Transcript: Speaking Emoji | Aug 24, 2016

Nam sits in the studio. She's in her thirties, with shoulder-length curly brown hair. She's wearing glasses, a gray and black blazer over a purple blouse, and a silver pendant necklace.

A caption appears on screen. It reads "Speaking Emoji."

Nam says LAST YEAR THE OXFORD DICTIONARY
NAMED ONE WORD OF THE YEAR.
VIRTUALLY EVERY SYSTEM UPDATE
DOWNLOADS A WHOLE NEW BATCH OF
THEM.
AND WHAT WOULD TEXT MESSAGES BE
WITHOUT--EMOJIS?
SMILEY FACES, LITTLE DEVILS,
THUMBS UP--TO NAME A FEW.
SO ARE EMOJIS EVOLVING INTO A
LANGUAGE ALL THEIR OWN?
ALINE LARA REZENDE, CONTEMPORARY
ART AND DESIGN CURATOR, AND A
FELLOW IN GLOBAL JOURNALISM AT
THE MUNK SCHOOL OF GLOBAL
AFFAIRS, JOINS US TO FIGURE THIS
OUT.
WELCOME.

Aline Rezende is in her mid-thirties with short curly brown hair. She wears a black blazer.

Aline says THANK YOU.

Nam says I'M SO EXCITED TO TALK
ABOUT EMOJIS.

Aline says ME TOO.

Nam laughs and says AN EMOJI THAT I WAS TALKING
ABOUT IN THE OPENING IS THE
SMILEY FACE...

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam continues WITH THE TEARS.
AND THE OXFORD DICTIONARY NAMED
IT THE WORD OF THE YEAR.
ARE YOU SURPRISED BY THAT?

The caption changes to "Rise of a Wordless Tongue."

Aline says I THINK WE ALL WERE SURPRISED BY
AN EMOJI BEING NAMED THE WORD OF
THE YEAR.

The caption changes to "Aline Lara Rezende. Munk School of Global Affairs."

Aline continues I THINK IT HAS BEEN USED A LOT
BUT TO NAME IT A "WORD" WAS A
SURPRISE FOR EVERYBODY.

Nam says AND YOU'RE DOING A STORY ON
EMOJIS.

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says WHY?

Aline says WELL, I AM A DESIGNER AND MY
BACKGROUND IS IN VISUAL
COMMUNICATION.
SO I'M VERY INTERESTED IN WHAT
IMAGES ARE IN OUR SOCIETY RIGHT
NOW.
HOW IT BLEW UP IN 2015--IT WAS
NAMED LIKE THE YEAR OF THE
EMOJIS.
AND ALSO I'VE STUDIED IN JAPAN,
I DID MY MASTERS AND PHD IN
JAPAN--LIVED THERE FOR SIX
YEARS.
AND THERE IS WHERE IMAGES COME
FROM, THEY COME FROM JAPAN.
SO HOW ARE WE IN THE, YOU KNOW,
WESTERN SOCIETY USING THIS,
APPROPRIATING THESE SYMBOLS.
AND I WAS JUST CURIOUS ABOUT IT.

Nam says OH, DO YOU THINK THAT WE'RE
APPROPRIATING THEM?

Aline says WELL, THE WAY WE USE EMOJIS
AND THE WAY JAPANESE USE EMOJI
ARE A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT.

Nam says HOW SO?

Aline says HAVE DIFFERENT MEANINGS.

Nam says MM HMM.

Aline says UM...

Nam says WE'LL TALK MORE ABOUT THAT
IN A LITTLE BIT.

A large screen behind them shows a series of emojis.

Aline says WE'LL TALK ABOUT THAT--YEAH.
SO, SOMETIMES--SO, LET ME JUST
SAY THAT JAPANESE CULTURE HAS
THIS CULTURE OF KAWAII.
KAWAII MEANS LIKE ALL THIS CUTE
LITTLE--LIKE HELLO KITTY FOR
EXAMPLE, THESE CHARACTERS.
SO EMOJIS WERE PART OF THIS
WHOLE CULTURE.
AND FOR US IN THE WEST THIS WAS
KIND OF SILLY ICONS IN OUR
MOBILES.
BUT NOW IN 2015--THEY WERE LIKE
RELEASED FOR THE WEST IN 2007
WITH THE FIRST IPHONE.
AFTER WHAT?, EIGHT YEARS,
NOW WE HAVE THEM LIKE, ALMOST
LIKE UNIVERSAL, WE'RE USING IN
OUR COMMUNICATION.

Nam says IT'S AMAZING HOW MUCH, LIKE YOU
SEE EMOJIS EVERYWHERE.
I EVEN HEARD THAT THERE'S A
MOVIE COMING UP.
BUT WHAT IS THE DEFINITION OF
EMOJI?

Aline says RIGHT, SO, EMOJI--"E" LIKE IN
JAPANESE IT STANDS FOR PICTURE,
AND "MOJI" IS CHARACTER.
SO IT'S THIS CHARACTER THAT WE,
WE TALK THROUGH JUST THIS
PICTURE--THIS IMAGE.

