The world needs this emoji translator more than you realize

[Insert surprise face emoji here] Keith Broni could be the world’s first emoji translator. He was hired by the London-based translation company Today Translations to help them translate emoji, which aren’t as universal as you might expect. Now he spends his days explaining how the A-okay  hand gesture is considered very offensive in Latin America, the thumbs-up emoji is equivalent to the middle finger in the Middle East, and the happy face means you’re done with a conversation in China. He not only has to translate emoji from country to country but from phone to phone, as many emoji look different—and could have different meanings—whether you’re on an Apple or an Android phone (no word on those weird Google chat blobs, though). 

Broni seems well qualified for the job. According to Refinery 29, he not only titled his master’s dissertation with only emoji, but the paper itself looked at consumer perception of emoji in combination with various brand names. He also organized Europe’s first Emoji Spelling Bee, where contestants had to turn phrases into emoji. 

Read the rest of Broni’s interview with Refinery 29 while trying to figure out if you can get a job in ASCII art ⨌⨀_⨀⨌.

[Photo: Flickr user go digitalML