Internet and chat slang in different languages
The last few days I exchanged a lot of messages with people who clicked on our FB advert for promoting our online event to inform about our masters program in German studies. I don't know why but the majority of users came from Algeria and as many of them didn't speak German or English I communicated with them in a mix of French and Arabic. What I found baffling was the fact that many used a mix of French and Algerian chat slang which I really had problems to follow and Google was of no help. For instance, I never figured out what "A vahyau le plus" , "cvkobunhy", "[email protected] cc" or "pnsoar" were supposed to mean (If anyone here knows, please post the answer). One person wrote "نحبكم كملين". Google translates this as "We love you as a laxative". No joke. It actually means "I love you all". "momkin t3rfon. 3likom" apparently means "Can I get to know you?"

Other things were easier to figure out. Now I know that "slt" means "salut", "slm cv" is "salam ça va" and "cc" is "cou cou". On one hand I'm annoyed that people that are requesting information from a German university are writing in their own slang like if they are chatting with their friends, on the other hand I used this as a chance to learn more about internet slang in other languages.

These two pages about French texting and internet slang were useful for that:

My problem is that I can only read Modern Standard Arabic written in Arabic script but I'm pretty lost with Arabizi, the Arabic chat alphabet, especially when it's mixed with slang. I found this article about an Algerian-French code-switched corpus: <a href="https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~ccb/publications/arabic-french-codeswitching.pdf" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">https://www.cis.upenn.edu/~ccb/publications/arabic-french-codeswitching.pdf</a>;.

Look at the example sentences:
we ki ta3arfou wach rah testfadou ? hhhhh cha3ab kar3adjiiiiiiiiii
(Don’t try to know everything because it does not matter to you.)
7ade said nchalah li lmontakhabina el3assekari nchalah yjibo natija mli7a bitawfiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiik . . . onchoriya chorouk stp
(Good luck to our military team, I hope they get a good score. Good Luck! Say it chorouk!)
mais les filles ta3na ysedkou n’import quoi ana hada face book jamais cheftou khlah kalbi
(Our girls believe anything, I have never seen this Facebook before)

What is this I don't even...

Do you use texting slang in your native tongue? Do you understand and use texting slang in your target languages? Do you know any good websites that explain texting and internet slang in your native or target languages? Do you code-switch when texting?

Jun 15, 2020 7:59 PM
Comments · 16
I don't use texting slang (ever).
June 15, 2020

Learning Standard Arabic is a waste of time for someone who wants to converse with native speakers. Even if native speakers can understand Standard Arabic, learners will not be able to understand native speakers if they don’t learn their vernacular.

Also, vernacular Arabic is not “slang”. It’s our entire spoken language. Dismissing it as “slang” and “useless” is, quite frankly, insulting. And yet Arabic speakers continue to perpetuate the myth that Standard Arabic is the “proper Arabic”. As if 300 million Arabic speakers just all collectively speak their language improperly.
June 15, 2020
Don’t worry, Miriam, nobody but Maghrebis understands this mix of French and Arabic. The Maghrebi dialects (especially Moroccan and Algerian) are difficult enough as they are, but throw in a load of French and they become incomprehensible to most Arabic speakers.

By the way, the ن prefix (which is used to indicate the first-person plural subject in MSA) is used to indicate the first-person singular in Algerian.

I don’t use Arabizi, and most people nowadays don’t. Needless to say, though, vernacular Arabic is different from Standard Arabic. From the perspective of a non-native speaker, they are different languages.
June 15, 2020
I have never used texting slang, neither in my mother tongue nor in other languages. I don't like it. But I would understand texting slang in my language without any problems.
June 16, 2020
I'm Algerian Miriam. I think it would be better if you learn Arabic not Standard ones. Even we Algerians we don't have the same manner of speaking this is due to linguistic continuity. As an example; the word "yes" in the West of Algeria is "wah; واه" if you move to the center of the country they would say " ih;ايه" however in the east they would say " bahi; باهي". You also mentioned that there is a mish mash "mixture" of Standard Arabic and French. We've gone further and we started texting Standard Arabic using french alphabet. For example, instead of saying "سلام "we write it using French alphabets " salam". Many Algerians use French words when speaking. As you've already written,the phrase " salam ça va?" is a mixture of both French and Arabic. Finally, i advise you to learn Arabic so that all Arabians will be able to understand you. Standard Arabic will be a waste of time. Wish my comment will be helpful
June 15, 2020
Show More
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), French, German
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)