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April Fool’s Day is always a good opportunity for companies and large organizations to show off their human side and some come up with very inventive pranks.  This year, Google, which always takes April Fool’s Day seriously, announced a new addition to the auto-translate service for its Chrome browser – Emoji.

A Symbol for Everything?

Emoji is the language of smiles or rather smilies.  They are highly developed emoticons, which originated in Japan and which provide a convenient way of adding emotions to text messages where every character counts.  Google’s joke was that it planned to introduce a service to translate text into Emojis to make it easier to understand.  The advert is the sheer genius and all the more so because it makes some very valid points about the way in which language is constantly developing and how those who work with it on a professional level need to keep abreast of these changes.  This is part of the reason why those seeking quality translation are often best served by hiring a translator who actually lives in the country of the target language, as they will be most familiar with how it is being used in that place at that time.  A German translator in Brisbane will be better placed to translate a business document for an Australian audience than one in San Francisco and a German translator in Newcastle Australia will understand Australian visa translation better than one in Newcastle England.

Getting the Meaning Across

While emojis and other emoticons may be both useful and fun in some forms of communication, they would be thoroughly out of place in formal documents.  That means that people writing in a formal style need to ensure that their message is conveyed purely through their choice of words.  It is therefore very worthwhile to employ an experienced NAATI translator to ensure that those words still convey their intended message after translation.