Nam says AND I ALWAYS GET CONFUSED
BETWEEN EMOJI AND EMOTICON.
Aline says Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says SO WHAT CAME FIRST?
AND WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE
BETWEEN THOSE TWO?

Aline says SO EMOTICONS CAME FIRST.
THE DIFFERENCE THAT EMOTICONS
ARE THE--YOU KNOW THE LITTLE
FACES YOU DO WITH PUNCTUATION.
YOU USE THE COLON, SEMI-COLON
AND THEN THE PARENTHESES AND IT
MEANS THE SMILE, AND THESE ARE
EMOTICONS.
AND WHEN YOU HAVE THE LITTLE
DRAWINGS, THE ICONS, THEY
ARE EMOJIS.

Nam says SO EMOTICONS DEAL MORE
LIKE WITH EMOTIONS, RIGHT?

Aline says BOTH.

Nam says YEAH?

Aline says BOTH YOU'RE EXPRESSING EMOTIONS,
RIGHT?
YOU'RE SENDING A SMILE, YOU'RE
SENDING ANGER FACES.
BUT EMOJIS, LET'S SAY YOUR
VOCABULARY IS MUCH LARGER THAN
WHAT YOU CAN DO WITH AN
EMOTICON.

Nam says BUT YOU KNOW WHAT I'VE REALIZED
BECAUSE I USED EMOJIS SO MUCH...
SOMETIMES WHEN I ACTUALLY WANT
TO, LIKE, EXPRESS MYSELF, OR
EVEN TO SPELL SOMETHING, NOW I
HAVE DIFFICULTY DOING THAT.

Aline says DO YOU?

Nam says YES!

Aline chuckles.

Nam continues BUT HOW DO YOU THINK THAT
TECHNOLOGY HAS ACCELERATED THE
USE OF EMOJIS AND EMOTICONS?

Aline says SO--WELL THERE'S NO USE OF
EMOJIS WITHOUT TECHNOLOGY.
YOU SEE WE USE EMOJIS IN OUR
SMARTPHONES TEXT MESSAGES,
THEY CAN ALSO BE USED IN THE
COMPUTER, SENDING LIKE EMAILS,
GOOGLE LIKE GMAIL HAS THEIR OWN
SET OF EMOJIS.
YOU ALSO HAVE THEM NOW ON
FACEBOOK, IN A WAY OF HOW YOU
REACT TO POSTS.
BEFORE IT WAS JUST A "THUMBS
UP," SO YOU LIKED THE POST.
AND JUST LAST YEAR THEY RELEASED
A WHOLE SET OF EMOJIS SAYING IF
YOU LIKE THE POST, IF YOU'RE
ANGRY ABOUT THE POST,
IF YOU LOVE THE POST.
SO YOU NEED THE TECHNOLOGY TO
YOU USE THAT.
AND I KNOW THAT LAST YEAR ONE
NEWSPAPER IN THE UNITED STATES
TRIED TO USE EMOJI ON THEIR
PRINTED VERSION.
SO THEY HAD LIKE THIS TRAGIC
NEWS AND CLOSE TO IT THERE WAS
THIS SAD EMOJI.
AND THEY HAD LIKE A HUGE
REACTION FROM THE PUBLIC--LIKE
BAD REACTION OF COURSE, BECAUSE
IT'S LIKE, "SO WHAT NOW
JOURNALISTS ARE TELLING US HOW
WE HAVE TO FEEL ABOUT NEWS.
LIKE WE CAN UNDERSTAND HOW TO
FEEL IF IT'S A TRAGEDY OR NOT."
"SO WE DON'T NEED ANYONE TO TELL
US,"
SO EMOJIS HOW YOU FEEL AND
YOU SEND TO SOMEONE,
IT'S NOT SOMEONE TELLING
YOU HOW YOU SHOULD FEEL.

Nam says AND ALSO TOO COULD IT BE
THAT EMOJIS SOMETIMES CAN BE
SEEN AS MAKING LIGHT OF
SOMETHING.
SO, IF YOU PUT IN EMOJI IT'S
KIND OF LIKE, "OH," YOU KNOW,
IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS OR...

The caption changes to "When Words Fail."

Aline says WELL, SOMETIMES, I MEAN BUT IT
CAN ALSO SERVE AS CLARIFICATION
OF WHAT YOU MEAN WITH THAT
SENTENCE.
AND I THINK THIS IS HOW MOST OF
THE PEOPLE USE.
I PERSONALLY USE IT LIKE THIS,
LIKE SO IF YOU WRITE A SENTENCE
AND YOU DON'T PUT EMOJI
THERE--IT'S NOT THAT I USE IT
ALL THE TIME, BUT WHEN I USE IT
THERE'S AN INTENTION TO THAT TO
SAY--WELL, THIS IS FUNNY, FOR
EXAMPLE THE TEAR OF JOY EMOJI
FOR SURE IT'S A JOKE.
YOU KNOW, SOMEONE IS LAUGHING AT
WHAT YOU'RE SAYING.
SO I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S JUST
MAKING LIGHT OF IT, YOU CAN ALSO
MAKE, YOU KNOW, JUST SEND LIKE
ANGRY FACES.

