Keeping your business translation costs down

How to Make your Business Translation Budget go Further

The translation of technical documents, website content and marketing materials is a necessity for some projects, but it is often a cost that’s overlooked by UK businesses of every size. By the time you realise the importance of translation in the successful delivery of the project, most of the budget will be accounted for and you’ll want to spend it as little as possible to get it done. Sound familiar?

With 17 years’ experience in business translation and transcreation, we’ve picked up a few tips along the way to help you keep the cost of your translations down, while still receiving top quality work.

1. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Preparing your business translation project in advance and getting everything in place early will not only help to keep the costs down, but it will also reduce the turnaround times of the translations. Planning in advance allows you to do your research and find a provider you can trust (did we mention we work for organisations like Santander, Orange and Manchester United?), rather than digging around at the last minute and turning to the first translation team you can find.

This will give you the time to get all the relevant documents and information together, as the more information you can provide about the project, the more accurate the quote will be. You should also ensure that any documents you send us are the final copies, as any changes to the source materials during or after the translation process will inevitably add to the cost.

2. Get the documents to be translated in order

Over the years we have found it’s beneficial if you can spend an hour or so preparing the documents for translation before you send them to our team. To do this you should:

  • Proofread the copy to remove any mistakes or typos and make sure it is clear and concise;
  • Remove anything that is unnecessary or does not need to be translated for the intended target market – this includes references to UK culture, such as place names and phone numbers etc;

3. Send us the original documents

Sending us the original documents for your business translation means we do not have to spend time extracting the text and re-creating layouts. Documents that can be more difficult to work with include:

  • PDFs – It can take time extracting the text for translation and recreating the desired layout in Word. We can access a wide variety of files, so if you do have access to the original document, please send it over to our team.
  • Faxed and scanned documents – This type of document can present its own problems as the copies we receive can be grainy and difficult to read.
  • JPEGs and PNGs – When translating graphics and illustrations it is usually easier if we can access the original Photoshop (.psd) or CorelDraw (.cdr) file. The result is a faster and cheaper business translation.

4. Find a quality provider

You may well be able to find some dirt cheap translators out there, but in the translation sector you really get what you pay for. There’s nothing to stop someone with no qualifications or very little experience setting up as a translator. If you get a number of quotes and one of them is significantly cheaper, you probably need to ask why.

In the translation industry, there is a price under which it is impossible to deliver a high quality business translation. If you do receive a really cheap quote, it’s likely the company is using translators who are unqualified and sometimes not even native speakers. The result is a translation that is riddled with errors. You then have to pay twice to get the translation either repaired or completely redone.

How can we help?

Choosing a translator based solely on price is a false economy. At Linguistica International, we work with you to put all the necessary preparations in place to keep the cost of your business translation down. To discuss your project or for a quote, please call 02392 987 765 or email: info@linguistica-international.com today.

 

Where Does Language Exist in the Brain

Where Does Language Exist in the Brain?

This week at the Linguistica International blog, we’re going all highbrow with some real, genuine science. Don’t worry, normal service will be resumed soon, but for the next few minutes, we’re going to concern ourselves with where language actually exists in the brain. Externally, language is all around us, to quote a Wet Wet Wet song, ‘it’s everywhere we go’, but where does it actually exist inside us?

You probably won’t need us to tell you that the brain is a very clever thing. If you read a sentence about catching a ball, the neurons related to the motor function in your hands and arms will be activated in your brain. Pretty clever, right? The same can be said if you talk about eating chips, in this case the neurons related to smelling will fire up.

In life, language infiltrates our brains like no other skill. The truth is that it’s almost impossible to do anything without language, whether it’s simply following some instructions, or using our inner voice to talk us through every aspect of our lives.

The left side of the brain

More than a century ago, neurologists established that our capacity to use language is located in the left hemisphere of the brain, and more specifically, in Broca’s area (associated with speech production and articulation) and Wernicke’s area (associated with comprehension). Any damage to either of these areas, which can be caused b y a stroke or a head injury, can lead to speech problems and even a loss of language altogether.

