Article updated on 3 February 2021 to include more lohei web apps and features.
SINGAPORE — The government recently announced new COVID-19 restrictions in anticipation of festive activities during Chinese New Year. These include a maximum total of eight visitors per day in homes, and the banning of the practice of yelling out auspicious Chinese phrases while tossing yusheng.
We may be prohibited from speaking the auspicious sayings ourselves, but various Good Samaritans have created free web apps to digitally utter the new year wishes on our behalf.
DJ Beng’s lohei app
The first one was the “lohei app”, as anonymous creator “DJ Beng” calls it. The web app can be found at http://djbeng.com/lohei.html.
By tapping various Chinese phrases on your phone screen, a woman’s voice will say the respective Mandarin phrases.
Phrases featured include zhao cai jin bao (may riches and treasures come to you), sheng yi xing long (may your business prosper), wan shi ru yi (may all your endeavours be successful), and shen ti jian kang (good health to you).
Besides Mandarin, the app comes in various other dialects, including Cantonese, Teochew, Hokkien, Hainanese, Hakka and Shanghainese.
Note that the web app only produces the sounds on mobile phones and not desktop computers.
Not much is known about “DJ Beng” except that he was the name of a character created by Koh Beng Liang which was featured in an old local digital literary magazine, the2ndrule. Koh was an editor for the magazine.
We emailed “DJ Beng” to ask him more about how he created this lohei app, but he said that he wasn’t taking media queries. Anyway, many thanks to this lohei angel that we didn’t know we needed!
Inspired by DJ Beng, another anonymous creator made another lohei app called Lovolume Lohei. You can access this app at https://lovolume-lohei.sg/.
Unlike the DJ Beng app, the Lovolume app shows you which auspicious phrases are traditionally spoken while adding specific yusheng ingredients. For example, when you tap on fish slices, the app will say in Mandarin, “Fa cai yu pian, nian nian you yu (fish of fortune, enjoy abundance every year).”
This app also has the feature to produce new year wishes spoken when you toss the yusheng. The recorded phrases are pretty humorous and very colloquial, with categories for love, career, health, wealth, studies and business. Tap and hold longer on the buttons to hear more auspicious phrases.
However, unlike DJ Beng, the Lovolume app doesn’t feature other dialects besides Mandarin.
This app has an option to play festive Chinese New Year-themed background music.
It even has a 4D number generator, for some added fun for the gamblers.
Note that the Lovolume app also works only on mobiles, and the page cannot be opened on a desktop at all.
A third app was created by sound design studio, Imba Interactive. You can access this app at https://www.imbainteractive.com/yusheng/.
This app has the added advantage of being able to work on a desktop as well as on mobile phones, but really, when you’re at the restaurant, you’ll probably be using the app on your mobile anyway.
Similar to the Lovolume app, this app also shows you the auspicious phrases for specific yusheng ingredients as well as for tossing the yusheng. The phrases are more traditional, though, like DJ Beng’s app, and not as humorous as the Lovolume app.
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