Nam says IT ALSO MAKES SENSE TOO
BECAUSE WHEN WE'RE TALKING IN
PERSON YOU CAN SEE MY FACE...

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says MY REACTIONS, AND THEN NOW
WE'RE DOING A LOT OF THINGS, A
LOT OF COMMUNICATION THROUGH THE
COMPUTER...

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says YOU KNOW, ON TEXT, SO YOU
MIGHT NOT GET THE MEANING BEHIND
IT, LIKE THE OTHER--YOU KNOW.

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says I JUST WANT TO GO THROUGH SOME
OF THE POPULAR EMOJIS.

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says THE FIRST ONE IS THE SMILEY
FACE.

Aline says YEAH.

Nam says AND THEN THE NEXT ONE WE
HAVE IS A SMILING THING OF POOP.

Aline says MM HMM.

Nam chuckles.

Nam says AND THE NEXT ONE WE HAVE IS
THE EGGPLANT.

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says AND THE LAST ONE IS THE
KIMOJI...

Aline says MM HMM.

Nam says--WHICH IS NAMED AFTER KIM
KARDASHIAN, AND APPARENTLY THIS
IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR ONES.
THOSE EMOJIS THAT WE'VE
TALKED ABOUT, ARE THESE
UNIVERSALLY UNDERSTOOD?

Slates show the emojis mentioned.

Aline says THE SMILEY FACE, OF COURSE,
RIGHT?
LIKE EVERYBODY UNDERSTANDS IT'S
A HAPPY FACE.
THE SMILEY POOP ACTUALLY IS THE
MOST POPULAR EMOJI IN CANADA.
AND IT MEANS SOMETHING DIFFERENT
HERE...
AND IN JAPAN FOR EXAMPLE, WHERE
IT WAS CREATED.
IN JAPAN THIS MEANS THIS CAN BE
A TOKEN OF GOOD LUCK, AND THEY
ALSO HAVE THESE LITTLE
TALISMANS,
THEY SELL IN TEMPLES IN
JAPAN--SO IT'S PART OF
THEIR CULTURE, IT
MEANS SOMETHING ELSE.
HERE WE USE THEM WITH, "OH
SHIT."
YOU KNOW, "OH, JUST MESSED UP
SOMETHING."
AND THEN YOU SEND THIS EMOJI, SO
THERE IS A DIFFERENCE THERE.

Nam says THAT IS FASCINATING.

Aline says YEAH, AND FOR THE EGGPLANT
THAT'S A FUNNY STORY THAT--YOU
KNOW, I--THERE ARE SO MANY TEXTS
THAT EXPLAIN THAT THIS EGGPLANT
EMOJI HAS BEEN USED IN SEXTING,
SO THERE IS...

Nam says AND SEXTING IS WHEN YOU
SEND LIKE A SEXUAL MESSAGE.

Aline says SEXUAL MESSAGES, AND SO
IT'S RELATED TO THE SHAPE OF THE
EGGPLANT.
AND THEY USE IT AS A PENIS IN
THEIR MESSAGES.

Nam says AND THE LAST ONE, THE
KIMOJI, DOES EVERYONE KNOW WHAT
THAT IS?

Nam chuckles.

Aline says SO, I DON'T KNOW--LIKE I DIDN'T
KNOW THAT EVEN LIKE KIM
KARDASHIAN WOULD HAVE LIKE AN
APP--THIS IS AN APP, YOU HAVE TO
BUY THIS APP.
AND IT HAS BEEN
DOWNLOADED, I DON'T KNOW
HOW--LIKE MILLIONS OF TIMES--AND
PEOPLE PAY FOR IT.
YOU KNOW, EMOJIS ARE FREE ON
YOUR PHONE, AND I THINK IT WAS A
BRILLIANT MOVE ON HER PART TO
GET INTO THIS MARKET, I MEAN,
SHE'S THE ONE MAKING MONEY WITH
THIS.
BECAUSE YOU SEE EMOJIS ARE NOT
COMMERCIALIZED.
SO I DON'T KNOW IF PEOPLE IN
OTHER PARTS OF THE WORLD, OUT OF
THE UNITED STATES, WOULD KNOW
HOW TO USE THE KIM KARDASHIAN'S
EMOJIS.

Nam says THAT'S ANOTHER LAYER I LEARNED
WHEN I WAS DOING THIS RESEARCH
IS THERE'S THIS HUGE BUSINESS
BEHIND EMOJIS.
THERE'S EVEN LIKE A GROUP THAT
CONTROLS IT, LIKE THE UNICODE...

Aline says UNICODE.

Nam says YEAH.

Aline says BUT THE UNICODE IS A
NOT-FOR-PROFIT...

Nam says AND THEY'VE BEEN AROUND FOR
A LONG TIME, RIGHT?