However, in the last decade, researchers have discovered that it’s not quite as simple as that. Language is not just restricted to these two areas of the brain, or in fact just the one hemisphere. And even more startling still, they have learnt that the brain can actually grow when we learn a new language.

Different words trigger separate parts of the brain

In a recent study, neurologists tried to create a 3D atlas of words to show which words trigger each part of the brain.

The results show that a pattern exists in terms of the region of the brain that is triggered by particular word meanings. Although the research was conducted in the English language, previous research suggests that words with the same meaning in different languages will trigger the same parts of the brain.

Bilinguals are constantly suppressing a language

Evidence also emerged in an experiment in 1999 that bilingual speakers have different neural pathways for each of their languages, and that both are active when either language is used. This means that bilingual speakers are continuously subconsciously suppressing one of their languages to focus on the most relevant one. The research also shows that these neural pathways are imprinted on the brains of bilinguals forever, even if the second language is not used and subsequently lost after it has been used. So, even if we think we’ve lost the ability to speak a language, it’s footprints remain in the neurological pathways of our minds.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, our translators and interpreters are a clever bunch. With relevant professional qualifications and at least five years’ experience in the linguistics field, they use their native language skills to create communications that strike the right chord in any language. For more information, please call our team on 02392 987 765 or email info@linguistica-international.com today.

How user reviews can boost your business

How Localised User Reviews can Boost your Overseas Business

If you’re planning to enter a new market overseas then there are plenty of considerations for you to think about before you take the plunge. Perhaps one of the most cost effective and influential things you can do to add instant credibility to your business is to include user reviews on your new website from local users. The statistics show that 60 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase products or services from a website if it features reviews, so authentic, localised user reviews can really help you gain traction in a new market.

What does the research say?

The research by Reevoo revealed that a massive 88 percent of customers ‘always or sometimes’ consult customer reviews before making a purchase, while 48 percent said customer reviews were ‘influential’ in their decision. This compares to just 24 percent and 22 percent who said advertising and advice from sales assistants were influential in their decision respectively.

From the research, it’s clear that reviews play a critical part in the purchasing decisions of consumers, so making sure reviews are available in the local language could boost your chances of success.

The role of user reviews

Although customer reviews can range widely in their quality, usefulness and thoroughness, done well, can have a powerful effect on the behaviour of your customers. Authentic customer reviews support the credibility of your brand as it enters a new market. They can reiterate the benefits of your products and services and reassure customers that a particular product is right for them. The most powerful and believable way to do this is in the language and voice of the local consumer.

How do global preferences change?

Research has found that the way consumers use reviews varies between cultures. Research published in Digital Intelligence Today found that US consumers have more trust in reviews written by friends and acquaintances, while those here in the UK prefer reviews written by professionals and past customers.

In some of the markets UK businesses typically enter into, such as India, Malaysia and Brazil, 60 percent of consumers would seek an expert opinion before making a purchase. In the Middle East, there was also a preference for expert reviews. In China, there’s plenty of weight placed on customer reviews, with 40 percent online shoppers regularly reading and writing product and service reviews.

The importance of authenticity

Generally speaking, wherever they are in the world, consumers are excellent at spotting fake reviews. They are also less trusting of reviews they find on company-owned assets, such as websites, due to the editorial control the brand will have.

In the UK our cynicism shines through, with only 17 percent of consumers believing the reviews they find on company websites. In the more trusting (or perhaps naïve) US, 28 percent of consumers said they trusted the reviews they read on company websites.

As counterintuitive as it may seem, a negative review can actually be beneficial for a brand. Clearly more negative reviews than positive reviews will have a detrimental impact on sales, but a small number of negative reviews can actually engender trust from consumers and make the positive reviews more believable.

How can you create local language reviews?

