mojibake 文字化け (もじばけ)
This is the term used for text that appears as gibberish - a series of random meaningless characters. Often refering to text that has been improperly encoded or is displayed with the wrong encoding.
Here is a sample of what 文字化け typically looks like: ŽŸ‚ÉA–œ—t‰¼–¼‚Ìˆê——•\‚ðÚ‚¹‚Ä‚¨‚«‚Ü‚·B
The word mojibake 文字化け is derived from the words 文字 moji meaning characters and the noun form of the verb 化ける bakeru meaning to change into another form/appearance. Originally used in the printing business with the latter half of the word in Katakana 文字バケ now that computers have come into common use it has settled into the word seen now 文字化け.
Example of use
"sakki okutte moratta me-ru, mojibake shitete yomenai kara, mou ichido shift JIS (shifuto jisu) de okuttekurenai?"
"The email you just sent me was turned into mojibake and couldn't be read so could you send it once more in Shift-JIS?"
"doushite mojibake shichau n daro"
I wonder why it turned into mojibake?
An example of the kind of Encoding specification error that can cause mojibake in web pages can be seen in the following link.
After clicking on the link to view it manually change the encoding view to UTF-8 and then EUC to see how it displays.