Many Pies

Many Pies

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Emojis are a serious matter

Emojis are increasingly popular. ✏ If you can see a pencil before the word "If" then the device you're using has some support for them. They may seem like a bit of fun, but the fact that they have been included in the Unicode standard since 2010 means they are actually pretty serious. Or rather, that they are a valid means of communication which the Unicode Consortium has recognised.

😁 I don't see an emoji Bible coming anytime soon though (someone did have a go at creating a Kickstarter project for one).
The Unicode standard has new characters introduced at every revision, and for some revisions this includes new emojis. If you can see a chilli pepper here then you're up to date: 🌶. If you're wondering how they decide whether to include emojis then they've written a document on that.

There is a review process to introduce characters, and often some of the preparatory work in Bible Translation will feed into this review process. One of the early things in Bible Translation is to work out which script should be used. Some languages have never been written down before, and so there's a process involving the people who speak the language to see what they want to do. If it has been written down and some of the characters which aren't in Unicode then they will be submitted to this review process.

SIL, who do a lot of work on language technology have a group called the Non-Roman Script Initiative (NRSI) which has been working on technical issues do with fonts and writing systems. They recently celebrated their 20th anniversary.

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