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Lessons on Texting a Message in Spanish

written by: Kena Sosa • edited by: Elizabeth Stannard Gromisch • updated: 9/11/2012

As texting has gained popularity, it has spurred many new abbreviations and acronyms in English. Spanish has also seen an increase in a new kind of language which take some effort to decipher and use naturally. Teach your students lessons on how to text message in Spanish with this article.

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    Spanish Texting Basics

    Just as OMG (oh my god) and LOL (laugh out loud) have become everyday language for chatters and texters in English, other phrases, acronyms, and abbreviations have changed everyday Spanish. Spelling and correct grammar are not as important as getting your point across in a fast and fun way. The following offers lessons on how to text message in Spanish.

    Cute misspellings have become quite common and stylish amongst the young crowd who guide the language that technology produces. For example, the letter K really doesn't have much of a place in standard Spanish with the exception of measurements like kilograms or kilometros (kilometers). Normally the Q, along with the u would produce this sound. Yet, the urgency of texting makes the use of the K much easier on the fingers. So, instead of que haces? one might text ke haces? It may be only one letter shorter, but it makes all the difference if you text all day. Te quiero would be more easily expressed as T kiero. The ñ is often one lost on keyboards in countries in which Spanish is not the main language, leaving users to use complex codes like pressing ctl 164 to get one letter; thus, many times users now opt to use ni, creating the same sound. Anios is used for años for one example. Using just the n would not be an option as in this case it would spell a less than nice word. Other abbreviations include:

    • x = por
    • q = que (also k or ke)
    • xq = porque
    • De = d
    • Te = t; te amo would become t amo
    • Me = m
    • Be = b; besos would be bsos or even bss
    • Pe = p; the name Pepe would be pp
    • Se/Ce = c
    • Este = st
    • Estas = tas
    • Tqm = te quiero mucho, also tkm
    • Xfa = por favor
    • M1md = mandame un mensaje despues (send me a message later)
    • Kls = clase

    You would also not put any initial punctuation in texts and save them only for the end of the sentence, and that is only if they are completely necessary.

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    Practice Activities

    Starting a day two of the texting basics lesson, students should text in their attendance to the teacher using as much texting shorthand and slang as possible for ten points.

    Students should interview each other by texting their answers back and forth. This should count as a text quiz.

    *The teacher should take into consideration that not all students might have a phone to text or that they may not have a texting plan on their phone, and the resulting bill would be problematic for their families. Thus, students who do not have one available could do the next activity instead.

    Practice texting with the chat function of Skype with another student or a student in a Spanish-speaking place. This should count as a quiz. For those who had already completed the quiz, it can be done for bonus points or just practice.

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    Assessment

    Finally, the teacher can make sure the students have mastered both understanding and producing texts in Spanish by conducting an assessment scavenger hunt throughout the school. The teacher will begin by giving the students their first clue in text format using commonly used abbreviations and acronyms in Spanish to student cell phones. Those without phones can partner up with students with phones. This first clue should take them to another location. Once they text the message found at the location to the teacher, he or she can text them the next clue. This process will continue until the students have reached the final destination in which they would text a message to the teacher about where they are and how happy they are to have gotten to the end.

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    Conclusion

    The bottom line is that texting in Spanish should be fun. Texting is about communicating quickly and entertaining oneself, so the activities should help the students do this and establish relationships with other Spanish-learners and Spanish-speakers with whom they can continue to practice to text. This and other lessons on how to text message in Spanish do just that!