Getting customers to leave reviews is often a case of ‘easier said than done’. Most customers will simply want to make their purchase and get on with other things. Those that are the keenest to write a review tend to be those who have something negative to say about their experience.

To get a customer who has a positive experience to leave a review, there are a number of different things you can do:

  • Ask customers to leave feedback;
  • Use the customer’s email address to send a follow-up email and request a review;
  • Incentivise customers to leave reviews – for example, by offering free products or money off in exchange for reviews.

How can we help?

If you want a number of user reviews for your launch into a new market, you can localise some of your existing reviews with the help of our expert transcreation and localisation team. While this strategy is not recommended in the longer term, it can provide the reassurance your new customers need while your brand becomes more established. For more information, please call 02392 987 765 or email: info@linguistica-international.com today.

5 International Marketing Facts from Around the World

5 International Marketing Facts from Around the World

Are you doing enough to market your online business to customers around the world?

Opportunities abound to sell your products and services to consumers overseas. But if you think taking a one-size fits all approach to your international marketing campaign is enough to attract customers from far and wide, you need to think again.

These 5 international marketing facts illustrate the true scale of the opportunity available; however, they also provide plenty of food for thought if you think your monolingual and monocultural marketing campaign will bring the international success you crave.

1. Asia has more internet users that North America and Western Europe put together

Source: We Are Social

If you’re planning to sell your wares overseas then East Asia is currently the biggest market you can enter. The costs of entering into the East or South Asian market will be higher than the North American market due to the wide range of different languages and preferences you will need to cater for. However, get it right and the rewards will certainly be worth it!

Local social media networks should also play an important part in your marketing strategy with 48 percent of people in East Asia and 37 percent in South East Asia active on social media.

2. Web traffic on mobiles is growing exponentially

It’s official: mobile phones are taking over the world. Although desktop computers and laptops still account for a greater proportion of the world’s web traffic, take a look at that smaller figure beneath the 56 percent. It shows that web page views on desktop computers and laptops have fallen by 9 percent year-on-year. Compare that to the year-on-year growth of web page views on mobiles of 21 percent, and you’ll soon see that marketing your products to international mobile users plays a key part in future proofing your business.

3. There’s more to social media than Facebook

If your international social media marketing efforts start and stop at Facebook, you’re missing out on a huge proportion of the market. Social networks like Pinterest and Twitter are immensely powerful marketing tools in the right hands, and are often more effective methods of advertising particular products and services than Facebook.

4. Facebook performs billions of translations – but are they any good?

Facebook’s automated translations service now performs 2 billion translations every day in 40 different languages. But, if you really want to engage prospective customers and clients overseas, is this really a service you can trust?

As with all automated translation services, Facebook falls a long way short of the kind of quality you can expect from a professional translation agency. It also doesn’t take into account the cultural and linguistic nuances that ensure your content strikes the right chord in your target market. But, if you’re happy to publish marketing content that’s less than 100 percent accurate, then at least it’s free, right?

5. Portuguese is the fast growing language on social media

English is the most used language on Facebook and Twitter, but other languages are starting to catch up. If you’re only using the English language to communicate with an international customer base on Facebook and Twitter, you’re missing out on an incredible amount of potential engagement.

On Facebook, Portuguese is the fast growing language, followed by Arabic and German. So, if you really want to deliver a message that chimes with your overseas customers, think about writing it in their language.

How can we help?

At Linguistica International, our mother tongue translation and localisation experts create messages that connect with your customers wherever they are. For more information, please get in touch with our team today.

Language provides a window into national culture

How Language Usage Provides a Window into National Culture

There’s little doubt that language and culture are closely related, with some linguists even going as far as to describe language as a verbal expression of culture. The evolution of language and culture has gone hand in hand, so it’s hardly surprising that a complex and deeply ingrained relationship has developed between the two.

