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Let's remove kaomoji questions from the JL scope.

I voted to close this recent question, but it did generate a fairly good answer. Kaomoji are, after all, very prevalent in Japanese culture (so much so that they are available as a subset of the Japanese input-modes of smartphones - I also recall having them in most, if not all my ガラケー).

I would much prefer to have one canonical community wiki which compiles all known kaomoji that such questions can be closed against.

... or just closing them all as off-topic.


Regarding the linked question specifically, there's also the fact that it essentially is a translation request, but that's another discussion.

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    this was asked previously at meta.japanese.stackexchange.com/questions/883/… but the result was less than conclusive, and a lot of the users in that thread simply aren't active anymore, so I don't know whether this should be closed as a dupe – cypher Dec 12 '15 at 12:07
  • @cypher Good find (same tags and everything). I'll try to edit this question to make it a bit more unique (sorry if this changes anyone's mind when they already voted). – Amani Kilumanga Dec 12 '15 at 12:14
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Let's remove kaomoji questions from the JL scope.

Why? Kaomoji/emoji alter the nuance of whatever sentence they are attached to, or convey meaning on their own, and this nuance-change or meaning may differ by language.

Especially in the case of kaomoji in Japanese, the vast majority of Japanese kaomoji are not used outside of Japanese (outside of Japanese text) and have a deeper connection to the language.

⊂((・x・))⊃ conveys meaning or nuance to a Japanese internet user which it doesn't to an Anglophone.

Furthermore, the meaning of some kaomoji may not be immediately obvious except to Japanese speakers, or even be the opposite of what you might expect. (\(^o^)/ for example).

Should people not be able to ask about a Japanese sentence they didn't understand, just because it's the kaomoji part which is throwing them off? That kaomoji could change the nuance of the sentence for a Japanese speaker.

Or perhaps somebody is chatting in Japanese and their correspondent replies with a single kaomoji which they don't understand. This kaomoji is obviously meant to convey meaning to a Japanese speaker. Can this not be asked about under the scope of Japanese Language?

I would much prefer to have one canonical community wiki which compiles all known kaomoji that such questions can be closed against.

Not only is that impossible simply due to the shear number of different kaomoji, there are also new ones being invented all the time, and new usages being developed. Different kaomoji listing websites have entirely different kaomoji listed under the same headings (sad, happy, thanks, etc).

Regarding the linked question specifically, there's also the fact that it essentially is a translation request, but that's another discussion.

I think this will be the case for most kaomoji questions. But look at the difference between, for example, 'What does honyaku mean?' and 'What does ⊂((・x・))⊃ mean?'

The former shows a lack of effort: the answer could be easily found in a J→E dictionary and does not need our expert help (hence being off topic here). On the other hand, the latter likely won't be in J→E dictionaries, and will need someone familiar with Japanese internet trends—or somebody with good enough Japanese to look at Japanese sources—to answer.


So to sum up, I think we should treat kaomoji as 'Japanese language' for the purposes of this site, as much as any other internet slang, for 2 main reasons:

1) Most Japanese kaomoji are only used in Japanese contexts, convey certain (sometimes non-obvious) meanings to Japanese speakers, and can entirely change the nuance of Japanese sentences. This makes them a part of the Japanese language.

2) They make for non trivial questions which require expert help.

I can ask about wwwwwwwww, I can ask about (ry, I can ask about wktk, why not about \(^o^)/?

ps. Oxford Dictionary's word of the year this year is an emoji :P

  • Good points. I still think the question was a simple translation request. It would have been a different story if there was a clear context that asked for clarification on why it would be appropriate to use that kaomoji in that context, or help translating exactly what was conveyed by using that kaomoji in that context. But the fact of the matter is, it just is a monkey face. – Amani Kilumanga Dec 12 '15 at 13:44
  • Yeah, that specific question definitely wanted more context. I'm worried about the tenuous position of kaomoji questions on this site, but if good kaomoji questions were more common perhaps I would have voted that one a translation request too. On the other hand, there's a precedent for "explain the different usages of this single word"-type questions. For example, in both question and accepted answer, it's quite similar this (4 favourites) question :/ – Robin Dec 12 '15 at 14:24
  • omg that linked question 😂😂😂 – Amani Kilumanga Dec 12 '15 at 14:52
  • @AmaniKilumanga. Hi Amani, it was not only a translating request. First because it is used in almost all phrases of a certain team member, then logically it is not only a translating issue, I suspected it was something more. I didn't even know that it had a certain denomination: kaomoji. Second, I searched in google for that symbol and it resulted quite difficult for me only to write that symbol left alone. – Sanandrea Dec 13 '15 at 16:56
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    @Sanandrea you are right. It was more of an identification request. It would have been a better question, however, if you had provided more context. – Amani Kilumanga Dec 14 '15 at 0:06

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