Aline says YES, THEY'RE LIKE THIS COMPANY
THAT--HOW SAY, THEY STANDARDIZED
THE EMOJIS CHARACTERS SO THEY
CAN BE USED IN DIFFERENT SETS OF
SMARTPHONES, COMPUTERS--THEY
CAN BE READ.
SO IT'S A CODE IN YOUR COMPUTER
THAT WHEN YOU TYPE THIS
CHARACTER IT WILL APPEAR FOR YOU
AND FOR ME THE SAME CHARACTER,
SO IT HAS TO HAVE A STANDARD.
AND THEY ALSO, THEY SELECT WHICH
KINDS OF EMOJIS WILL COME NEXT.
SO YOU SEE WITH THE LAST RELEASE
OF THE APPLE'S IPHONE
OPERATIONAL SYSTEM THEY HAVE A
SET OF EMOJIS THAT CAME WITH IT,
LIKE 150, I GUESS, NEW EMOJIS
CAME.
AND THAT INVOLVED ALSO LIKE
RACE, SO THEY HAVE NOW NOT JUST
YELLOW FACES, YOU HAVE ALL THE
DIFFERENT COLOURS, AND ALSO
FUNNY ONES LIKE UNICORNS,
LIONS, AND ALSO THE FLIP
MID-FINGER THAT YOU CAN ALSO,
YOU KNOW, SEND.
AND SO THIS UNICODE COMPANY THEY
SELECT WHICH ONES COME OR NOT,
AND THEY HAVE A PLAN OF
RELEASING 60 NEW IMAGES EVERY
YEAR FROM NOW ON.
SO NOW WE HAVE ABOUT MORE THAN
1,000 EMOJIS ALREADY.

Nam says WOW.

Aline says YES.

Nam says WE HAVE ANOTHER IMAGE, AND THIS
ONE IS A TEXT MESSAGE
CONVERSATION USING EMOJIS.
AND THE QUESTION IS:

A text message reads "Hi. What’s happening tonight?"

Nam says WHAT IS THE EMOJI RESPONSE?

Aline says SO, YES--SO USUALLY
PEOPLE SAY--WANT TO TRANSLATE
THIS AS A SENTENCE BUT EVERYONE
CAN INTERPRET THIS IN A
DIFFERENT WAY.
THE WAY I AM SEEING THIS IS LIKE
YOU HAVE A LITTLE PRESENT OVER
THERE, AND YOU HAVE THE BIRTHDAY
CAKE, BALLOON, AND A BOW.
SO I WOULD SAY THERE'S A
BIRTHDAY PARTY TONIGHT FOR MY
DAUGHTER.

Nam chuckles.

Aline laughs and continues OR I'LL GOT TO A GIRL'S BIRTHDAY
PARTY, OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS.

Nam says DOES THE ORDER OF THE EMOJIS AT
ALL MATTER?

Aline says WELL, YOU KNOW, THIS--THERE'S
ONE RESEARCHER FROM STANFORD
UNIVERSITY WHO STUDIED EMOJIS
AND EMOTICONS FOR HIS PHD
STUDIES--HE'S A LINGUIST, AND HE
SAYS THERE IS A PATTERN ON HOW
WE USE EMOJIS AND THE ORDER OF
IT.
BUT HE RELATES THIS TO THE ORDER
OF THE EMOJIS IN RELATION TO
YOUR SENTENCE.
LIKE YOU WRITE THE TEXT AND THEN
AFTER YOU PUT THE EMOJI.
IT'S NOT LIKE YOU PUT THE EMOJI
FIRST AND THEN YOU WRITE,
YOU KNOW.
SO IN TERMS OF LIKE A SEQUENCE
OF EMOJIS I DON'T THINK IT
CHANGE THE MEANING OF WHATEVER
YOU WANT TO SAY IF YOU PUT THE
PRESENT FIRST AND THE BIRTHDAY
CAKE LATER, OR--YOU KNOW...
Nam says IT'S MORE ABOUT THE FEEL.

Aline says IT'S MORE ABOUT THE FEEL,

Nam says RIGHT.
BUT COULD AN EMOJI, LIKE, VISUAL
LANGUAGE DEVELOP WITH A
GRAMMATICAL STRUCTURE?

Aline says WELL, SO THEY--IT'S TWO
DIFFERENT QUESTIONS.
SO THEY'RE A VISUAL
COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE FOR
SURE, BECAUSE THEY HAVE MEANINGS
IN ITSELF.
WHEN YOU LOOK AT THEM YOU CAN
UNDERSTAND SOMETHING.
BUT THE GRAMMAR STRUCTURE THEN
IS SOMETHING ELSE.
THEY DON'T HAVE A GRAMMAR
STRUCTURE RIGHT NOW, THEY DON'T
HAVE ANY SET OF RULES OF HOW TO
USE EMOJIS.
YOU DON'T HAVE LIKE VERBS AND
OBJECTS AND SUBJECTS, YOU JUST
HAVE THESE EMOTIONS THAT YOU
EXPLAIN, OR FUNNY, LIKE THIS
PRESENT, BUT YOU DON'T NEED TO
COMBINE THEM IN ANY SPECIFIC
ORDER, THEY DO NOT FORM SENTENCE
BY THEMSELVES.
THEY ARE MEANING IN ITSELF, JUST
ONE CHARACTER.
OR IF YOU COMBINE THEM TOGETHER
YOU CAN, OF COURSE, RETAIN
MEANING FOR THAT BUT IT DOESN'T
FORM A SENTENCE.