The expression of our thoughts is through language, but our thought processes are also affected by the language we use. For this reason, it is nearly impossible to understand a country’s culture unless you can speak the language, then, through the idiosyncratic linguistic twist and turns, you soon get a feel for the culture.

The link between language and our thoughts

It stands to reason that the more time we spend thinking about particular subjects, the more words we’re likely to have to express these thoughts. The French are famous for their love of food. This fixation has resulted in such a broad food-related vocabulary that restaurants around the world borrow from the French to fill gaps in their own language. For example, how many times do the words canapé, terrine or quenelles form part of our very own culinary lexicon? Just watch MasterChef and you’ll soon find out.

The Mongolian people have a different fixation. As nomadic herders, they spend much of their time thinking about their animals. The result is an unusually large vocabulary to describe the health and condition of their animals.

Japan’s unique national culture

Anyone who takes the long flight to Japan will find the politeness of the people alone is well worth the trip. The level of politeness, deference and respect in the country is unlike anywhere else on earth. This culture is communicated by a language that has huge capacity for social etiquette and apology. Even something as simple as declining an invitation in Japan is a long-winded process.

As well as a reputation for politeness, Japan, with its island climate, also shares a fascination with the weather with us Brits. While words such as inclement, balmy and muggy are pretty tough to beat, the Japanese certainly do not want for choice. With single words for winter rain (凍雨), spring rain (春雨) and even regional rain (局地的な雨), Japan must be a pretty wet place.

Korean collectivism

The Koreans are renowned for their collectivism around the world, and this manifests in an increased usage of ‘we’ rather than ‘me’. In fact, pronoun use in Korea is a world away from here in the UK. For example, Koreans tend to talk about ‘our workplace’ or ‘our school’, rather than using the singular ‘my’. Koreans even use the collective pronoun ‘we’ when expressing their own views or opinions.

In the UK, where we are far more individualistic, this is known as the ‘royal we’, and is more of a linguistic mistake than anything else. In the US, a country even more individualistic in culture than the UK, you will rarely see collective pronoun use at all.

The importance of using mother tongue linguists

If you want to communicate loud and clear overseas, it’s essential you use a mother tongue linguist who understands the cultural nuances ingrained in the language. At Linguistica International, all our translators and interpreters translate into their mother tongue, which ensures the quality and cultural integrity of our work. For more information, please get in touch with our team by calling +44 2392 987 765 or emailing: info@linguistica-international.com today.

We put the emphasis on learning with sponsorship of local college awards

We are set to sponsor two of our local college’s awards later this month. Highlighting our commitment to providing educational opportunities and underlining the importance of languages in the modern world, Linguistica International, based in Hampshire, will help South Downs College’s annual ceremony reward students on the completion of another academic year. Scheduled for Friday 17 June, the awards will celebrate college students’ achievements over the last 12 months. Covering a whole range of curriculum areas such as modern languages, ICT, and performing arts, the awards ceremony will include the presentation of thirty awards, boast live music and a student art exhibition. Sponsoring the Media and Modern Foreign Language awards, Linguistica has donated prizes for the lucky winners at the event. Speaking about the upcoming ceremony, Carrie Wilson, Director of Linguistica said, “Supporting the local community is so important to us. We are proud of our heritage and are committed to sharing our successes with others in the local area. South Downs College is one of the best colleges in the whole country, boasting higher than average success rates and a commitment to supporting lifelong learning within the community. Sharing our vision to support up and coming talent within the sector, as well as promote the learning of languages, we are very excited to be working with the college and look forward to the evening.” Despite an increasingly globalised world, the lack of language skills has recently hit the headlines. A report by the University of Cambridge suggested that the decline in languages is having a major political and economic impact. Calling for the government to have a rethink over its approach to language learning, it followed news that a major exam board was to stop offering GCSEs and A Levels in French, Spanish and German. South Downs College is a Further Education College located in Waterlooville, Hampshire. Offering a wide range of courses, including Vocational and A level, it has a long history of providing outstanding education to enable students to fulfil their potential.

