9 Languages That Win Internet Slang Game
Gone are the days where you had to wait weeks for an international pen pal to respond to your snail mail. The internet has freed us up to make friends almost anywhere on Earth that we please.
But what happens if you make a joke to a friend living in Brazil and they respond with 'kkk'? If you have no idea what that means, here's the answer: they’re laughing.
With that in mind, here's how internet slang changes in nine other languages:
- French Getty
In the land of love, internet French is just as fluid and romantic as it is spoken out loud. Their version of LOL is 'MDR,' or mort de rire, which means you're 'dying of laughter.' And if you want to give hugs and kisses to your bae, you wouldn't tell them 'XOXO;' you'd say 'biz,' a shortening of 'bisous,' the french word for a kiss.
- Portuguese Getty
In Brazil, people speaking in Portuguese use the abbreviation 'kkk' all the time, which is real jarring if you're American. Don't worry -- 'kkk' is their version of LOL. You can also use 'rsrs' for the same purpose. Other Internet speak includes 'kra,' a shortening of 'cara' (which means 'dude'), and 'uau' (which means 'wow').
- Spanish Getty
In Spanish-speaking countries, the letter J takes the noise that H does in America. So 'haha' becomes 'jaja' and 'hehe' becomes 'jeje.' Goodbye is 'a2' because read aloud it's 'a-dos' -- one letter away from 'adios.'
- Nigerian Getty
The official language of Nigeria is English, but Nigerians speak a wealth of other languages, including Hausa, Igbo, Yoruba, Ibibio, Edo, Fulfulde and Kanuri. That results in a lot of different internet speak. Some of the highlights include 'WDH' or 'wetin dey happen,' which is slang for 'What's up?' 'O2s,' which is 'omo too sexy,' means someone is ... well ... too sexy.
- Japanese Getty
In Japan , internet slang is extensive, probably because they're right under America ranking No. 4 in the world with their internet usage. 'W' takes the place of LOL, since 'わらう' or 'to laugh' starts with a 'W' noise. And 'jk' doesn't mean 'just kidding,' it means 女子高生 or 'high school girl.' Adapt accordingly.
- German Getty
If your only experience with German is Flula Borg from 'Pitch Perfect 2,' have no worry.
In Germany , there's not really an LOL, but people type 'g' as an abbreviation of 'grinsen' or 'grin.' 'LG' is short for 'liebe grüße,' which means 'I love you.' You can say (or text) this to Borg in his native tongue if you two ever meet.
- Chinese Getty
Chinese internet speak is mostly phonetic, much like English. The numbers 520 are pronounced as wu er ling which means 'I love you.' To say goodbye, you sign off with an '88,' which makes the noise 'ba-ba' if you sound it out.
- Thai Getty
If you want to pronounce the number five in Thailand , you say 'ha.' Therefore, '555' literally sounds like 'hahaha' -- which is what you should type online if you're laughing in Bangkok #themoreyouknow .
- Russian Getty
Fun fact: Russia has a name for some of its Internet language, and it’s called 'йазыг падонкафф' or Padonkaffsky jargon . It was developed by internet communities there much like communities in America created Leet or l33t. If you want to laugh on a Russian message board, all you have to do is type xa xa, 'гы-гы' or 'хи хи.'