Elias Bel
Cell Phone Vs Mobile Phone (Europe and América)

Why in Europe, people use the expression mobile phone while in América, people prefer the expression cell phone to the refer to the hand phone ? And this, no matter the language or the country. Examples :

- In Britain : a Mobile Phone >> - In the US : a Cell Phone
- In European french speaking countries : un Téléphone Mobile/portable >> - In Canada : un Téléphone Cellulaire
- In Spain : un Teléfono Móvil >> - In Latin America : un Teléfono Celular

Pourquoi, selon que l'on se trouve en Europe ou en Amérique, les gens utilisent soit le mot cellulaire, soit le mot mobile pour se référer au téléphone portable ? Et ce, quelque soit la langue ou le pays, exemples :

- En Grande  Bretagne : a Mobile Phone >> Aux Etats-Unis : a Cell Phone
- Dans les pays européens de langue française : un téléphone mobile/portable >> - Au Canada : un Téléphone Cellulaire
-En Espagne : Un Teléfono Móvil >> En Amérique Latine : un Teléfono Celular


Aug 4, 2014 8:04 PM
Comments · 3

In Italy "il cellulare" (by the way "il cellulare" is also the wagon that police use to move prisoners :-P are we all prisoners of the communication need?) also, but less "il telefonino", in Germany "das Handy"...

August 4, 2014

In Russian it was usually 'сотовый' (lit. 'comb', i.e. 'honeycomb'. But the ingeneering meaning implied is the same as in celular) in 90's and during the first days of our major cellular networks of today. One of the major providers is called 'Bee-line' - supposedly, the association with the honeycomb was strong enough.

But as it came to use, it readily became 'mobile' (мобильный). Sometimes we say сотовый but usually in the technical sense, a number belonging to a cell network 'as opposed to stationary' (landlines are called стационарный, lit stationary here).
The device itself is 'mobile'.

Trademarks, company names etc. now usually contain the word 'mobile'.

August 4, 2014

I guess it's because people are influenced by the other countries in their continent. At least, that's certainly the case with 'cell'. The USA uses this term, so it would seem natural that Canada and Latin America would follow suit. It might even be a marketing thing to do with local networks. It's interesting, though - I hadn't noticed that the different terms followed geographical rather than linguistic lines.


By the way, Elias, can I ask you about something you said on the earlier discussion about British and American English? What did you mean about the British pronunciation of the letter 't' sounding like 'tch'? Can you give me some examples?


August 4, 2014