break something that isn’t broken.
It shouldn’t be that expensive to “solar-ready” a roof: to have 6 or 8 attachment points for a solar panel superstructure attached to the roof during the new-roof process. I expect it costs no more than $500 extra. It might be only $100. At the $100 price point, the unnamed solar company I work for would be willing to fully fund the “solar-ready” cost for 100 houses, just in case some of them want solar panels down the road.