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Can we carry out a certified translation of an Emoji? A ridiculous question, of course!

Updated: Apr 11, 2021

Emoji Face Wink, Smile, Love

Certified translations are a niche market, but they’re extremely important. They must be done in a very precise manner in order to be accepted by the relevant authorities. The certified translation is a very formal and precisely defined means of getting a particular message across. Everyday language, however, is very different. The way we communicate with each other is, and always has been, changing. There are around 4,000 words added to the English dictionary every year! What’s more, different phrases and terms take on new meanings. Not too long ago, phrases such as ‘cool’ and ‘wicked’ meant something very different indeed. One of the most exciting changes in language in recent years involves our favourite little devices – our smartphones – and those handy little symbols that come packed along with them.

We’re talking about emoji. They’re cute, they’re easy to use, and they convey tonnes of character and meaning in one simple picture. How many do you use in your text messages every day? Probably a few! They’ve even had their own movie!

Emoji started life as part of early internet communication. Those of us old enough to have been chatting online during the 1990s will remember emoticons. Emoticons are still around, to some extent, but emoji have risen up to the forefront of this evolution in communications. An example of an emoticon could be :-) as a smiley face. Typing these characters together on a word processor still produces a smiley symbol to this day!

Emoji, however, continue to evolve. A recent announcement that hundreds of new symbols were heading to phones was a newsworthy event. How could we possibly have survived and got our meaning across in the past without our sloth emoji?! Sarcasm aside, however, it’s worth thinking about these little images as the future of language. We’re not joking – humour us a little.

Think about hieroglyphics and cave markings. These ancient carvings and paintings were once used, millennia ago, to communicate simple ideas through the medium of written expression. This is largely where written language evolved from. We’ve been lucky enough to be able to decode what many Egyptian hieroglyphics mean so that we can understand the past a little better. But what if we’re heading back towards an era of language through symbols? It’s entirely possible!

In 2015, the Oxford English Dictionary named the ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ emoji as their Word of the Year. This brought the emoji as language debate to the attention of a huge audience. Recognition by the OED meant this phenomenon was really in the mainstream. And it’s getting more sophisticated by the day. Some smartphones and devices will now even let you simplify your sentences by suggesting emoji which you can use in their place. That’s genuinely incredible language evolution in motion, and it may not stop there!

It would be incredible to see language go full circle – from complex pictures to simple symbols to pictures once again. They break down barriers too - no matter which language you speak, emoji are universally understood. The ‘Face With Tears of Joy’ emoji means ‘crying with laughter’ wherever you go in the world, and there are plenty more which offer similar effects. As a result, while we’re probably not going to say goodbye to our current written languages for some time yet, we may well be witnessing the early days of our next stage on linguistic evolution. It’s fascinating!

Emoji’s universality means they don’t require translating, so we don’t currently offer that service. We can however offer you our accurate and dependable certified translation service between all the regular (non-emoji) languages. To learn more, email our team today at

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