We use emoticons all the time and by now instinctively know what they mean. Japanese people however, use a whole different set of them which they call emoji. Quite what some of these emoji mean is hard to work out, so to get a grip on my (￣^￣)ゞfrom my
☆*:.｡. o(≧▽≦)o .｡.:*☆ I turned to Google and found a few interesting things.
What Japan Thinks is a website that I have looked at from time to time which shows the results of various opinion polls conducted in Japan translated into English. In a old post from almost 6 years ago the site lists the 30 most popular emoji of the time. Some of the meanings are pretty obvious, such as (＾▽＾) meaning laughing, but many take some explaining. How we are supposed to discern joyful from ( ・ω・) I’ve no idea.
The question that ran across my lips while looking a these things however was, “Just what face are these emoticons supposed to represent?” You know, it’s not hard to visualise what face :p represents but U^ェ^U , that’s a whole different kettle of fish. The Google search I mentioned before threw up something that may help me, an iOS app called Twikao.
Twikao is an app which takes a picture of your face and then generates a emoji using facial recognition. Armed with this I am going to try to recreate some of the emoji I found in the What Japan Thinks post using my face and see if I can’t get a one to one match.
The challenge begins now!
1- （＾_＾）v Laughing
VERDICT: FAIL, the generated emoji is way too happy (and far less tired looking).
2- (>_<)> Troubled
VERDICT: Hmm, missing (what I think is) the arm but capturing the bags under my eyes beautifully.
3- （ ﾟ Дﾟ）Shocked
VERDICT: Looks pretty shocked to me but the mouth is all wrong. Dunno were it got that sweat drop from.
4- (*￣m￣) Dissatisfied
VERDICT: MEGA FAIL! Despite pulling my best dissatisfied face, I got a happy Wolverine.
VERDICT: Gah! This is what I was looking for from number 3. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL.
I’m not sure what has been learnt here, other than the lighting in my room is very yellow.