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Zhou Youguang marked by Google Doodle – why the Chinese linguist is being celebrated on his 112th birthday

ZHOU Youguang was a Chinese linguist credited with formulating a new phoenetic alphabet to help translate Chinese to Romanized Western languages like English.

He died last year on the day after his 111th birthday – making today what would have been his 112th. Here's why he is being celebrated with a Google Doodle.

Zhou Youguang  was a Chinese economist, banker, linguist, sinologist and publisher known as the "father of Pinyin".

The system was developed to help with the Romanization of Mandarin Chinese which was then officially adopted by the Communist Chinese government in 1958.

Zhou said the task took about three years, and was a full-time job.

Google has marked his accomplishment with a Doodle on what would have been his 112th birthday.

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

"Born on this day as Zhou Yaoping, this storied linguist later adopted the pen name ‘Yougang’ because he wanted to ‘bring light’ to the world.

"Today, we celebrate what would’ve been Yougang’s 112th birthday with a special place in the spotlight."

In 1998, the search engine founders Larry and Sergey drew a stick figure behind the second 'o' of Google as a message to that they were out of office at the Burning Man festival and with that, Google Doodles were born.

The company decided that they should decorate the logo to mark cultural moments and it soon became clear that users really enjoyed the change to the Google homepage.

In that same year, a turkey was added to Thanksgiving and two pumpkins appeared as the 'o's for Halloween the following year.

Now, there is a full team of doodlers, illustrators, graphic designers, animators and classically trained artists who help create what you see on those days.

Among recent Doodles were ones commemorating German scientist Robert Koch, Jan Ingenhousz (who discovered photosynthesis) and the 50th anniversary of kids coding languages being introduced.

Earlier in the year, the search giant celebrated the 2017 Autumn Equinox , which marked the official ending of summer and the coming of autumn.” target=”_blank” title=”Click to share on Twitter

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