iOS (and presumably OS X) understands the underlying Unicode descriptions for Emoji icons. When reading iMessages back to you, Siri can use these descriptions to translate Emoji into words.

For example, Siri is able to describe all of the following:

  • 😃 is read aloud as "happy face with open mouth"
  • ❤️ is "red heart"
  • 🍣 is "sushi"
  • 💩 is read as "poop"

Is there a way to do this in reverse? That is, when I dictate to Siri or keyboard Dictation, translate what I say into an Emoji? Something like:

Let's go to the movies exclamation point emoji happy face with open mouth

and iOS would dictate that as:

Let's go to the movies! 😃

I've tried various command words but have not been able to find a way to do it. It may not be possible. Does anyone know for sure?

5 Answers 5


No, you can't.

Because there is 2 different keyboard sets, what can't be mixed in one dictation process. That could be the same like you'll try to dictate on 2 different languages in one time. That's hard enough.

But... It's just now, and who knows what kind of updates we will get with new iOS versions and new devices.

By the way. You can use some common text emotions on english keyboard. At least one:


All that you need to say, it's just: "Smiley".

Two more I know of the top of my head:

:-( = 'frowny'

;-) = 'winky'


As of iOS 16, this is now possible. Using either Siri or Keyboard Dictation, you can say the Unicode name of the emoji followed by the word "emoji", and iOS will dictate that as the actual emoji instead of the words.

  • "red heart emoji" dictactes as ❤️
  • "sushi emoji" dictactes as 🍣
  • "poop emoji" dictactes as 💩

At the time of writing, longer emoji names, such as "happy face with open mouth", may not dictate properly and can choose the wrong emoji.


Some of the emojis, which has ASCII version can be written via dictate. Say e.g. colon right parenthesis and it will turn to :) emoji. This is list for punctation dictation. You can dictate punctation in any other language too.

You have to say spacebar too at the beginning to separate it from the text.

  • While this covers three ASCII emoticons, it does not cover emoji in general, as there is no ASCII poop emoticon. And thus, this does not provide a solution to the original question. Poop.
    – DOOManiac
    Jul 22, 2019 at 20:16

We have added support for emojis using dictation in our iOS app please check our app


More emojis will be included in the coming releases

You tube video :



P.S i have worked on this app

  • why is the downvoted ?
    – Garry
    Apr 17, 2019 at 17:17
  • 3
    Hi. If you are promoting a product just disclose if you have an affiliation. If not, that’s fine too - some people dislike marketing here and vote it down. Others like a good referral that explains how it works and vote it up. I didn’t vote either way, but feel free to ask for help or the rules on Ask Different Meta
    – bmike
    Apr 17, 2019 at 17:22
  • 1
    I was wanting a solution that was integrated into Siri's dictation without running any external apps, but best of luck to you with yours.
    – DOOManiac
    Apr 18, 2019 at 21:59

Using text replacement (General>>Keyboard>>Text Replacement>> you can type various key combos and get emoji characters.

For example you can type keys for: exclamation point right paren <> and get 😘


colon hyphen rt. paren 😄

but sadly, dictating these does not work.

  • 1
    Why has this been downvoted? There should be a penalty for downvoting without stating the reason.
    – Linus
    Sep 23, 2018 at 15:45
  • @Linus It clearly doesn’t answer the question…
    – ceejayoz
    Oct 3, 2018 at 23:33
  • Yes, in this case it was clear but there are countless answers where it’s not.
    – Linus
    Oct 4, 2018 at 6:29
  • This only works in apps that contain code to automatically convert.
    – WGroleau
    Dec 8, 2022 at 0:07

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