Texting has become more popular than phone calls to communicate. The shorthand slang that used to be like a learned second language has become as common as everyday English. The same has happened in other languages, as well. Spanish is no exception.
If you’re hoping to wow your Spanish speaking friends with some impressive Spanish texting skills (or maybe you’re just hoping to decode some of those Spanish text slang in the messages they already sent you), this post will come in handy! Read on to learn how to text like a Spanish pro.
Just like texting in English, Spanish texting has some “rules.”
You can’t (or, at least, you probably wouldn’t) text “OhMG” instead of “OMG” (Oh my God) or “2BA” for “TBA” (to be announced) even though they make perfect sense. This is because certain abbreviations or acronyms have already been cemented and patterns have already been established.
So, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, why don’t we take a moment to chat about what texting in Spanish actually looks like.
Like with English, texting in Spanish can cause some letters to disappear. This happens most commonly with: “e-” and “es-” at the beginning of words and “d” between vowels.
Apparently, some letters aren’t as cool as others and aren’t worthy of being included in the texting universe. They often get replaced. This happens come commonly with hard “c”, hard “q”, and “ch.”
“C” and “q” become “k”. Some examples:
“Ch” becomes “x”
This is an example of the disappearing “es” and the replacement of “ch” with “x”.
We do this in English a lot. For example, we might say “u” instead of writing out “you” or “r” in place or “are.” It makes texting quicker, saving the time it takes to type out all those unnecessary “extra” letters. In Spanish, we can do this with letters like “t” (“te) or “k” (“ca”).
Like letters that say their names, some number and symbols can be used to “say” what they are as well. It’s like in English when we say “2” instead of writing out “to,” “too,” or “two.” This happens all the time in Spanish.
Probably the most common form of texting lingo is the use of initials. “BRB” for “be right back” or “LOL” for “laugh out loud.” There are plenty of popular initials in Spanish texting.
Some of the most common are:
|Spanish Text||Spanish Meaning||English Meaning|
|Asdc||A salir de casa||About to leave home|
|Bnx||Buenas noches||Good night|
|Cdt||Cuídate||Take care/ Be careful|
|Cm||Como/ ¿Cómo?||Like/ How|
|Fin d||Fin de semana||Weekend|
|jjj/jajaja/jijiji||jajaja/ jijiji||Haha (laughing- i.e. laughing out loud)|
|KO||Estoy muerto/a||I’m in trouble|
|MDI/ Me da=/ Da =||Me da igual/ Da igual||I don’t care/ Doesn’t matter|
|Nph||No puedo hablar||I can’t talk|
|Npn||No pasa nada||It’s okay|
|Pti||Para tu información||For your information|
|Q/K||Que/ ¿Qué?||That/ What|
|¿Q tl?||¿Qué tal?||How’s it going?|
|¿Q/K aces?||¿Qué haces?||What are you doing?|
|Q/K risa||Qué risa||How funny|
|Ta b||Está bien||It’s good/ It’s okay|
|Tmbn/ Tb/ Tbn||También||Also|
|Tnces/ Ntcn||Entonces||Then/ Well|
|Tqi/ Tki||Tengo que irme||I have to go|
|Tvo||Te veo||I see you|
|¿Vns?||¿Vienes?||Are you coming?|
|Wapo/ Wapa||Guapo/a||Handsome/ Beautiful|
|Xa q||Para que/ ¿Para qué?||In order that/ For what?|
|Xdon||Perdón||I’m sorry/ Excuse me|
|Xfa||Por fa/ Por Favor||Please|
|Xq||Porque/ ¿Por qué?||Because/ Why?|
|Ymam/ Ymm||Llámame||Call me|
|+o-||Más o menos||More or less|
Let’s pretend that you’re texting with your Spanish friends. Would you understand if you got the following text messages from them? What do they mean? What would you reply?
Here are some sample conversations using the expressions above:
Maria: Hla. ¿Q tl?
Samuel: B. ¿y tú?
What it means:
Maria: Hola. ¿Qué tal? (Hello. How’s it going?)
Samuel: Bien. ¿Y tú? (Good, and you?)
Maria: Estoy muerto (I’m in trouble.)
Samuel: ¿Por qué? (Why?)
Julia: ¿Q aces?
Ann: Toy en casa. ¿Tú?
Julia: Toy d compras
What it means:
Julia: ¿Qué haces? (What are you doing?)
Ann: Estoy en casa. ¿Tú? (I'm at home. You?)
Julia: Estoy de compras. (I'm shopping.)
Manuel: ¿Dnd tas?
What it means:
Manuel: ¿Vienes? (Are you coming?)
Hugo: Sí (Yes)
Manuel: ¿Dónde estás? (Where are you?)
Hugo: A salir de casa (About to leave home)
Paulo: Nph. T llamo luego.
What it means:
Sofia: Llámame (call me)
Paulo: No puedo hablar. Te llamo luego (I can’t talk. I’ll call you later.)
Now that you have these texting skills, it’s time to put them to practice! Text your Spanish speaking friends, or your friends learning Spanish. Text your mom, your brother, your best friend in Spanish! They might not understand you… but at least you’ll put this new information to good use.
What do you think? Do you know of any other texting slang or abbreviations that should be included in this list? We always love to hear from you!
Anastasia is a Chicago, Illinois native. She began studying Spanish over 10 years ago, and hasn’t stopped since. Living in Spain since 2012, she loves Spanish tortilla, vino tinto, and anything that contains jamón ibérico.
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