The best emojis are universal – regardless of which language you’re using, they still mean the same thing.
So the notion of an “emoji translator” might sound a little counterintuitive.
Well, not according to Today Translations, a top translation firm based in the City of London.
The firm is currently looking to hire an “emoji translator / specialist” to “provide the human touch needed where translation software is inadequate”.
Candidates should be able to demonstrate a passion for emojis, combined with knowledge of “areas of confusion and cultural/international differences”.
A spokesperson told HuffPost UK that some emojis have different meanings in different cultures.
“A smiling face with tears running down it is interpreted in some cultures positively, to mean tears of joy, but in others negatively, to represent tears of sadness. Yet, research shows that it’s the single most popular emoji across the world,” the spokesperson said.
The firm foresees the service being used by marketers. “The ‘thumbs up’ emoji, fairly innocuous to you and I, can be considered quite offensive in some middle eastern cultures for example,” the spokesperson said.
“A global marketing campaign could quickly fall afoul of using the wrong emoji, just as we have seen it happen in the past with poor word choices.”
But it could also be valuable to lawyers interpreting online conversations.
“There are have recently been cases where criminals have tried to hide their communications by use of emojis, or questions raised about the seriousness of the gun emoji being used as a threat,” the spokesperson added.
“I think there’s certainly going to be a need for emojis to be interpreted as evidence in criminal proceedings.”