Emoji: The New Universal Language?

👋👇👌 – Hi, are you okay?

👍☺️ – I’m good thanks!

👏 – yay!

Or something like that.

Welcome to the wonderful language that is emojis 😁Emoji on iPhone

And before you express concern that we are confused about what is a language and what is not, hey. Your entire screen staring back up at you currently is composed of a series of ones and zeros, manipulated into the glorious thing you see before you and that, the ones and zeros, is a language all in itself. Binary code. If you’re interested.

Emojis are much, much prettier to look at than a bunch of ones and zeros though, aren’t they?


Yes, we know. Emojis can be confounding to us too. But a language is a language, and language learning is good for our cognitive reasoning 😇

So let us give you a little introduction into the wonderful world of emojis, see if we can entice you in or relieve you of your confusion. Here are some reasons why we vote emojis as our new favourite international language.

✒️📚🕐 study time!

  • So firstly, you may have heard of emoticons. Emoticons are not emojis, repeat, they are not emojis ‼️ Emoticons are ‘pictures’ composed of the keyboard symbols we already have, such as :), :(, and :D. Even our mothers know how to use them.
  • Emojis originate from Japan and are, like Japanese characters themselves, pictographs. The word itself means ‘picture’ – e and ‘character’ – moji. Another argument in favour of emojis being a language, don’t you think?
  • Emojis actually have specific, individual meanings but in the way that colloquial language changes and adapts, they can mean different things to different people. For example, 😋 ’officially’ means face savouring delicious food, but whenever we use this in our Whatsapp messages, it generally means we are being exceptionally cheeky. Tongue sort-of in cheek, see?
  • Emojis are a beautiful, universal thing, allowing people to communicate when normal language barriers would apply. And there’s no grammar! Truly, this is a joyous thing.
  • Emojis are also doing their bit for diversity. The latest versions of iOS offer emoji with different skin tones:

emoji with different skin tones

  • and the generic ‘one size fits all’ ones…

generic emoji

  • …and those for people of the LBGT community, 👭👬🌈❤️. But none for redheads apparently. There’s a campaign on Change for that at the moment.
  • Emojis are multi-platform. You can use them, in various versions on all devices, and everyone is in on the act. Even National Rail Enquiries, who, on World Emoji Day last Friday, invited Twitter followers to guess station names using a series of emojis.

  • Emojis can shorten your messages and bring a smile to a recipient’s face: even if it’s just because they’re trying to understand what you mean:


Please come Christmas shopping with me?


Enjoy your holiday in Cyprus!


Join me for a cheeky drink after work?

  • Some businesses will even let you order dinner via Twitter: 🍕

We could go on. But we’d probably get silly.

So the next time someone shows disdain for your messages full of emojis, you are well within your rights to reply with a 😝 that says hey, I’m learning a new language here!

Are you for or against emoji? Tell us what you think!



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