Nam says AND WHO ARE EMOJIS MOST POPULAR
WITH?

Aline says WELL, I'M GUESSING LIKE THE MOST
POPULAR--LIKE USER OF EMOJIS
WOULD BE AMONG YOUNG PEOPLE
BECAUSE THEY ARE TEXTING ALL
THE TIME.

The caption changes to "Not just for kids."

Aline continues BUT I THINK THIS IS NOT--YOU
KNOW, MY MOM USES IT, YOU KNOW,
AND I DON'T THINK THIS IS
RELATED TO AGE ANYMORE.
AND THERE'S A, LIKE A, KIND OF,
MISUNDERSTANDING THAT YOUNG
PEOPLE WILL TRANSLATE EMOJIS OR
UNDERSTAND--COMMUNICATE IN THIS
LANGUAGE BETTER THAN US...

Nam laughs.

Aline laughs and continues THE OLDER GENERATION, YES.

Laughing, Nam says THAN US OLDER
PEOPLE?

Aline continues BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S TRUE,
THEY JUST HAVE A SET OF EMOJIS
THEY WILL USE IN A DIFFERENT WAY
THAN WE DO.
YOU KNOW, INSTEAD OF JUST USING
THE SMILEY FACE THEY WILL USE
SOMETHING ELSE.

Nam says DO YOU THINK THEY'VE BECOME
MORE ACCEPTABLE TO BE USED IN
THE WORKPLACE?

Alice says NO, I WOULDN'T SAY THAT.
BUT WE DON'T USE A LOT OF EMOJIS
FOR PROFESSIONAL COMMUNICATION.

Nam says I NEVER USED TO SEE LIKE
SMILEY FACES OR ANYTHING,
I MEAN, THERE WAS ONCE UPON A
TIME IF YOU USED AN
EXCLAMATION POINT IT
WAS LIKE, "AHH!," YOU KNOW.

Aline says YEAH.

Nam says BUT NOW SOME OF MY WORK
EMAILS--I PUT SMILEY FACES, AND
YOU KNOW.
BUT JUST BETWEEN YOUR VERY CLOSE
COLLEAGUES...

Nam says YEAH, YEAH.

Alice says LIKE IF IT'S FOR YOUR BOSS, OR
IF YOU'RE SENDING AN
APPLICATION, LIKE, "I REALLY
WANT THIS JOB," YOU WILL NOT
USE, LIKE, THUMBS UP OR
SOMETHING TO, YOU KNOW, YOU
WANT--I DON'T THINK PEOPLE USE
THIS FOR PROFESSIONAL
COMMUNICATION.

Nam says AND HOW HAVE EMOJIS EVOLVED
SINCE LIKE THE SMILEY FACE?

Alice says WELL, IT'S A LONG PROCESS AND I
THINK IT'S BEING POLITICIZED A
LOT.
IT BEGAN WITH, YOU KNOW,
COMPLAINTS ABOUT RACE, AND LIKE,
"I'M NOT REPRESENTED HERE."
AND THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION OF
REPRESENTATION MATTERS.
SO NOW YOU HAVE THIS DIFFERENT
COLOURS OF FACES, AND NOW ALSO
HAVE A REPRESENTATION OF CURLY
HAIR FOR US...

Nam says YAY!

Nam giggles.

A slate shows curly hair and thumps up emojis from different races.

Aline says YOU CAN SEND CURLY HAIR
EMOJIS--AND SO ON.
LIKE NOW, LIKE SINCE I
STARTED MY RESEARCH IN THIS I'VE
BEEN SEEING A LOT OF DISCUSSION
ON--FOR EXAMPLE, NATIONAL
EMOJIS, LIKE, "WHAT?"
SO I KNOW IN OUR MOBILES WE HAVE
THESE SETS OF FLAGS.
BEFORE THEY HAD JUST A FEW, NOW
WE HAVE A BUNCH, LIKE I THINK
ALMOST COUNTRY HAVE A FLAG,
N THE EMOJI SET THAT WE HAVE
NOW.
BUT I'M TALKING ABOUT GOING
FURTHER THAN THIS, LIKE
FINLAND
IS DEVELOPING THEIR NATIONAL
EMOJI CHARACTERS.

Nam says OH YEAH, THEY HAD THE
HEAD-BANGING ONE, RIGHT?

Aline says HEAD-BANGING...

Nam says BECAUSE THEY LIKE HEAVY METAL.

Aline says AND THE SAUNA, LIKE
COUPLE IN A SAUNA.
AND I THOUGHT LIKE, THAT'S
REALLY...

Chuckling, Nam says AND THE NOKIA
PHONE.

Aline says THE NOKIA PHONE, THAT'S REALLY
FUNNY.

Nam says YEAH.

Aline says SO THEY RELEASED JUST THREE SO
FAR, LIKE FOR THE PRESS.
BUT THIS CAME FROM THE
GOVERNMENT, AND FROM THEIR, YOU
KNOW, DIPLOMATIC BODY THAT
RELEASED IT.
AND IT'S LIKE...
THAT'S A, YOU KNOW--FUNNY TO SAY
THE LEAST, LIKE HOW BIG THIS IS
BECOMING, IT'S--BOOMING.

