Generally, reverting back to pictographs to communicate embarrasses me.
I’ve resisted emoji in most of my texts and social media posts over the years, but last week, while working remotely in Santiago, Chile, I encountered a moment where emoji was a lifesaver.
I was ordering groceries through the South American delivery app Rappi (it’s like Amazon and Uber Eat and Lime rolled into one) when I quickly realized my Spanish vocabulary wasn’t as robust as it’d need to be. The app is very much programmed in Spanish, so typing in English doesn’t yield much.
Normally one to scoff at a feature that uses emoji (like Twitter or Bing searches for an “LOL” face), I found myself happily clicking icons of different fruits and vegetables, selecting what I wanted to put in my virtual cart that would then get picked up by a shopper at an IRL grocery store and delivered to me via motorcycle at my apartment entrance. I always mix up my “lima” with my “limón” in Spanish without a trip to Google Translate, but I didn’t need to add that step. Clearly the yellow-looking lemon is a lemon. The power of pictures! Read more…
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