Cool Job Alert: Emoji Translator

By: Lauren Mineau

Companies often hire out translating services, but now there’s someone to translate something without words — but used to communicate more and more often — emojis.

One company recently hired the world’s first Emoji Translator. London-based Today Translations was on the hunt for an emoji specialist. They found Keith Broni, a University College London graduate from Ireland.

So what does he do?

He’s often hired by companies to help them navigate the complicated world of emoji use. It’s something that many places want to use to appeal to younger audiences, but a mishap with the quirky characters could be detrimental.

Source: Today Translations

For example, different emojis show up differently depending on the platform. On National Cookie Day, the Twitter page for Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster tweeted a GIF and the cookie emoji to acknowledge the character’s namesake holiday. On Samsung devices, the emojis show up as a pair of saltine crackers.

These quirks are what Broni watches for, and advises companies on. Many emojis have also changed over time and with social media, some have taken on meanings other than what’s intended. Most no longer think of the eggplant or peach emoji as their produce counterpart, but instead they symbolize parts of the human anatomy.

In August 2016, Apple replaced the revolver emoji with a water gun, but an actual cartoon pistol still shows up on Android devices. This could make for murky waters for say, a tweet from NERF trying to sell its latest Christmas toy. These nuances are crucial for an effective and non-offensive social media presence for companies.  Broni provides guidance to companies on which emoji will complement their text the best and how to prevent overuse.

“There is no doubt that emoji are powerful communicative tools, enabling emotional expression and understanding particularly where there might be traditional language barriers,” he said in a press release. “However, we know that not every culture interprets the same emoji in the same way. By helping companies and organizations understand those differences, I plan to make a real difference in the world of global communication.”

He’s also the person behind Europe’s first Emoji Spelling Bee. Contestants were tasked with quickly spelling a phrase with only emojis.