Rising and falling word counts

The Rising and Falling Word Counts of Translated Documents

Writers, translators, proofreaders and other professions that work predominantly with words tend to deal in word counts. It’s like linguistic quantity surveying. If you want something written, the writer will usually charge you based on an estimated word count, as they can equate this to the amount of time the piece will take. It’s much the same in the field of translation. However, one linguistic quirk translators have to account for is the lengthening and shortening of documents translated from one language into another. In the trade, this is termed text expansion and contraction.

Experienced translators will know that when translated from English, some target languages will almost always end up with more words than the original, while others will have fewer. For example, the average document with 1,000 Arabic words will end up with approximately 1,250 English words. That is text expansion. On the other hand, a 1,000 English document translated into Danish will usually have around 900 words. That is text contraction.

Why does text expand and contract?

There are a number of different reasons. Anyone who has studied languages will know that sentence structure, syntax, word usage and terminology can vary greatly. The subject matter can also play a part in the contraction or expansion of the text.

The famously efficient Germans are equally efficient in their use of language. While a technical or legal text will typically expand by 20 percent when translated from German into English, a data sheet or parts list could expand by as much as 40 percent.

Pricing problems

The lengthening and shortening of documents can cause some translation agencies problems when it comes to pricing projects. Some agencies charge their clients on a ‘target’ word count rate. This is based on the number of words in the completed translation. For this reason, it can helpful if the client understands a little about text contraction and expansion rates to avoid a nasty shock.

A company looking to have a piece of text translated from English to Japanese might be surprised when the target word count is as much as 60 percent more than the original word count. That will have a considerable impact on the cost of the translation.

Most agencies will charge based on the ‘source’ word count. That’s the number of words contained in the original document. In that case, text contraction and expansion will not affect the price, but it will determine the length of the translated document.

When words can’t be counted

Another potential issue translation agencies face when pricing projects is that the documents are not always sent in a format that allows the words to be counted. Documents can be faxed over, be in graphic form or even be handwritten, which can make it difficult and time consuming to count the number of words present.

In this case, most agencies will tend to price the project based on the ‘target’ word count. This saves them the time counting each word manually, which is clearly not a sensible approach when faced with a 10,000 word research paper. Again, having an idea of how the text will contract and expand can be beneficial.

Document formatting

The extent to which text expands or contracts after translation is also important for designers and publishers. In many cases, a publisher or designer will need to know whether the text will fit into the space they have left on a website or artwork file. The expansion or contraction of the text could make the block of text too big or too small to fit in the allotted space.

Text expansion and contraction in practice

Source Language Target Language Text Expansion Text Contraction
English Arabic 25%
Arabic English 25%
English Finnish 25-30%
Finnish English 30-40%
English Danish 10-15%
Danish English 10-15%
English Swedish 10%
Swedish English 10%
English Japanese 20-60% (varies by content)
Japanese English 10-55%

Get in touch today

If you’d like to know how the expansion or contraction of your text document could impact your project, please get in touch with our team. Give us a call on +44 2392 987 765 or email: info@linguistica-international.com today.

 

Could you crowdsource your translation project?

Could you Crowdsource your Translation Project with Confidence?

‘Crowdsource’ is one of those new fangled words created by the internet generation that is now creeping into everyday parlance.

Crowdsourcing, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is:

“The practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.”

Crowdsourcing is probably most commonly associated with business funding. Aspiring entrepreneurs put their ideas out there, and amateur investors can back the idea financially is they want to bring it to life. Crowdsourcing has also been used for non-commercial work and to develop common goods like Wikipedia.

So what does all this have to with translation? Well, until now, the worlds of crowdsourcing and translation have lived disparate lives, but now a number of high profile companies are changing all that by taking a crowdsourced approach to translating their content.

Why are some brands crowdsourcing their translation projects?

