English Text Speak – Net Lingo

You’ve probably seen a similar joke before:


Ha, ha. But for many of my students English texting (or net lingo) is like learning another English language. It can be very frustrating for them.

One reason it’s hard for English learners to understand text speak is that words are abbreviated and shortened. Plus there are a lot of slang and idioms in text speak.

But text lingo is everywhere, especially because of mobile phone messaging, internet commenting, chatting and Twitter. I bet you even use text lingo in your own language!

So how can you learn English text lingo? Here are two important things to know:

1st: You need a few tips on writing text speak.

2ndYou need a good dictionary of texting terms – since a lot of text speak is slang, English speakers don’t know them all. Plus, new lingo becomes popular every day.

Okay, shall we begin? Let’s start with the second thing first.

1.  Dictionaries of texting language terms:

These websites are good for finding the meaning of texting terms:

The last two, transl8it! and Chat Slang are translators. You can type in a phrase in regular English and get a translation into text speak. Or, you can type in the text lingo to get the translation into regular English. Try it out, it’s really cool!

2.  How to write and decode text speak:

Now, let’s learn a few texting terms and then we’ll practice. To get you started, there are two lessons below. The first will help you learn how form text speak in English. The second lesson lists some popular text slang.  Click the links to go to each lesson.

1. Shorthand – Abbreviations, Condensing Words & Using Numbers


Click here for the lesson on writing in text speak.


2. Text Slang: Text speak with special meanings


Click here for the lesson on popular text slang.


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