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Italian SMS

Just when you think you are finally getting a grip on the Italian language you come face to face with Italian SMS.

SMS (short message service) is basically a service that allows you to send short text messages between cell phones and it has become increasing popular with Italians, especially among the younger generations.


Photo Credit:  Kaeru

While I was in Italy, I noticed that cell phones had become quite popular since my last trip, but it seemed cell phones were more commonly used to send text messages (SMS) then to make calls.  As a result, a whole new abbreviated Italian language was created.  This didn’t really have an impact on me at the time, since I wasn’t using my cell phone in Italy.  However, since my return I’ve noticed that the concept of SMS has gone beyond the cell phone.  As many of my Italian friends started joining Facebook, I began to see the use of SMS more and more: comments on photos, status updates, wall posts, etc.

If you are just starting to learn the Italian language, the abbreviations may be tough to figure out.  I found that I was able to make sense of most of these strange letter/number/symbol groupings, but the point of SMS was definitely lost on me, since it took me longer to translate the sentence in its SMS form then it took to translate the same sentence in its full form.

However, since many of my friends use SMS, I decided it was time for a crash course.  In order to do that, I had to go straight to the source and figure out what all this SMS business was about.  I went to my Italian friends to gather a list of the more commonly used SMS abbreviations of the Italian language.

It was like cracking a code, or being initiated into a secret society.  And, because I’m so generous, I thought I would pass some of this new found knowledge on to you.

Here are just a few…

6 – sei
anke – anche
c6? – ci sei?
cm – come
cmq – comunque
dv 6? – dove sei?
ftt – fatto
nn – non
qlcs – qualcosa
qnd – quando
smpr – sempre
tt – tutto
xke – perche
xo – pero

I know there are so many more different SMS words that can be added to this list.  Feel free to add any you have seen on numerous occasions.

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