Show and tell: The GifGif game

What is The GifGif game?

My last few posts have focused on visual content. And the GIFGIF Game continues the topic. (Update October 2019: This game is no longer available.)

Being professional linguists, we are very familiar with the subtleties and intricacy of spoken and written language. If you have any interest in semiotics, the rise of emoticons and emoji is a fascinating phenomenon that has long become a commonplace medium of communicating emotion, intent and mood.

GIFs are somewhat newer to the scene, but quickly gaining popularity. The use of GIFs in social media has been rising because they combine the power of image and text in a new way (mostly a tongue-in-cheek one, though). A while ago I read an interesting article about a team of MIT researchers who are building a text-to-GIF translator. The research team became interested whether different cultures ascribe the same emotions to the same GIFs or whether there are cultural differences in what we perceive as the best way for emotions to be displayed. In order to study this more closely, they are gathering data by using an online game that asks users to choose which of two displayed GIFs more appropriately conveys an emotion. To spice the game up, you can gather achievements and see how others  voted for the 17 different emotions being studied.

Show and tell GIFGIF game
GIFGIF game screenshot. Obviously screenshots can’t capture the beauty of GIFs.

If you have a few moments to spare, why not head over and take part in this very interesting project? It’s fun and it’s science!

PS Apparently the researchers hope to one day be able to translate one of Shakespeare’s sonnets into GIFs. That is something I definitely want to see.

Translator show and tell: Presenting little bite-sized nibbles of information of interest for translators

Image source: Unsplash, Canva

The Show and tell series is dedicated to pointing you, dear readers, to share-worthy people, projects, resources, tools, events and whatever else catches my eye. Please let me know what you think about my show-and-tell choices. You are also very welcome to share suggestions or even write a guest post.

There are 3 comments on this post

  1. Alina Cincan

    Shakespeare’s son­nets ‘translated’ into GIFs? That I want to see too!

  2. Patricia Brenes

    Very nice topic. Another one here wanted to see those sonets!


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