29 November 2018
Today’s modes of communication include a lot of digital. Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, instant messengers in the professional world.
The transcription of emotions is quite difficult to write for some, so send a smile, a wink, a heart can seem much more meaningful than a sentence.
In our current society, we still tend to believe that sending an emoji avoids the effort of a grammatical construction.
However Pierre Halté, doctor in language sciences at Paris-Est Créteil University, thinks the opposite.
“No, it’s a fantasy. Many people think that emojis help to impoverish our verbal language. But this is not the case. Emoji do not replace words, they replace gestures, intonation, etc. that we would use orally. They integrate with the text and interact with it. “
In the professional environment, an emoji present in an email is discrediting. Indeed an Israeli study dating from 2017 has shown that the receiving an emoji in a professional exchange gives the reader a bad image of the person who sent it, associating this act with a lack of professionalism and seriousness.
More serious is the analogy made between sexism and emoji. When a user reads an anonymous email containing an emoji, he often thinks that the editor is a woman.
The benefits of the emergence of emoji
With the emergence of emoji, the tendency to abbreviations and SMS language has significantly reduced. In the years 90-2000, the creation of chats made abbreviations emerge , massacre to the French language and very unpleasant to read of the style “LMFAO” “LoL” … A burst of laughter can quite be symbolized by an emoji.
Another favorable point, emojis allow to retransmit our emotions, which can improve the quality of our exchanges. I assimilate emoji as the digitization of our body language and gestures.
Have you ever tried to physically interact with someone without showing emotion and without moving? It is very difficult, just as today a conversation (rather personal) without emoji can give an impression of restraint, and lack of proximity to the person. On the contrary, the integration of some emojis can demonstrate a certain complicity.
And education in all this?
Emojis can be a way to interact very quickly, and could be a way to break the language barrier, taking into account the cultural differences of certain countries.
Emojis may be the first approach to a multicultural correspondence program to do language work for younger learners.
Some challenges have been launched on the web with conversations made only in emojis.
The first contact with young children can be done on this concept, by integrating as they are words in a different language, by emphasizing the grammatical and orthographic rules of the chosen language.
This is a fun and clear way to learn for these children who have always known this means of digital communication.
As for the French language itself, an emoji can help to understand a figure of speech, one of the most common: irony. Without knowing the context, it is sometimes difficult to find the irony in certain conversations. Adding an emoji clarifies the contextualization.
Crazy idea: on the Acarya platform , the introduction to a course on the figures of speech of the French language could be done using emojis, which would be a “gamified” and modern way to hold the students’ attention , which decreases more and more.