I just noticed that there is a mortar and pestle icon that shows up in Safari on my iPad when I open my smartmail.com web page and was wondering if anyone knows what it means?

Its in the same location as the font icon, left side of the address bar, and is only shown while the page is loading. I haven't seen it on other pages. Any insight would be appreciated.

Unknown Icon

  • 5
    What you have circled are a pair of speech-bubbles that seem to be indicating a choice of language using English and Chinese characters purely as examples. I'm unsure what you mean by "mortal and pistol" - you can't mean mortar and pestle but I'm struggling to find anything that matches your phrase. Mar 3, 2021 at 15:02
  • If you click the icon, does a language selection/translation list appear? Mar 3, 2021 at 15:04
  • 1
    Cross site duplicate What are the two symbols in the Google Translate icon
    – Mokubai
    Mar 3, 2021 at 15:11
  • Yes, I meant mortar
    – glez
    Mar 3, 2021 at 15:57
  • @spikey_richie it happens very fast but if I’m quick it brings up a translation dialog
    – glez
    Mar 3, 2021 at 16:00

1 Answer 1


The "pestle and mortar" icon is a Chinese character. It is apparently the Chinese character for "text" or "article".

The icon represents one person speaking English while another is speaking in Chinese. It is an often used icon style for translation services such as Google Translate and Apples equivalent. It will translate the page for you.

  • 1
    I’m fairly sure it’s but the icon for Google Translate given that it’s in the Safari browser. This uses Apple’s translation service, not Google’s.
    – Tim
    Mar 4, 2021 at 0:11
  • @Tim fixed and made more generic
    – Mokubai
    Mar 4, 2021 at 8:31
  • For the etymology of the 文 character see here or here
    – Cyrille
    Mar 18, 2021 at 9:29

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