Emoticons Translated is an ongoing experiment in which text-based emoticons are fed into a machine translator to see what results. It is an appropriation of an appropriation; most of these emoticons utilize a variety of text characters from multiple languages in order to approximate an image or scene, with no regard to the meaning of the original letters. When machine translated, new and interesting revelations can occur when foreign characters become understood by their meaning instead of their shape. The added lack of accuracy from machine translation further complicates matters; the translation of the Japanese character ﾉ as "Bruno" has created an unseen character over the course of the blog's existence.
It was inspired indirectly by a screenshot of (◡‿◡✿) being blocked by a third party Tumblr text-blocking software. I then realized such characters could be fed into translation software, too.
Unlike other recent works of mine, this project was launched without reference to my name or other artworks. I've made the connection because anonymity was never the end goal, although I wonder how the lack of creator information affected the viewer's perception.
emoticons-translated.tumblr.com is currently updated Monday through Friday.
This post from February 16th 2015 was chosen as a Tumblr "staff pick."
On March 6th 2015, the blog was recognized as "trending" by Tumblr staff.
(Note: this blog was formerly known as emojis-translated until I realized the mistake in terminology.)