Nam says IT'S NOT JUST FOR KIDS
ANYMORE, RIGHT?

Aline says IT'S NOT FOR KIDS ANYMORE.

Nam says BUT I ALSO HEARD THAT THERE'S
BEEN LIKE CASES WHERE
PEOPLE--CHARGES HAVE BEEN
BROUGHT UP ON PEOPLE FOR WHAT
THEY'RE TEXTING.

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THAT?

Aline says SO THIS WAS IN A CASE IN THE
UNITED STATES THAT THEY SAID
LIKE, EMOJIS MATTER,
SO IT WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT
AN EMOJI WAS PRESENTED IN COURT.
SO IT WAS NOT OF COURSE, IT WAS
NOT STANDING ALONE, NOT THE
SYMBOL ITSELF, IT WAS WITH THE
WHOLE MESSAGE.
BUT THE MESSAGE WAS LIKE A
HATRED MESSAGE, OR YOU KNOW, SAY
LIKE THE GUY WAS--IT WAS A RAGE
MESSAGE AND THERE WAS THIS
EMOJI, IT WAS A GUN.
AND THEN THE POLICE FELT THAT
WAS A THREAT AND THEY USED THIS
MESSAGE ON COURT, JUST TO SAY,
YOU KNOW, HE USED A GUN OR HE
USED THIS ANGER FACE.
SO NOW THERE'S THIS DISCUSSION,
IS THIS BEING TAKEN SERIOUSLY?
SO, SHOULD WE BE AWARE OF THIS,
SHOULD WE, YOU KNOW, CONSIDER
THIS WHEN SENDING EMOJIS?

Nam says I GUESS IF IT'S WORDS,
BECAUSE WORDS MATTER.
AND THEN I GUESS IMAGES--BUT
THEN IT ALSO BRINGS UP THE
QUESTION OF WHY WOULD THEY HAVE
CERTAIN IMAGES, LIKE, IN
THE--LIKE THE GUN...

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says--IF YOU'RE NOT SUPPOSED TO
USE IT WHY WOULD IT BE THERE,
SHOULD IT EVEN BE AVAILABLE, YOU
KNOW...

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says--RIGHT?

Aline says YEAH.

Nam says EMOJIS AREN'T THE FIRST
SO-CALLED LIKE ARTIFICIAL
LANGUAGE.
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT ESPERANTO?

The caption changes to "Artificial Lingo."

Aline says YES, SO ESPERANTO WAS A
LANGUAGE CREATED BY A POLISH
DOCTOR.
I STARTED READING A LITTLE BIT
ABOUT ESPERANTO AND TRYING TO
COMPARE ESPERANTO USE, OR UTOPIA
OF ESPERANTO WITH EMOJIS RIGHT
NOW--WHY?
CAUSE EMOJIS--SORRY, ESPERANTO
WAS CREATED TO BE LIKE AN
UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE, A LANGUAGE
VERY EASY TO LEARN WITH COMMON
WORDS FROM OTHER LANGUAGES, LIKE
LATIN FOR EXAMPLE OR ENGLISH,
WORDS THAT PEOPLE COULD
RECOGNIZE ALREADY.
AND VERY SIMPLE GRAMMAR
STRUCTURE.
SO THE IDEA OF THIS DOCTOR WAS
TO CREATE A LANGUAGE THAT PEOPLE
COULD COMMUNICATE AND BREAK THIS
COMMUNICATION BARRIER--THIS WAS
AFTER WAR.
IN THE MIDDLE OF, YOU KNOW,
POLAND.
AND THERE WAS LIKE LOTS OF
DIFFERENT IMMIGRANTS, SO THEY
COULDN'T COMMUNICATE FREELY, AND
IT'S LIKE, "WELL, BUT HOW ARE WE
GONNA IMPOSE SOMEONE ELSE TO
LEARN THIS LANGUAGE?"
LET'S SAY, YOU KNOW, POLISH, OR
GERMAN, OR WHATEVER.
VERY DIFFICULT TO LEARN, AND
THEN HE TRIED TO CREATE THIS
AND SO THIS DREAM OF HAVING
ONE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE,
IT'S, YOU KNOW...

Nam says YOU DON'T THINK IT COULD BE
DONE?

Aline says I THINK IT'S NOT EVEN
HEALTHY TO AIM FOR THAT...

Nam says WHY?

Aline says YOU KNOW, LIKE I'VE BEEN
STUDYING LANGUAGE FOR SOME TIME
NOT AS LIKE MY PROFESSIONAL
LIFE, BUT BECAUSE I'VE BEEN
LIVING ABROAD FOR SOME TIME NOW.
AND I'VE STUDIED LIKE FIVE
DIFFERENT LANGUAGES APART FROM
MY NATIVE LANGUAGE, THAT'S
PORTUGUESE.
AND IT'S REALLY FASCINATING HOW
MUCH YOU LEARN FROM OTHER
CULTURES THROUGH LANGUAGE.
YOU KNOW, HOW PEOPLE THINK, HOW
THEY COMMUNICATE.
CAN GIVE SEVERAL EXAMPLES, LIKE
IF YOU THINK ABOUT THE
JAPANESE--FOR ME THIS IS ONLY MY
INTERPRETATION, MY OWN
EXPERIENCE--BUT IN JAPANESE
LANGUAGE THE VERB FOR EXAMPLE
COMES IN THE END OF THE
SENTENCE.
AND FOR ME THAT EXPLAINED A LOT
OF WHY THEY ARE SO PATIENT.

