Send a Texto or SMS message in French - short dictionary of text abbreviations....
Monday, September 02, 2013
Those colorful tasseled linens on the ladder are called foutas (available here). You see them on the beach, beneath the very chic! The French adore them though they're not made in France (some come from Tunisia). They don't cost an arm and a leg--and for added value you can use them as a tablecloth or a bed runner or a body wrap. ORDER A TOWEL HERE
A DAY IN A FRENCH LIFE...
by Kristin Espinasse
This morning when my son walks up to the breakfast table I promise not to fire off 24 giddy questions like the last time. "There's a bag of sliced bread here and some Nutella over there," I say simply, smiling peacefully when he says he prefers baguettes (we're out.)
It is so rare these days to share a meal with Max that I don't want to ruin this opportunity. Especially, I don't want to scare him away--after all, he has two more options: he could eat in the dining room or he could eat outside on the patio. The weather's still nice, so this last possibility would be tempting.
"Look at the jellyfish stings I got! " I try distracting my 18-year-old before he even considers his options. Quickly, I offer my hand for Max's inspection. Pointing to my ankle, I show off a second prickly red patch. "Que ça gratte!"
While away with Jean-Marc this weekend, on a 3-day escapade amoureux, I tried to keep up with my adventurous husband. But I was reluctant to swim in the sea with him after I noticed all the jellyfish. Finally on day three I made up my mind to brave the salty waters (which had cleared, some, of the stinging monsters). I mimicked my husband, spitting several times in my face mask, using my thumbs to "shine" the goggles with the help of my salive. Next, I yanked on the mask and dove in before chickening out. Seconds later I was stunned back to my good senses. Zapped twice by jellyfish!
How ironic to have been so cautious only to double the odds! Or, as Jean-Marc said when later we laughed about my accidental run-in with the méduses: "Il fallait le faire express! You would have had to do that on purpose!" He's right--and fear is like a magnet... it seems to attract the very thing it hopes to avoid!
Max laughed hearing my story. "Maman," he said, dismissing my superstition, "t'es une catastrophe!" You are just clumsy.
"Oh, by the way," I said to Max, "When I tried to text you last night with my mobile phone, I got confused by your response, which didn't make any sense--until I realized I was reading a response you had sent me last month!"
Max smiled and shook his head in appreciation of another of his mom's ineptitudes.
"...So I decided to have your sister text you for me! Only, when I texted Jackie for an update, I received another strange response. It read 'C ki?' I quickly figured out that 'c ki' was a keyboard shortcut for "c'est qui?"
Having decripted the French SMS, or text, I still found the message strange. Perhaps Jackie couldn't see my name in the text box thing? So I texted right back with "c maman". (Though I struggled with the tiny keys on my non-smart phone, I felt smug using the SMS code I'd just learned, such as the "c" for "c'est". But any pride quickly dissipated when I couldn't figure out how to abbreviate "maman"... mmn? mn? ma? meh...
"Next I received this message: 'dsl vs fait erreur'." After unscrambling the second message ("dsl = désolé; vs = vous...) I realized I had just texted a complete stranger, one who was polite enough to inform me: "sorry you've made a mistake"!
I debated several minutes on whether or not to reply to the inconnu, deciding it was only right to acknowledge the error: "dsl je me suis trompe de no". So much for the brief foray into French texting (and what a relief it was when the stranger didn't write back. Ouf!)
Max, having heard me out, came back to his first conclusion: "T'es une catastrophe!" he snickered.
Well, Max may be clever, but can he say "clumsy" in textese? MDR! Meantime, to help you with your own speed-texting, I leave you with a list of French SMS lingo--compiled by our daughter and SMS specialist Jackie (she also recorded an audio file for you... just below). Please share this blog with a friend--or a class, if you are teaching French :-)
Audio File: You can listen to the following list, here: Download MP3 or Wav file
Mdr = Mort de rire (lol).
Pk = Pourquoi (why)
Je c = Je sais (I know)
Stp = S'il te plait (please)
Tg = Ta gueule! (shut up! [written teasingly])
Tmtc = Toi même tu sais (and you know it)
Jtm = Je t'aime (I love you)
Slt = Salut (hi)
Cc = Coucou (hi)
Bjr = Bonjour (hi)
Bsr = Bonsoir (goodnight)
Dsl = Désolé (sorry)
Have some French SMS shorthand you'd like to add to this list? Click here to go to the comments box.
que ça gratte! = it itches so bad!
une escapade amoureuse = lovers' getaway
la salive = saliva
une méduse = jellyfish
la maman = mom
l'inconnu = stranger
ouf! = phew!
