WordPress 4.2 Will Natively Support Chinese, Korean, and Japanese Characters

emojiWordPress 4.2 will soon be released with expanded core support for emoji, a new feature that users either love or love to hate. By making a key database change from utf8mb3 to utf8mb4 to add support for emoji, WordPress also receives the benefit of being able to natively handle Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters.

On the surface, adding emoji support to WordPress may seem like simply adding a ton of new emoticons. However, the technical aspects involved are complex. Brandon Kraft has a great article that explains what emoji is, the database changes involved, and why you should care.

During the State of The Word at WordCamp San Francisco last year, Matt Mullenweg said, “If WordPress is going to be truly global, truly inclusive, it has to be fully available for other languages.” Kraft explains that WordPress 4.2 will be able to natively handle Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters.

Han characters are four-byte characters. These characters, 道 and 草, for example, are Chinese, Japanese, and Korean characters that have been standardized into a single character map. By enabling utf8mb4, WordPress can now natively handle these characters.

Andrew Nacin emphasized on Twitter that, supporting 4-byte unicode characters in WordPress is critical to making WordPress global.

I won’t use emoji, but its impact on improving WordPress’ internationalization efforts can’t be ignored. Gary Pendergast, who is largely responsible for adding the feature should be commended for his efforts. How do you feel about emoji support in WordPress and will you use it?

10 Comments


  1. Emoji doesn’t enable it, the database character support alterations do. Emoji is a (great) additional benefit.

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    1. Thanks for that clarification. I’ve updated the post title and have reworded some things in the post to reflect that point.

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  2. Ah Jeffro…! 道 and 草 are suuuuper boring! Of all the 13000 or so kanji characters in the Japanese language (of which they still commonly use over about 3500) — not to mention the many many more in Chinese, you really could/should have picked a couple of more exciting ones… opportunity missed or what! Lol

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    1. …or at least Kraft should have anyway — since you were only quoting, still you could have snuck in some new ones and nobody would probably have ever noticed!… :)

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      1. I was playing it safe, or tried to at least. Not knowing anything close to any of characters, I didn’t want to call someone’s mother a dirty name or anything :)

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  3. Does it support Japanese Hiragana and Katakana? あなたは大すき!!!

    OMG it does. Very cool.

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  4. Hi guys I wanted to know if there is a way to translate an English site to Japanese KANJI

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