The London-based company provides translation and list their experience in interpreting services for the likes of CNN, L’Oreal, and the City of London Police. Now, they appear to be seeking someone to help bridge the communication gap that apparently exists between people speaking English and those somehow talking to each other exclusively in Unicode symbols.
There are, of course, no “native speakers” of emoji as a language—at least, none who’ve made it to employable age in the UK yet—but their calling is still high: They’re seeking someone with a Bachelor’s degree in translation, or three or more years’ relevant experience. Applicants with degrees in Social Sciences, Linguistics, Social Anthropology, Sociology, Psychology or Communication are also preferred.
According to the BBC, more than 30 people have applied so far. The job will be freelance with the potential to turn full-time, and will be paid by the word/emoji. David Clarke, director at Today Translations, tells Motherboard via email that the listing is genuine, not a publicity stunt or social experiment. “We hope to bring the expert onto the team in the new year to work on two specific projects and a research assignment,” he says.
Translation sites for converting written language to emoji already exist, such as EmojiTranslate and Emojilator, but plugging words into an online translator isn’t enough when you might need to… say, negotiate a hostage situation using only text emoji, or break the news of our impending nuclear doom across a cable news chyron.
“Emoji translation is itself an emerging field—but one dominated to date by software, which is often insensitive to the many cultural differences in usage and interpretation,” the company writes in the listing. “We are therefore seeking an exceptional individual to provide the human touch needed where translation software is inadequate—and to help us become the go-to translation experts in this area.”
Part of the application process involves an emoji test, offered beforehand. No cheating.