Emoji in Translation
by Chad Richardson
They’re all over various messaging apps and social media platforms and we all think we know what they mean. Emoji look the same across operating systems and around the world. However, the 👌 emoji may be okay with you, but don’t use it in Brazil unless you want to insult someone, because there it’s along the lines of flipping the bird. Increasingly showing up in everything from ad campaigns to legal cases, understanding what this new Emoji language means, especially across different cultures, is becoming a valuable skill.
Emoji were invented in 1999, but only came into wide use around 2011 and are now managed by the non-profit Unicode Consortium, which is responsible for the standard representation of text across all operating systems. Every year the Emoji Subcommittee of this consortium accepts new entries for consideration into the Emoji lexicon.
Just like any language, it is growing, adjusting and up for interpretation. It won’t be long before every translation company will require an Emoji translator to ensure proper localization of the world’s fastest growing language.
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