☺ in Japanese = ☺ in Czech = ☺ in Spanish

What project takes 800+ people approximately 1,055 hours and the use of Mechanical Turk to accomplish? Translation of Herman Melville’s class Moby Dick into emoji, the graphic communication shortcuts that started in the 1990s in Japan. Emoji Dick creator Fred Benenson conceived, crowd-sourced and Kickstarted the literary project to its completion: you can buy a black and white soft cover for $40 and the full-color hardback for $200. Before you assume that Emoji Dick is nothing more than a novelty item, note that as of February 2013 you can find it at The U.S. Library of Congress – the first 100% emoji translation to be accepted there. Who knows, maybe it’s the humble beginning of a trans-cultural literary language.emoji

J. McShulskis

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