Aug 212013
 August 21, 2013  World Citizen Wednesdays

Texting in Other Languages - World Citizen Wednesdays on Alldonemonkey.comWelcome to World Citizen Wednesday!

Each week we pose a question to members of the fabulous Multicultural Kid Blogs group and share their answers here.

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This week we ask…

What are your favorite texting shortcuts from other languages?

Stephen of The Head of the Heard: kkk means somebody is laughing in Portuguese. pq is por que (why) and porque (because) which I like because I often get confused between them.  Not texting related, but here in Brazil on menus the use ‘x’ for cheese, for example x-burger (cheese burger). The pronunciation of the letter x is very similar to the English word ‘cheese.’

Olga of The European Mama: DuWiPa- du wirst Papa! (you’re going to be a daddy!)- not the one I sent or got, but one I read about in a German magazine. Oh, and dubido (du bist doof, you’re stupid)

Cecilia of Spanglish House: I do not personally like or use shortcuts. I think they are helping to bring (many) languages down. But I have seen people write in Spanish TKM for te quiiero much (I love you), mi BF por mi mejor amigo (my best friend); ke instead of que (what).  I like emoticons (shortcuts) the best!

Jenny of Spanish Playground: With iphones and keyboards, we user fewer shortcuts then we used to, I think. The autocomplete really helps too. That said, here are a few that are common. Using the number 2 for anything that ends -dos, like salu2; using just the letter when it has the sound of the syllable, like t xtraño, bso; bn-bien, tdo- todo, ntc- no te creo, ntp – no te preocupes, k-que, ps-pues. I don’t know that they are favorites really, but they are common. In terms of favorites, both my kids and I used the ¿ in front of English questions in our notes in meetings or class.

Becky of Kid World Citizen: We always sign off with TQM for te quiero mucho, but I’m not sure if that counts?

Homa of Growing Up Global: Boos = kiss/kisses in Persian. Though xoxo works as well!

Jonathan of Dad’s the way I like it: In Welsh, some people use ‘9’ to mean grandmother as it sounds very similar to Welsh word for grandmother (‘nain’).  Even since before the days of texting, ‘cassette’ has often been abbreviated to ‘K7’ in French (e.g. on shop fronts, posters). The letter K (kah) followed by the number 7 (sept) sounds like ‘cassette’.

Miwa of cranes and clovers: Since the Japanese language doesn’t use the alphabet, it’s hard to explain the types of shortcuts and abbreviations that people use here. Sometimes though, people use numbers instead of words, like 4649 (the sound of the numbers are the same as the word “yo-ro-shi-ku,” a word used as a greeting that’s hard to translate… but means something like “best regards” “counting on you” and “nice to meet you.”) In general though, Japanese people use complex emoticons much more often. Not sure if people use these in other countries as well though. For example, “orz” for a person on their hands and knees seen from the side. The “o” is the head the “r” is the arm and the “z,” the legs. Another would be m(_ _)m. The “m” s are hands and the “_” are eyes. It’s a person bowing.

Sarita of A Hotchpotch Hijabi in Italy: a lot of Italians use 6 (‘sei’) to mean ‘you’ because it has the same pronunciation. When italians sign off they might use ‘SMACK!’ which really confused me because I wondered where it had come from! Then I realized they were using smack as the sound of kisses!

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Thanks to all the bloggers who shared their answers here! You can read answers to earlier questions in our previous installments of World Citizen Wednesday, including tips for traveling with kids!

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  3 Responses to “World Citizen Wednesdays #35: Texting in Other Languages”

  1. When I have texted in Chinese there really are no shortcuts that I know of as Chinese characters can’t be shortened. They are like beautiful art pieces in and of themselves. I’ll have to ask one of my Chinese friends to see if there are short-cuts.

  2. In Italian there are many shortcuts, like tvtb:ti voglio tanto bene (I like you very much), midi: mi dispiace (I’m sorry), and we often use “x” for every word starting with “per-“, like in “perché” (why&because): xche, and in axitivo:aperitivo or xfv or xfav: per favore (please). Then there ist the Ttp = torno tra poco (I’ll be back soon). – In German: BPG: Bei passender Gelegenheit, GUK or G&K: Gruss und Kuss (Bye and kiss), HDL: habe dich lieb (I like/love you), MAMIMA: mail mir mal (mail me). – In Dutch: L8: Lacht (he/she laughts) and L8en= Lachen (laugh) because 8=”acht” in NL. In German and Dutch, LG is for Liefe Groetjes or Liebe Grüße (lots of love /best wishes).

  3. I really enjoyed reading this and seeing all the different things than are done in different languages. It was particularly interesting to hear about how things work with Japanese given the different sort of script that is used. I can see where Cecilia is coming from with the suggestion that texting may ‘bring languages down’, but I see the abbreviations as positive as long as people know where, when and how to use them (e.g. not in a formal essay, official form etc.). There are lots of ways in which people, including the very young, use different sorts of language depending on who they are communicating with and the nature of the situation.

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