Nam chuckles.

Aline continues YOU KNOW, THEY HAVE TO WAIT
UNTIL YOU COMPLETE YOUR SENTENCE
FOR THEM TO REACT.
BECAUSE OTHERWISE THEY WILL NOT
KNOW WHAT YOU'RE TALKING ABOUT.

The caption changes to "A Global Language?"

Aline continues AND THIS IS NOT TRUE OF ENGLISH
OR FOR PORTUGUESE FOR EXAMPLE.
LIKE WE CAN START A SENTENCE AND
SOMEONE WILL COME AND TALK ON
TOP OF US BECAUSE THEY KNOW
ALREADY WHAT WE MEAN.
SO IT'S JUST ONE NUANCE, BUT
IMAGINE IF WE HAVE ONE ONLY
LANGUAGE TO EVERYBODY, SO...

Nam says BUT WOULDN'T ONE LANGUAGE
UNITE PEOPLE, AND WE'D HAVE ONE
COMMONALITY.

Aline says WELL, IT'S--IT'S, YES--YES.

Nam chuckles.

Aline says YEAH IT WOULD BUT I DON'T
BELIEVE IN THIS, YOU KNOW,
IT ALSO CAN BLEND A LOT OF
THINGS, MEANINGS, EMOTIONS,
AND LIKE NUANCES OF CULTURE.
AND EVEN COMPARING, FOR EXAMPLE,
WHEN I'M SPEAKING IN ENGLISH AND
WHEN I'M SPEAKING IN MY NATIVE
TONGUE, THAT'S PORTUGUESE, IT'S
TOTALLY DIFFERENT, YOU KNOW.
OF COURSE I CAN EXPRESS MEANING
AND STUFF, BUT THERE'S SOME
WORDS IN PORTUGUESE THAT'S NOT
TRANSLATABLE, AND I DON'T KNOW
HOW TO EXPRESS IN ANY OTHER
LANGUAGE.
IT'S NOT ABOUT JUST TRANSLATING
WORDS, IT'S MORE THAN THAT.

Nam says IT'S ALSO, AGAIN, ABOUT A
FEELING I SUPPOSE.

Aline says YES.

Nam says I WANTED TO READ YOU WHAT
REPORTER NICK STOCKTON WROTE FOR
WIRED.COM LAST YEAR:

The slate changes to "Trendy slang or new language? Think about ‘groovy’ Think about ‘tubular’. Think about ‘wazzzzzzuuuuup,’ or Snoop Dogg’s -izzle slang, or people yelling ‘Yaeh Baby!’ at each other in fake British accents... Consider emoji in the context of all the other linguistic innovations people owe to digital communication... Human love language, and we love playing with language, and any time we find a new method of communicating we are going to play and experiment with it. At least for a while. The fate of emoji is the same as the fate of English." Quoted from "Nick Stock Stockton, Wired.com. June 24, 2015."

Nam says AND THEN HE HAS
THE EMOTICON, THE ONE...

Nam chuckles.

Aline says YEAH.

Nam says--WITH THE HANDS UP.

Nam says ARE EMOJIS A FAD?

Aline says HMM.
WELL, I WOULDN'T SAY THAT.
YOU KNOW, MAYBE IT IS--THEY'RE
TALKING TOO MUCH ABOUT IT IN THE
PAST COUPLE OF YEARS, LIKE 2015
AND NOW WITH THE MOVIE THAT'S
COMING UP IN 2017, I THINK
THERE'S TOO MUCH ATTENTION ON IT
RIGHT NOW.
BUT I DON'T THINK IT'S GONNA
JUST GO AWAY LIKE A SLANG,
OR IT'S JUST GONNA VANISH, I
DON'T THINK THIS IS GONNA
HAPPEN.

Nam says ARE EMOJIS HURTING LANGUAGE
OR DESTROYING LANGUAGE,
OR HELPING, OR...

Aline says I THINK IT'S HELPING.
I'M PRO-EMOJIS.
MY FRIENDS MAKE A LOT OF FUN OF
ME BECAUSE OF THIS.
ESPECIALLY LIKE HERE OR LIKE IN
CANADA, AND WHEN I WAS LIVING
NEW YORK LAST YEAR, EVERY
MESSAGE I'M SENDING THEM I SEND
AN EMOJI, AND PEOPLE ARE LIKE,
"WHY--LIKE YOU'RE A FAN OF THIS,
RIGHT?"
I SAID, "WELL, MAYBE I GOT THIS
CULTURE IN JAPAN BECAUSE THIS IS
HOW WE USED TO TALK THERE, AND I
LEARNED EMOJI LANGUAGE THERE."

Nam laughs.

Nam says YEAH.

