International Emoticons


: )

You’ve almost certainly seen the second, and if you’ve spent enough time on Internet forums or watched anime, you’ve seen the first.

These two emoticons demonstrate an interesting cultural difference.

The West reads from left to right, and looks at the mouth for the best indication of emotion.
: /

Japan judges a person’s emotional state more from the eyes. This is possibly due to their culture of hiding visible emotions, as the mouth can be more easily controlled than the eyes.

According to a street survey conducted by a Japanese TV station, the Japanese emoticon (or kaomoji) for happiness (^ o ^) is more likely to be perceived by non-Japanese as an expression of surprise or dismay, due to the rounded mouth.

Apparently Brazil is quite enjoying adding eyebrows too.

Or you could make up your own – in the immortal words of the BetfairPoker Twitter account:

“SSS $
The international emoticon for: A gang of snakes are burning an eel at the stake. Why can’t they get along?”

What a wonderful world the Internet is! :3


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