Langage Texto

So on Tuesday I’m in French class, which is held in a building called, believe or not, Palais Wittgenstein. The teacher is the sylphlike, aloof Nicole (not not her real name), one of the most  attractive 5*-somethings I’ve ever seen. We’re currently studying a unit on how elderly French people use the Internet. Even Nicole apologizes for how soul-pulverizingly boring it is. But it’s the next unit in the book we’re using.

During a radio feature about actual old French people, we hear them complain about all the "langage texto" they see on the Internet. I ask what "langage texto" is. Turns out it’s the French phrase for SMS-speak: C U l8r, C U 2morrow, etc. Yesterday, a friend told me that France has the most advanced langage texto in the world. Apparently, it’s a structural thing: lots of French letters sound like French syllables, lots of French numbers sound like French syllables or words, lots of French words sound like other, longer French words. Examples are K7 (for "cassette"), or "o" for "eau,"

Here’s a list of hundreds of langage texto words. There’s even, apparently, a novel (F) written in langage texto.

Could this be the new Esperanto? Will there one day be a "Langage Texto Strasse", just as there is now an Esperantostrasse? [No, you dumbass, because it only makes sense in French. – ed.]

4 thoughts on “Langage Texto

  1. Might have something to do with the fact that the correlation between how the language is spoken and how it is written. That’s what they get for not doing a proper spelling reform in all those years. 🙂

    Does Italian have a ‘langage texto’?

    I think it’s strange that you’re calling ‘langage texto’ a new Esperanto . Esperanto tries to get people communicating whereas ‘langage texto’ makes it harder to communicate. Not only for old people but also for people whose native language is not french.

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  2. @ Patrick

    Of course there is a SMS-speak for Italian! here some few examples

    http://it.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060704023254AANEYhQ

    as for brazilian portuguese: “vc eh D+!!! bjs” (U r gr8!!! XOXOX)

    I think it´s normal to “shrink” words in latin languages that have so many diacritics and vowels between the consonants, like french and portuguese. what a Surprise that you can also use SMS-speak in German and English that have much more ‘compact’ spelling.

    I do not think the SMS-Speak is particulary complicated, besides the pratical issues (typing in a cell phone keyboard is a pain in the neck) young people writes mostly like this because they don´t want “old people” to understand it. 😉

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