Sign of the times: London company advertises for ’emoji translator’

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Translation agency seeks first emoji specialist to help meet challenges posed by the worlds fastest-growing language

Do you venture further into the emoji dictionary than the faces and food pages?

Does your vocabulary extend beyond thumbs up and red heart?

Do you know your face with tears of joy from your grinning face with smiling eyes?

A London translation agency is advertising for its first emoji translator/ specialist to help meet the challenges posed by the worlds fastest-growing language.

Based in the City of London financial district, Today Translations is advertising on its website for a translator able to interpret the miniature images, from smiley faces to food items, beloved of smartphone users the world over.

Emoji translation is itself an emerging field but one dominated to date by software, which is often insensitive to the many cultural differences in usage and interpretation, said the advert.

We are therefore seeking an exceptional individual to provide the human touch needed where translation software is inadequate.

Chief executive Jurga Zilinskiene said the company decided to create the freelance position after being approached by a client to translate a family diary from English into emoji.

We started looking into it and decided we had to do much more work to understand the culture of emojis across the globe, she told AFP.

The recruit will be required to write monthly reports on emoji trends and research cultural differences in usage, as well as carry out translations.

In the absence of any native speakers, the successful candidate should be able to demonstrate a passion for emojis, combined with cutting-edge knowledge and awareness of areas of confusion and cultural/international differences, continued the advert.

Remuneration for the position is listed as competitive, but applicants are warned that a practical test of emoji knowledge/skills may be given. An exemplar Emoji Translation Test is available for potential candidates on the companys website.

The successful recruit will join a company that works with 3,000 linguists who speak some 200 languages, according to the job posting.

Zilinskiene is confident that demand for emoji translation is set to grow.

We are already seeing a professional use for legal cases where text messages are used as evidence, she said, adding that interpreting emojis was even more complex than the written word.

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