The smiley is another interesting little difference between Korean and English.
In English, we have a variety of smileys, including: :-), ;-(, :-D, :/, etc.
But Koreans don’t like to turn their heads sideways, I guess, and so they take a different approach. These are what you’ll find in a Korean text:
^-^, ^o^, T-T, O_O, -_-, ^_~, etc.
Hint: ^ is supposed to represent a raised eyebrow
Some Korean smileys even incorporate Korean characters:
ㅠㅠ (crying), ㅋㅋㅋ (LOL), ㅎㅎㅎ (ha, ha), etc.
Occasionally I’ll be asked to translate a Korean email into English and if it has emoticons, I generally localize to the way we'd do it in English.
Korean Translation Tip – Koreans no better understand 🙂 than English-speakers understand ^-^, so when translating, it would be a good idea to even match smileys to the reading audience.