表情包的40年发展史——这些可爱的图画文字是如何兴起的?它们的未来又将如何?

表情包的40年发展史——这些可爱的图画文字是如何兴起的?它们的未来又将如何?
困难 2200

40 years of emojis – how did they start, and what does the future hold for these cute pictographs?

40 years of emojis – how did they start, and what does the future hold for these cute pictographs?
表情包的40年发展史——这些可爱的图画文字是如何兴起的?它们的未来又将如何?

From South China Morning Post 
选自《南华早报》

In a world where messages and emails are replacing face-to-face conversation, emojis stand in for facial expressions and gestures to communicate emotion and tone. Invented at a US university 40 years ago, they have since become central to everyday conversation. Linguists think their influence will only increase with time.
当今世界,短信和电子邮件正逐渐取代面对面交谈,人们开始用代表面部表情和肢体动作的表情符号传达感情和语气。40年前,表情符号在美国的一所大学诞生,后来逐渐成为开展日常对话的核心。语言学家们认为,这些表情包的影响力会与日俱增。

In the digital world of communication without facial expressions and body language, emojis are as important as punctuation. Using them to underscore our tone and emotions now comes naturally to many of us. Particularly after two years of social distancing during the pandemic they have come to seem almost indispensable. But those who first came up with the idea of digital irony might never have envisaged the little icons' trajectory.
在面部表情和肢体语言隐身的电子通信时代,表情包的重要性完全不亚于标点符号。现在很多人自然而然地在聊天过程中使用表情包来强调自己的语气和情绪。近两年,全球疫情蔓延,社交疏离,这些表情包已变得不可或缺。但是那些最早提出以数字化形式进行讽刺的人可能没有预想过这些小图标的发展轨迹。

It all started on September 19, 40 years ago with emoticons, standard punctuation marks which were grouped together at a US university to represent facial expressions, most notably what came to be known as the smiley face - :-).
表情包的前身可追溯至诞生于40年前的9月19日的表情符号,美国的一所大学里有人将标准的标点符号组合到一起,以表示面部表情,其中最引人注目的便是后来被称作笑脸的那个符号——“:-)”。

Since then, those combinations have evolved into the mini-icons that we use so extensively today. Modern-day emojis cover just about every area of life, from facial expressions to hand gestures and objects to the weather.
自此,这些标点组合逐渐演变为今日广泛使用的表情包。现代的表情符号几乎涵盖了面部表情、手势、物体、天气等日常生活的各个领域。

"They help to underscore how a statement is to be understood," says linguist Erika Linz from Germany's University of Bonn, whose research focuses on language and communication in digital media.
德国波恩大学的语言学家Erika Linz重点研究数字媒体的语言和交流,她表示,“这些表情包有助于人们理解某句话的意思”。

In face-to-face communication, the speaker's facial expression, gestures and tone provide us with important clues about what they're saying, whether something is meant ironically, for example.
在面对面交谈时,说话人的面部表情、肢体动作以及语音语调都可为我们理解对方的话语提供重要线索,例如,透过这些线索我们可以推测这些话是否具有讽刺意义。

When he implemented the emoticon at his Pittsburgh university in 1982, US computer scientist Scott Fahlman hoped it would help prevent misunderstandings in digital communication, which then took place via the school's bulletin board system (BBS).
1982年,美国计算机科学家斯科特·法尔曼(Scott Fahlman)在他所在的匹兹堡的一所大学内创造了表情符号,当时他希望这个表情符号能避免大家在通过学校的公告板系统(BBS)进行交流时产生误解。

Back then, the system was mainly used by nerds with a tendency for sarcasm, Fahlman told the German Frankfurter Rundschau newspaper earlier this year. But many people struggled with understanding the intention behind the posts and wrote back in earnest, with real "wars of words" ensuing, Fahlman said.
法尔曼今年早些时候告诉德国《法兰克福评论报》,当时该系统主要是由偏好说反话的“书呆子”们使用。但许多人难以理解这些帖子背后的意图,会认真地回复,随之而来的是真正的“口水战”。

From there, people started discussing the possibility of marking their jokes as such, in a debate that wasn't serious at first either. But on September 19, 1982, Fahlman posted his suggestion, which would have implications so far-reaching he could have hardly foreseen it at the time: combining a colon, minus sign and bracket to depict a smiley face to indicate that something is meant humorously. The researcher later said he had only intended the idea as temporary amusement for other users, but it soon took off and began spreading beyond the university, fuelled by the onset of the internet.
自那时起,人们便开始探讨是否能用一个符号来标记笑话,这场讨论一开始并不严肃。但是在1982年9月19日,法尔曼发表了自己的看法,他建议将冒号、减号和括号结合起来,构造出一个笑脸,以表示某事具有幽默含义。法尔曼当时并未预料到他的这个建议影响会如此深远。这位研究人员后来说,他只是想把这个想法分享给其他用户,图个临时娱乐,但它很快就广受追捧,并在互联网的推动下开始在学校之外传播。

Today, emojis are not only used to indicate how a statement is to be understood, but are also increasingly replacing punctuation marks, says Linz. When a little icon is used instead of a period at the end of a sentence, for example, its meaning becomes “expressive”, according to the linguist.
Linz表示,现在表情包不仅被用来暗示某句话该如何理解,而且在逐渐取代标点符号。例如,当某句话以一个表情包而非标点符号结尾时,这句话就变得“富有表现力”。

Emojis also help to economize communication, with a thumbs-up symbol often used to quickly signal agreement, for example.
表情包还有助于简化沟通,比如,人们经常用“竖大拇指”这个表情符号快速表示同意。

Conversely, the lack of emojis in a message has also taken on significance, as that is often used to convey a more serious tone. Many people have developed a sense for when to use emojis – and when it's better to leave them out, says Linz.
相反,信息中没有表情符号也很重要,因为这常常被用来传达一种更为严肃的语气。Linz表示,很多人已经知道什么时候应该用表情包,以及什么时候不用表情包会更合适。

Students of hers recently analysed the use of emojis by celebrities on Instagram, finding that actors and actresses tend to use them more often than politicians, for example.
Linz的学生最近就名人在Ins上使用表情包这一现象进行分析,发现演员使用表情包的频率要高于政界人士。

However, Linz believes that the little icons will increasingly be used in formal communication in the long term as well. "The triumph of emojis is unstoppable," she says.
但是,Linz认为,从长远来看,这些小图标也将越来越多地被用于正式交流中。她说,“表情符号的胜利是势不可挡的。”

Yet that won't ever completely eliminate the risk of misunderstandings, the researcher says, as the meaning of an emoji can sometimes be ambiguous and people tend to use them in different contexts with different meanings implied.
但是,Linz还表示使用表情包也不可能完全消除存在误解的可能性,因为表情包的含义有时可能是模糊的,人们倾向于在不同的场合使用同一表情包来表示不同的含义。

From that point of view, maybe it was the simplicity of Fahlman's original idea that helped the concept take off.
这样来看,也许正因法尔曼最初的理念很简单纯粹,表情符号才会大行其道。


【VOCABULARY】

1. linguist   n. 语言学家
2. punctuation   n. 标点符号
3. indispensable   adj. 不可或缺的 
4. envisage   v.  展望;设想
5. trajectory   n. 发展轨迹
6. ironically   adv. 反讽地
7. nerd   n. 对(技术等)着迷的人
8. in earnest   认真地
9. the onset of something   某件事的开始
10. ambiguous   adj. 模棱两可的;不明确的

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  • 易读度:困难
  • 来源:互联网 2022-09-19