Wanted: emoji guru

CityPress - - News -

A global trans­la­tion firm based in Lon­don is hir­ing what it says will be the world’s first of­fi­cial “emoji trans­la­tor”.

The job ad­ver­tise­ment, which was posted online two weeks ago, has al­ready at­tracted 100 ap­pli­cants from around the globe.

To­day Trans­la­tions, the firm be­hind the post­ing, needs a spe­cial­ist to help it de­code how emo­jis trans­late across cul­tures, lan­guages and gen­er­a­tions.

Jurga Zilin­skiene, CEO and founder of To­day Trans­la­tions, said: “We are in­vest­ing time and en­ergy into this be­cause we be­lieve emoji us­age will be­come more and more pop­u­lar. It’s a com­plex area.”

For ex­am­ple, Zilin­skiene said West­ern­ers use one emoji to show some­one laugh­ing so hard they cry. The of­fi­cial name for this emoji is “face with tears of joy”.

But Mid­dle East­ern cul­tures tend to in­ter­pret this emoji as de­pict­ing cry­ing and grief, she said.

In Ja­pan, it’s tra­di­tional for a teacher to use a white flower sym­bol to ac­knowl­edge when a stu­dent has done a good job on their home­work, said Zilin­skiene. But that mean­ing would be lost in other cul­tures.

Ac­cord­ing to the job post­ing, the emoji spe­cial­ist will be ex­pected to pro­vide trans­la­tion work for clients and write monthly re­ports “on emoji trends, de­vel­op­ments, us­age and ar­eas of con­fu­sion and cul­tural dif­fer­ences”.

There’s al­ready one as­sign­ment lined up: A client wants to trans­late his diary into emo­jis for his chil­dren.

In a bid to find the best ap­pli­cants, the com­pany even cre­ated an online test ask­ing peo­ple to trans­late strings of emo­jis into English phrases. For ex­am­ple: Statue of Lib­erty + air­plane = New York Jets.

Emo­jis have be­come more pop­u­lar and widely used over the years. Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies even named an emoji its word of the year last year – select­ing the laugh­ing/cry­ing face.

At the time, Ox­ford Dic­tionar­ies’ pres­i­dent, Casper Grath­wohl, said: “You can see how tra­di­tional al­pha­bet scripts have been strug­gling to meet the rapid-fire, vis­ually fo­cused de­mands of 21st-cen­tury com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

“It’s not sur­pris­ing that a pic­to­graphic script like emoji has stepped in to fill those gaps.”


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