Aline says BUT, YEAH, I DON'T THINK IT'S A
LANGUAGE PER SE, IT'S MORE LIKE
AN EXPRESSION.
I WOULD USE EMOJIS MUCH MORE
AS A PUNCTUATION MARK THAN...

Nam says LIKE WHIP CREAM ON A LATTÉ OR
SOMETHING.

Nam laughs.

Aline says RIGHT, RIGHT.

Nam says MOBY DICK
WAS TRANSLATED IN
EMOJI RECENTLY, HOW LIKELY ARE
WE TO SEE MORE WORKS OF FICTION
BEING TRANSLATED INTO EMOJI?

A white book appears. It shows a small Moby Dick emoji. The title reads "Emoji Dick."

Aline says Aline says AS I SAID, I DON'T THINK
IT'S A LANGUAGE PER SE, BUT WHEN
ALICE IN WONDERLAND
COMPLETED
ITS ANNIVERSARY OF 150 YEARS,
I GUESS.
THEY TRIED TO WRITE
ALICE IN
WONDERLAND
IN EMOJIS, AND--BUT
I MEAN, IT'S NOT FOR YOU TO PICK
AND READ IT, IT'S MORE LIKE HOW
CAN YOU USE THIS CHARACTER TO
TRANSLATE THIS CRAZY STORY AND
GO ON FOR THAT.
I DON'T THINK PEOPLE WILL READ
BOOKS IN EMOJI.

Nam says AND YOU SPEAK SEVERAL
LANGUAGES, RIGHT?

Aline says RIGHT.

Nam says HOW MANY LANGUAGES DO YOU SPEAK?

Aline says SO, WITH PORTUGUESE THERE'S SIX
LANGUAGES.

Nam says WOW, WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT
LANGUAGES--PERSONALLY?

Aline says SO, THAT--LIKE I SAID, IT'S
REALLY HARD TO LEARN SOMEONE
ELSE'S LANGUAGE.
RIGHT NOW I AM IN THE MIDDLE OF
LIKE STUDYING GERMAN BECAUSE I
LIVE IN AUSTRIA.
BUT IT'S REALLY TOUGH BECAUSE IT
GOES BEYOND WORDS, IT'S HOW YOU
USE THE WORDS.
LIKE I CAN'T EVEN COMPARE WITH
BRAZILIAN PORTUGUESE AND
PORTUGUESE FROM PORTUGAL.
SOME WORDS ARE JUST USED PLAINLY
DIFFERENT, SOME WORDS LIKE WE
USE IN BRAZIL THEY DON'T USE IN
PORTUGAL.
IN PORTUGAL THE WAY THEY USE FOR
US SOUNDS REALLY LIKE OUTDATED,
OLD-FASHIONED, AND SO ON.
SO UNTIL YOU GET TO THIS POINT
THAT YOU'RE LIKE REALLY FLUENT,
THAT YOU KNOW ALL THIS NUANCES,
IT'S FASCINATING, IT'S JUST VERY
INTERESTING.

Nam says AND OF COURSE, SINCE WE'RE
TALKING ABOUT EMOJIS,
AND YOUR SHIRT--WHAT IS
YOUR FAVOURITE EMOJI?

Aline says SO, YEAH--WELL...

They laugh.

Aline says WELL, I'M DRESSED IN THIS SHIRT,
I CAN SHOW YOU GUYS...

Nam says TWINSIES!

Aline opens her blazer and shows a white T-shirt with a stamped emoji of two girls wearing a sport suit raising one of her legs.

Aline says IT'S THE TWINSIES.
AND THEY ALSO--THEY'RE MY
FAVOURITE EMOJIS.

Nam says WHY?

Aline says I USE THEM--THE WAY I INTERPRET
THEM, THEY ARE LIKE GIRLFRIENDS
DOING STUFF TOGETHER, OR LIKE
LET'S--YOU KNOW, I DON'T KNOW,
WHEN YOU GO TO THE NAIL SALON
WITH YOUR FRIENDS, "YES," YOU
KNOW, "GIRLFRIEND TIME."
AND THEN I SEND THIS ONE, BUT
ACTUALLY IF YOU LOOK FOR THE
MEANING OF THIS ONLINE, IT'S
SOMETHING ELSE, YOU KNOW.

Nam says WHAT IS IT ONLINE?

Aline says THEY ARE LIKE TWO BUNNY
DANCERS...

Nam chuckles.

Aline says LIKE, COMPARED TO, YOU KNOW,
THE PLAYBOY BUNNIES
BEFORE, SO THEY'RE MORE
RELATED TO THIS, AND I--WELL, I
JUST RESEARCHED FOR THE SAKE OF
IT, I WAS CURIOUS BECAUSE OF
THIS STORY I'M DOING.
BUT THE WAY I USE IT IS
COMPLETELY DIFFERENT.

Nam says IT'S LIKE--I THINK WITH
EVERYTHING IT'S SUBJECTIVE,
RIGHT?

Aline chuckles and says YES.

Nam says THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR
BEING HERE ALINE.

Aline says WELL, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

Nam says IT'S BEEN A PLEASURE.

Aline says LIKEWISE.

Watch: Speaking Emoji