Please help answer Patty's adoption question:
Thank you for your wonderful newsletter.. It inspires me…. Although, I do not read it as much as I would like to….it always amazes me…and brings me to my roots… You may have the information I am looking for…. What is the name of the French TV program that looks for relatives of adopted children…. I understand they are quite successful at finding families..
I was adopted at birth in Bordeaux by an American Military couple back in the 50’s and have tried to look, but I haven’t much info…. I was told about the show and that that might be a possibility…. Any information you might have would be great….
If you know the answer to Patty's question, or would like to comment on some item in this post please click here for the comments box. Many thanks!
During our 3-day getaway, we visited a little island church. I noticed this statue of St. Antoine. Beneath it there was a prayer book where you could leave a request. I mispelled the first word of mine...
....Good thing you don't have to conjugate to get your point across to God.
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Do you ever text your husband.....JtmJM?
I like all the foutas, but especially the raspberry colored one!
I haven't mastered the texting lingo. My texts are always too long!
Posted by: Eileen deCamp | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 09:25 PM
For the beach, I would choose for my special someone the fouta in the lower right.
and thanks for the French SMS. Can't wait to try it out on a few French-speaking friends!
Posted by: gary | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 10:35 PM
I can barely figure out the English ones, never mind the French ones!!!
Posted by: Karen from Phoenix | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 10:37 PM
I love all the foutas but the orange and yellow one is calling my name the loudest.
Posted by: Madeleine | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 10:58 PM
Merci mille fois pour ce poste! I teach French and I am so excited to share the text speak with my students tomorrow in class! It's always fun to make it more interesting for them, especially when it's something that they are interested in!
Posted by: Clarice from California | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:01 PM
I agree w Karen. Special: Buy WIAFL get Fouta pkge special. I'll take 2.
So mom's away and she wants to see if Max is at play. Get better answer-- ask the dogs. Happy Labor Day...
Posted by: Hampton | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:03 PM
Our dear Kristi,
I always felt like an idiot trying to text anyway, and now seeing all the appropriate "lingo" in French,wow,I feel like even more of one.Thank goodness for the troisieme age;some stuff isn't as important!
I loved your church of st.Antoine,and your beautiful prayer request.What a wonderful idea.
Thank you,dear Kristi,for always filling us with light and inspiration!
Love, Natalia xo
Posted by: Natalia | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:07 PM
Definitely the dark red with some white stripes.
Posted by: Debby Howell | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:19 PM
For your SMS abbrvs.
A+ = à plus tard
Posted by: John | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:20 PM
Thanks for the texting lingo, but what does SMS itself stand for?
Posted by: Joan Linneman | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:20 PM
A year or two ago, Beatrice Schoenberg hosted a program (sorry, I can't remember the title).One segment was about a woman who helps people find their relatives and birth parents. It was on France 2.
Posted by: Rosalinda B. Roll | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:21 PM
The colors are wonderful - happy !!! But I would buy the yellow and orange - it just says summer fun to me. Sorry - I have starting texting yet - when my great neices and nephew start then I will. Back to your story.
Posted by: N, San Antonio, Texas | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:39 PM
First off, I think I would choose the yellow runner....goes with the sunflowers I like to keep in the kitchen.
Second;I tried texting once on my sisters phone (I don't have one of those "things") and it was somewhat of a disaster. And actually for some very strange reason the SMS (whatever that is) in French made more sense to me than English.
Third;we have a new French bakery in town. C'est très authentique. They even have fresh baguettes every morning and twice on Sundays! The owner actually moved his entire family here from France.
Fourth;does one ever greet someone other than family with good morning,I would assume "bon matin" or is it always "bonjour" until "ce soir".
Fifth;in the future something you might try on jellyfish stings. They say vinegar, but an ER physician once told me that any type of meat tenderizer is good for insect, bee stings and the like. There is some enzyme in it that helps extract and break down the poison.
Posted by: joie | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:45 PM
Ok read your story but first things first! What city is the French bakery in that Joie talks about? Anywhere in Texas?
LOVed your story as usual - but no info on the adoption TV show. You are not a "catastrophe" . You are brave considering your first posts about getting the boat. Bravo and wish I knew of something to make the itching go away. Cortizone cream? Sometimes I use toothpaste on mosquito bites - sounds odd but my sister-in-law from La. told me about it. Maybe it would help with the jelly fish. Happy evening!
Posted by: N, San Antonio, Texas | Monday, September 02, 2013 at 11:58 PM
This is for Patty:
I am on my way Sunday to Paris for 4 days and then to Aix en Provence for 6 days. I will ask my friends if they recall the program you mentioned. I can post it here if I find out anything. Bon chance!
