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?


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'


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.

  • Why has this been downvoted? There should be a penalty for downvoting without stating the reason. – Niko Sep 23 '18 at 15:45
  • @Linus It clearly doesn’t answer the question… – ceejayoz Oct 3 '18 at 23:33
  • Yes, in this case it was clear but there are countless answers where it’s not. – Niko Oct 4 '18 at 6:29

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