A Bible Made With Emojis Is Now An Actual Thing

Internet, meet the Bible Emoji.

This latest edition of one of the world’s most translated books replaces commonly used words from the King James Version of the Bible with Unicode-approved emojis. It also goes one step further by translating this ancient scripture into today’s web lingo. That means subbing in words like “and” for “&,” “why” for “y,” and “people” for “ppl.”

Read more: Huffington Post

Emoji: Language killer, parasite or symbiosis?

Earth. Population 7.2 Billion and a whopping 6500 languages being spoken every day.

Africa. The second most populous continent in the world with 1.1-billion people and almost 2 000 languages are spoken daily. Amongst the languages spoken on our beautiful continent, UNESCO has listed 79 African languages as critically endangered, 66 severely endangered, 51 as definitely endangered and 44 are vulnerable. The nature of the issue crosses all four corners of Africa.

To the west, only four people who can speak Njerep remain and in the east, only 6 people in Ethiopia can speak Ongota. South Africa may be home to four of the most widely spoken languages in Africa, namely English, Afrikaans, Xhosa and Zulu, and boast the largest amount of official languages in the world, but we still have some of the saddest statistics when it comes to critically endangered languages. Nǀuu or Nǀhuki is a Khoisan language and when last checked in 2013, only 3 people in the world could speak it and they live in different areas of South Africa. Griqua or more correctly known as Xirikwa or ǃOra is another example, where less than 30 speakers exist in the world. One could easily blame Africa’s colonisation for the state of the diversity of mother tongues. After all Portuguese, French, English and Arabic are the four most commonly spoken languages

Emoji sapping the life out of language

Perhaps there is something, though. In the Internet Age, speaking one of these languages means African countries can be more inclusive to information, education and trade online, creating a commonality that has allowed each of the 54 states to be inclusive of the global village. Beyond this, even these commonly held languages are beginning to feel the strain. Like ‘video killing the radio star’ and colonisation killing the oral tribe culture, mobile could quickly be fingered for killing the oral and written culture. Without sounding dramatic, Emoji, as a parasitic ‘language’, could be the culprit for the abuse and ultimate death of written language.

Read more: Memeburn

Why Japan Got Over Emojis

By plenty of measures, 2015 has been a banner year for emojis. A Welsh professor declared them the fastest growing language in the U.K. The New York Times used one in a headline, and a grid of them graced the cover of the New Yorker. Lawyers have cited emojis as evidence in dramatic courtroom trials. President Obama gave emojis a shout-out on the White House lawn, while Russian government officials threatened to ban same-sex emoji couples. To cap it all off, in November the Oxford Dictionaries declared the tears-of-joy emoji the “word” of the year.

It now feels hard to imagine online communication without emojis, even if their explosion in popularity among English speakers only dates to October 2011, when Apple’s iOS 5 update bestowed the little icons upon millions of iPhones. (Gmail launched emoji support several years earlier, as did a number of third-party emoji apps, but neither of these developments paved the way for their mainstream adoption in the way that putting them on the iPhone’s virtual keyboard did.) With so much hype and excitement building in such a short timeframe, it’s fair to ask: Are we experiencing an emoji bubble? And what might life after emojis look like? We can find some possible answers to those questions in the birthplace of the emoji: Japan.

Read more: Slate

Meet the Author Who Translates Classic Literature Into Emoji

With emojis going mainstream, London artist and publisher Joe Hale wants everyone to be fluent.

The Oxford Dictionaries this week named the emoji depicting a “face with tears of joy” as the Word of the Year. The emoticon is Mr. Hale’s medium, first displayed in his “Wonderland” poster, in which he translated Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” into roughly 26,000 symbols.

But Mr. Hale, who studied literature and philosophy as an undergraduate, has developed a new type of emoji writing with his latest endeavor, the ABC Emoji Co.

The idea sprang from the “Wonderland” project, said Mr. Hale, who works as an app developer and turns to emojis in his spare time. “Everybody would ask me about the posters: ‘Can I read emoji?’ And I would have to tell them, ‘Well, no, not exactly.’ Because to make emoji a language, I’d have to use all these complicated writing techniques. Those conversations led me to think how can I make a text which is just emojis, which you can read. The idea which I came up with was ABC Emoji Co. Take a story and in translating it into emoji, you replace every letter with an emoji instead.”

Read more: The Wall Street Journal