How using emojis can reinforce your Chinese learning

⚠️ In this article I assume you know how to type Chinese characters ⚠️

Inputting emojis and learning Chinese

  1. If you follow the trends, you have probably started using emoji in online communicators on a daily basis. Perhaps, you even use emojis in private documents and at work. Some apps, for example Whatsapp allow you to input emoji with smart shortcuts. For example by typing you can get “😄”. You might’ve realized that it would be useful to have a quick way of inputting emojis anywhere, and not only inside Whatsapp desktop version.
  2. If you learn Chinese, and force yourself to text your Chinese friends in Chinese, you might’ve realized that as you’re not completely fluent in the language, your conversations never get sophisticated enough. You might’ve learnt the advanced characters for 🚀, 🔨, or 🥑 in the past, but you can’t recall them while texting, because you don’t use these words often enough.

These two pains can be alleviated.

Input Emojis with your Chinese keyboard

If you know how to type Chinese, you can input emoji quickly anywhere you want, not only in WhatsApp. Tens if not hundreds of emojis can be written by using Mac’s Chinese input method. To do so just type the Chinese meaning of the emoji you want to get:

In this way any time you want to use the emoji for “🔨” you will be forced to recall the Chinese word for it. Believe me, after having used it dozens of times, you will remember that it’s 锤子(chuízi). You will also end up being able to type emojis much faster.

If you want to start doing that have a look at the cheat sheet I started compiling in this repo.

An excerpt from the cheat sheet

That’s it. Happy emojing!


Let me know if you’d like to expand the cheat sheet!

Software engineer and language learning enthusiast. Currently building