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Emojis in French Posted by on Oct 5, 2021 in Culture, News, Vocabulary

Whether you call them pictogramme, émoticône ou smiley1pictogram, emoticon, or smiley you’ve surely seen them … and probably used them. They’re not just for SMS any more having made their way onto Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even into des courriels/mails au bureau2e-mails in the office

[CC0] from artist Ann H Pexels.com

Emojis in French

A recent article got me thinking about emojis in French. As is often the case, the arrival of a new operating system is the opportunity for a new set of emojis to appear on our phones, tablets, and ordinateurs3computers. The new emojis (recently approved by Unicode and due to hit phones in 2022) will grow the options avec des icônes allant de l’élargissement des options de genre et de couleur de peau à une boule disco et un troll4with icons expanding the choice of skin color to a disco ball and a troll.

According to this article from RTL in July of 2020, the most used emojis amongst the French are:

1. Les larmes de joie5Crying tears of joy 😂
2. Celui qui pleure beaucoup6The one that cries alot 😭
3. Le visage suppliant7The pleading face 🥺
4. Celui qui se roule par terre de rire8The one rolling on the ground laughing 🤣
5. Le cœur rouge9The red heart ❤️
6. Les étoiles10The stars
7. Le visage souriant avec des yeux en cœur11The smiling face with hearts in its eyes 😍
8. Les mains jointes12Pryaing/joined hands 🙏
9. Le visage souriant, avec des yeux souriants13The smiling face with smiling eyes 😊
10. Le visage souriant avec des cœurs14The smiling face with hearts 🥰

This more recent article from GQ France informs us though of a change at the top!

”Désormais, c’est l’émoji aux yeux larmoyants 😭 qui se retrouve au top […]. Une inversion des tendances qui s’explique en partie, d’après Emojipedia, par le fait que la génération Z trouverait l’émoji avec des larmes de joie 😂 ringard.”15Henceforth, it’s the crying eyes emoji that finds itself on top. A flip that, according to Emojipedia, is due in part to the fact that Gen Z finds the old laughing crying emoji “old school” .

While 😭 seems to suggest sadness, it is in reality used “pour partager sa joie, son rire ou encore sa frustration”16to share one’s joy, a laugh, or even frustration.

Emojis of course are not the only raccourcis17shortcuts you’ll find in les textos/SMS18text messages/SMS. As Josh shared with us in this earlier post, le language SMS/text-speak is as common in French as it is everywhere these days. If you’d like to explore more of it on your own, check out this handy online Dictionnaire SMS and discover tout le language SMS sur un site 100% gratuit19all the text-speak on a 100%-free site

Updates to the News from France

Octobre Rose

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. In France, the month is known as Octobre Rose20Pink October and as she has every year since 2014 la Dame de Fer21The Iron Lady; The Eiffel Tower has swapped her robe dorée22golden gown for one of pink. Check out this link for news coverage of the display as well as of le défilé de 30 femmes atteintes, guéries, ou en rémission du cancer de sein23the ‘runway show’  of 30 women suffering from, cured, or in remission from breast cancer; NOTE: the word défilé can mean a a parade or a runway show (un défilé de mode)..

Arc de Triomphe protest

Two French students, calling themselves patriots opposed to the Christo project, climbed the Arc de Triomphe last week and unfurled a giant French flag with the words «honneur aux soldats morts pour la patrie»24Honoring the soldiers who died for their country.

The two, who claimed the art installation is an insult to the soldiers who the Arc honors, (and who appear to be supporters of the potential far-right candidate for the upcoming presidential elections, Éric Zemmour) won’t have to complain any more though, since the Arc unwrapping began on October 3.

Fallen for France

Pour ceux et celles qui aiment le vin *

  • 1
    pictogram, emoticon, or smiley
  • 2
    e-mails in the office
  • 3
    computers
  • 4
    with icons expanding the choice of skin color to a disco ball and a troll
  • 5
    Crying tears of joy
  • 6
    The one that cries alot
  • 7
    The pleading face
  • 8
    The one rolling on the ground laughing
  • 9
    The red heart
  • 10
    The stars
  • 11
    The smiling face with hearts in its eyes
  • 12
    Pryaing/joined hands
  • 13
    The smiling face with smiling eyes
  • 14
    The smiling face with hearts
  • 15
    Henceforth, it’s the crying eyes emoji that finds itself on top. A flip that, according to Emojipedia, is due in part to the fact that Gen Z finds the old laughing crying emoji “old school” 
  • 16
    to share one’s joy, a laugh, or even frustration
  • 17
    shortcuts
  • 18
    text messages/SMS
  • 19
    all the text-speak on a 100%-free site
  • 20
    Pink October
  • 21
    The Iron Lady; The Eiffel Tower
  • 22
    golden gown
  • 23
    the ‘runway show’  of 30 women suffering from, cured, or in remission from breast cancer; NOTE: the word défilé can mean a a parade or a runway show (un défilé de mode).
  • 24
    Honoring the soldiers who died for their country
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Lise: Maybe not always. Paris has ways of making people forget. / Jerry: Paris? No, not this city. It's too real and too beautiful. It never lets you forget anything. It reaches in and opens you wide, and you stay that way. / An American in Paris


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