When you’re using text to communicate it can be frustrating when the emotions you want to show isn’t expressed right. A joke may sound like a criticism even if you’ve phrased it carefully. so what can you do? You can try to soften it with a smile! (^_^)
Asian emoticons and Western emoticons are oriented differently. Whereas Western emoticons lie on their side, Asian emoticons are read right side up. In Japan these are known as kao-moji, literally face characters, and millions may be sent everyday with e-mail and mobile phone messages. Because Japanese characters like katakana, hiragana and kanji have two bytes compared to Western character’s one byte, kao-moji has a wider range of expressions than conventional smilies. Because of their popularity most mobile phones come with their own set of pre-installed kao-moji and e-moji, or proprietary pictographs for the exclusive use of one phone company.
If you’re used to Western smilies it will be hard to interpret a kao-moji at first glance. Pay attention to how the eyes look; kao-moji are mainly inspired by expressions from anime and manga. Famous characters like Ultraman and Doraemon even have their own quirky kao-moji! The emoticons go beyond showing emotions – they tell a mini-story of their own. You could express glee over your latest achievement. A few more punctuation marks and letters later, you might say you’re frustrated with how the day has been. It’s a great way of enlivening your messages.
Do you want to express your emotions the Japanese way? Here’s a word of warning: proper kao-moji may be peppered with boxes unless you have Japanese character support. You can look up a list of adapted kao-moji using only for western characters.
[tags]kao-moji, Japanese emoticons, smilies[/tags]