Tech company Swiftkey has released a study on how different language groups use emoji

By Drew Mackie
Updated April 27, 2015 11:25 PM

Are you Canadian? Statistically, you’re more likely to use that “smiling poop” emoji, according to a new study.

No, really.

SwiftKey, a London-based tech company that makes a keyboard input method for both iPhone and Android, analyzed more than one billion units of data relating to emoji use throughout the world between October 2014 and January 2015. Now the company has published the results of the study, and the data provides new perspectives on how people around the world communicate.

Some you could probably predict. Russian-speakers, for example, lead the world in use of the cold weather emoji, while Arabic-speakers are the most likely to use the hot weather emoji. Others are more surprising.

In general, 70 percent of the emoji used are positive – happy faces and the like – but the most positive of all language groups are French-speakers, whose emoji use is 86 percent positive.

American English-speakers are most likely to use the female-oriented emoji, as well as those relating to meat, tech and LGBT issues.

French-speakers are also four times more likely to use the heart emoji than the average user. But before you assume that French is the language of love, know that Russian-speakers lead in romance emoji (the lipstick-print kiss emoji, the kissing couple emoji).

Americans use royal-themed princess emoji more than twice as often as their British counterparts.

Australians use alcohol- and junk food-related emoji most often – twice as often as the average.

Canadians lead in a few interesting categories. They’re the most likely to use violent emoji – the gun, the knife, the punching fist – just slightly outpacing Americans. They use the pizza emoji more often than Americans, too. And finally it’s Canadians who are the most likely to use what SwiftKey terms “raunchy” emoji – the banana, the eggplant, the peach, and the Cancer zodiac sign. (You may have to think about these for a moment.)

And then, of course, there’s that smiling poo. The study offers no theories why Canadians seem to use it more often, leaving the rest of the world only to wonder about what’s going on up there.

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