Crowdsourcing is an extremely risky approach to take on any translation project. By using dedicated translation platforms to enlist the services of amateur translators, the likelihood is you’ll receive a disjointed, inconsistent and inaccurate translation. So why are some brands choosing this option?

Companies that choose to crowdsource their translation projects are clearly prepared to compromise on quality in favour of cost and speed. For this reason, companies will only usually crowdsource content that is not brand-critical. It is often the case that the compromise on quality actually makes the project feasible, simply because the cost of translating such large volumes of content would otherwise be prohibitive.

The middle ground between professional and machine translation

If you need a word perfect translation of a technical document, website, brochure or any other important content, there is no substitute for professional translation. For large quantities of content, the cost of professional translation services can be beyond some businesses. In this case, machine translation presents an alternative that produces low quality, often mistake-ridden results. The middle ground between the two is to crowdsource translation.

Two of the most well known names to crowdsource their translations are internet leviathans Facebook and Twitter. They have both used huge pools of translators to localise their websites. Facebook has long relied on its own users to help translate its site into more than 65 different languages, while Twitter used more than 400,000 volunteer translators to localise its site across 11 languages.

These crowdsourced translation projects were completed extremely quickly, allowing the social networks to unveil new versions of their sites just a few weeks after the translation projects began. However, as is often the case with projects completed by peers, there were considerable differences between the abilities of the would-be translators, making it impossible to achieve a high quality end result.

There’s still no substitute for professional translation

If you have a large translation project that doesn’t demand consistency or a particularly high level of quality, such as a fan site, a blog or a community based platform, crowdsourced translation could be the cost effective solution you need. However, if you’re looking to localise content to encourage the reader towards a particular goal, a professional translation plays an important part in building trust.

Any content that forms a part of your branding, such as marketing materials, brochures and product or service translations, really should be translated by a professional. The same can be said for technical or legal documents, where inaccuracies could get you into trouble.

Quality translations from a professional team

At Linguistica International, we offer high quality, word perfect translations performed by a professionally qualified team of mother tongue linguists. All of our translators have at least five years’ experience in the linguistics field and professional experience in your particular sector. That’s why, when global brands like Orange and Santander want to put their best foot forward overseas, we’re their go-to translation team.

Translation news

4 Fascinating Translation News Stories from Around the Web

At Linguistica International, we do our damndest to keep you up to date with all the latest news in the translation industry, but we also have a business to run, which means we can’t always dedicate as much time to our blog as we might like.

So, this week, we thought we’d put a little spin on our usual brand of storytelling by compiling 4 of the most fascinating translation news stories to surface around the web. That way, you’re down with all the latest translation titbits, and we don’t have to work quite so hard. It’s win-win!

Join us on our leisurely saunter around the web, as we give you our take on everything from Skype’s new Arabic translation tool to some translation-related silliness.

1. Is Skype’s Arabic translation tool any good?

Earlier in March, Skype posted a release about its new Arabic translation tool. Skype Translator has been around for a while now, but this is the first time it has been able to offer Arabic as one of its spoken languages.

In theory, this means that even if you can’t speak a word of the language, you can now Skype in Arabic in real time. But, as always with machine translation tools, the big question is: ‘Does it actually work?’

If you don’t have access to an interpreter and want to make travel arrangements, speak to an Arabic friend or converse with family members who speak Arabic, then yes, this translation tool could be useful. If you want to achieve any degree of accuracy or have conversations with overseas clients that are not interspersed by lengthy delays, then no, it’s really not that handy at all. In that case, a professional interpreter is still your best bet.

2. Apple’s Siri has selective hearing

The Guardian recently published a piece about how Apple’s virtual assistant Siri is having a hard time understanding anything other than the Queen’s English. Apparently, Siri is at its most obstinate when asked to perform tasks by a speaker with an Australian, Indian or Texan drawl.

