Chinese culture Chinese learning tips

Emojis: Your Awesome bonus guide!

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻! Did you know the “flipping table” meme started out in Asia (in 1968, people!)? 0_o. And that the first emojis showed up in Japan in the 1980s? Or that stickers appeared on WeChat before they showed up on Facebook? And don’t get me started on the zillion emoticons and memes you can choose from on Weibo! ^_^  One thing’s certain, they sure know their emoticons and emojis in Asia. Especially the Chinese. They even have characters that looked so much like an emoticon, it became one – we’re talking about the character/emoticon 囧 here.

You know what that has to mean? That it must be incredibly easy to produce cool emoticons and emojis in Chinese. And it is. And yes, we’re going to show you how to produce these awesome emoticons.

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‘Cuz we’re nice like that. So here it is. Your guide to awesome emoticons!

Emojis or Emoticon shortcuts

First, we’re going to let you in a little secret: emoticons were made for the Chinese. Or at least, they were designed to be extremely easily used by Chinese speakers. Why otherwise, would the drawing for “train” show up on my phone when I type in 火车?

Note: for this to happen, you need to use the Chinese keyboard (obviously…you’re writing in Chinese!) and have the emoji keyboard installed as well.

Not installed yet? On the iphone, Ipad, etc. it’s dead simple to add it. Go to settings / and select the Emoji keyboard. There: a zillion cute emoticons for you to shower your friends with. What? Snowman bear train doesn’t mean anything?

So this emoji keyboard is pretty cool right, but it’s been around in a while. The best part is having these emoticons show up on their own.
Like the train exemple. Type in 火车. What shows up?

Here’s another example with 电脑 (computer). Type in 电脑. You’ll get this:  

Characters or emoji? You decide!

So many smiley faces!

Not a big fan of the sticker-type emoticons? Do you prefer the smiley flavor of emoticons? Not to worry, the Chinese language keyboard has got you covered too!

On mobile devices, select the Chinese keyboard and go to the punctuation area (tap the “.?123” button on iOS). Then, hit the “#+=” button and you’ll see a ^_^ button. Hit that and bam! Plenty of cute smiley faces to choose from.

This smiley face will take you to the land of emoticons!

This path is for iOS devices but you can access these emoticons on Android as well. (provided you have the Google Pinyin IME installed – Samsung phones aside, it’s your best option to type Chinese on Android). The path is pretty similar and the smiley faces are also housed in the punctuation area!

On the computer, you’ll need to use a Chinese IME like Sogou Pinyin. Use that and you’ll be drawing up smiley emoticons in no time!
Simple type the letter “m”, for example and you’ll get this, among other characters that start with m: (⊙_⊙)? Awesome right? You can also hit Ctrl + Shit +Z to draw up a list of all the different emojis and ASCII drawings you can produce!

Want even more?

Here are some of my fave on a computer:

~(@^_^@)~ —> it means “可爱”! adorable! Type 羞 (xiū) to get it!

(¯﹃¯)—> it means “好饿啊”! I’m starving! Type 口水(kǒushuǐ) in your pinyin input for it to show up

And these, you’ll find on your mobile device:

  • ಠ_ರೃ
  • (⊙ω⊙)
  • ( ̄(工) ̄) !

So there you have it, your guide to instant emoticon-stardom. Well, maybe not that. But now you know how easy it is to create emoticons when you’re learning and writing Chinese! Isn’t that kind of an added bonus to learning Chinese?

Now go invade the world with your new found emoticons!

Happy emoticon-ing!


The Nincha Team

Ninchanese is a new platform where you’ll have fun learning Chinese. We’re still working on it for now, so sign up to try the beta for free when we launch! And stay in touch with us on FacebookTwitterGoogle + and Weibo.

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