I have this special admiration for translators. They have an amazing ability to analyze minute details in the written word. Sometimes, translators cause me feel a little insecure.
Whenever I communicate via Twitter, Facebook or some other social media, I just know that they are evaluating my sentence structure, spotting the misspelled word. In my defense, those tiny little virtual keyboards on smartphones don’t help. Automatic spelling correction is my bane when it completely changes the word I was attempting to write.
With all my insecurities about communicating with these astounding wordsmiths, there is one bright spot for me. One thing that elevates my self-worth is the smiley face.
Every translator I interact with on social media employs the smiley face. Well known translators, respected among their peers, use the smiley face. Those that have published books, as well as the public speakers seen on stage, utilize smiley faces. Highly advanced technical translators with mind-blowing vocabulary add smiley faces!
So, I ask myself the question why? Coming from an interpreting background the answer is obvious to me. I often communicate with my facial expressions, body language, and tonality. That is awfully hard to do in a brief tweet. How do you convey sarcasm in a nice way in a couple of sentences? Throw in a smiley face. You see? The smiley face means that it is a joke, I’m trying to be friendly so please don’t get uptight and misinterpret what I typed.
When translators use the smiley face, we are at ease. We all feel a little better about ourselves. The wonderful smiley face makes us believe that maybe, just maybe, we can all play in the same sandbox with the smart kids.