As a result, Siri’s selective hearing is actually changing how we speak. Alan Black, a Scottish computer scientist, said: “Most people have what we would call a telephone voice, so they actually change away from their local family accent when they’re speaking on the telephone to somebody they don’t know.

“They also have a machine voice. People are moving to a different register to talk to Siri. You can typically tell when people are talking to a machine rather than a person”.

So, Siri could be responsible for slowly killing off some of our best loved regional accents and quirks.

3. Google Translate celebrates its 10th anniversary

Google Translate is celebrating its forthcoming 10th anniversary by adding 13 new languages to its repertoire, and, there are some absolute corkers. The new languages include Scots Gaelic, Corsican, Frisian, Kurdish and Samoan to name but a few. This brings the total number of languages on Google Translate to 103. Impressive that may be, but it’s still no substitute for a professional translation service, as this recent blunder shows.

4. And, as promised, some translation silliness

What happens when you cross a woman who clearly has too much time on her hands, with Adele’s record breaking hit ‘Hello’ after it’s been put through Google translate several times? This…

 

Stay tuned to the Linguistica International Facebook page for more of the latest translation news.

What does Emoji Use Tell us About National Culture

What does Emoji Use Tell us About National Culture?

We like to keep our ears pretty close to the ground here at Linguistica International, paying particular interest to the rumblings in the translation and interpreting sector. This week, on our travels around the online ether, we stumbled across an interesting news story from across the pond.

According to the Washington Post, a 12-year old girl has been charged with threatening her school on Instagram, with a post littered with menacing emojis, including a gun, knife and bomb. And this is not the first time a court has been asked to interpret exactly what is meant by an emoji.

A grand jury in New York City had to decide whether two emojis, a policeman next to a gun, represented a genuine threat to police officers. In another case, a Supreme Court judge in Michigan had to decide whether a face with the tongue sticking out constituted a threat.

So that got us thinking. Although the emoji is the one language we have in common, it seems that interpreting what emojis actually mean is still not clear cut. Perhaps emoji use, like language, would reflect national culture?

What is an emoji?

An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in an electronic communication. Emojis are increasingly used by a wide cross-section of society, although they are particularly popular amongst the young.

While they’re easy to disregard as just a bit of fun, emojis actually represent one of the biggest recent innovations in how humans communicate. In a recent study, researchers found that patterns of emoji use around the world shed some light on the national culture of different countries.

What does your emoji use say about you?

The smiley face is by far and away the most popular emoji worldwide. Adding a smiley face is a simple but effective communication tool as it can set the tone way of an exchange in a concise and friendly way.

Dig a little deeper than the universally popular smiley face, and you soon find that the emojis favoured by different nationalities reveal some interesting, and often clichéd insights into their national character.

These are the headline findings of a recent study into emoji use around the world:

  • North Americans tend to favour more violent and aggressive emojis, with lots more use of the gun symbol than elsewhere;
  • France’s billing as a country of incurable romantics stands up to emoji scrutiny. They were found to be four times more likely to use the heart icon than any other nation;
  • The Spanish love a little bit of revelry, as shown by their preference for party-related emojis;
  • Australians are most likely to use alcohol-related emojis;
  • The Russians emoji use mimics the subject matter of the country’s famed authors, namely romance and the cold weather;
  • Flora and fauna loving Arabic speakers use flower and plant emojis four times more than the rest of us;
  • Meat, pizza and chicken drumstick emojis feature prominently in North America.

Emojis as a communication aid

Discussions about emoji use usually descend into complaints about the degradation of language and the dumbing down of today’s youth, but there are those that see emojis as a communication aid.

For speakers of some of the more complicated written languages, it can be quicker and easier to use emojis than regular text. In Asia, emojis are extremely popular because they provide a faster way for people to express themselves.

What are your go-to emojis?

Get in touch on Facebook and we’ll see what your favourite emojis can tell us about British culture. Personally, we’re pretty fond of the tortoise. For more information about our translation and interpreting services, please give us a call today.