Posted by: sue | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 12:01 AM
Ilike the Tuscan yellow...but what r this couple's colors?
Posted by: Faye Stelly- Lafayette, La. | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 12:12 AM
I think the one on the lower right as well. It looks like red and I think everyone needs a little red in their life or kitchen maybe, especially newly-weds! It says fu
n to me!
Posted by: Meredith | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 12:15 AM
I like the pink/blue/green strip, and I would want to live in those wraps, cannot tell how thick they are, though.
And you are B R A V E, Kristen--in a gazillion years I would never have gotten into that water!
Posted by: Pat cargill | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 12:23 AM
Dear Kristi! Your story made me smile and feel light-as-summer; buoyed by memories of swimming amongst the (non-stinging) jellyfish of Puget Sound summers at my grandparents'. I am sorry for your stings (plural --- ouch!!) and would have wished for you a more pleasant reward for your esteemed bravery! Still, happy you got away for a few days with your beloved.
Though reluctantly at first, I do find texting convenient and most of the abbreviations are beyond my understanding, as are smart phones. The first time I attempted to text on my current dinosaur-era cell phone was hilarious. I think it was on auto-fill, still not sure!? All I could get across was “tut tut” which puzzled me as well as the friend who the message was sent to. I think you and I have more in common than we realize! :)
There has been a shift in the light, the air, the weather here in southern Oregon; it feels light on the skin and the soul. Beautiful, glorious fall is near!
Posted by: Stacy ~ Sweet Life Farm | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 12:59 AM
Voila un autre SMS: A+
egal 'A plus' egal 'A plus tard' egal 'TTFN' egal 'CUL8R'
egal See You Later/Ta Ta For Now/Til later
Posted by: Annie et Larry abord Vague-A-Bond | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 01:12 AM
The Arizona-like heatwave finally broke here in Missouri, so it was a perfect summer Labor Day to lounge by the pool, sans foutas but avec margaritas. Thanks so much for the text lingo because I've had friends e-mail or Skype using the abbreviations and I can't always find their meaning in a google search. I will paste all of these into a handy spot on my computer.
Posted by: Julie Farrar | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 01:22 AM
What my French friend uses all the time: CT = c'etait, kan = quand, bcp = beaucoup, tjs/tjrs = toujours. There's more but I don't always get it either :D
Posted by: Annisa | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 02:12 AM
Loved this post. And I can definitely sympathize with your texting frustrations.
As for the for "blankets"--they would be fabulous to use in upholstering dining room parsons chairs. I saw that Lilly Pulitzer's daughter used native American blankets on her dining chairs but I think these would even more lovely.
Posted by: Daryl | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 03:07 AM
I'm thinking the brighter/darker orange and the stripes with pink and orange. Beautiful!
Posted by: Angie Quantrell | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 03:49 AM
The foutas on the lower left. The yellow, blue and pink remind me of the beach - yellow for the sun, blue for the ocean, pink for a gorgeous sunrise or sunset!
Posted by: Kathy | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 04:21 AM
Hmm ... in quick notes I've seen ...
C'est à dire 'bisous' et 'gros bisous'...maybe not really SMS (SMS? aucune idée - no idea what SMS means)
Posted by: Linda R. | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 06:13 AM
I like the red fouta...it's a lovely shade! So sorry about the jelly fish stings...must have been painful. The Mayo Clinic recommends the following....
Posted by: sandy | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Somtimes I think your JL is a a nutcake! Jellyfish?? Let him get stung.
As for texting, tweeting, twittering and twicking, I prefer a well-written email or a sweet voiced hello on a cellphone.
If this is an age thing, c'est ma vie...
Posted by: Suzanne Dunaway | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 07:37 AM
I am too old to keep up with the new txt argot...quand meme...je vais continuer de essayer soyez en courant avec vos nouvelles en whatever way you expose them to me.
Posted by: Jan | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 07:40 AM
Salut Kristin: I laughed reading about your being stung by des méduses after carefully avoiding them the first two days!!! Comme si le bon Dieu nous taquine, ça m'arrive souvent ainsi, mais dans des différentes circonstances.
By the way, NOT " faire express" as you have misspelled maybe. To do it on purpose is "faire exprès".
Posted by: Millie | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 08:40 AM
SMS == Short Messaging System
Posted by: Nigel | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 09:31 AM
Thank you for the added terms for our French SMS texting guide! And to Nigel, for defining SMS. And I appreciate your sympathies and solutions to the piqûre de méduse, or jellyfish bite I got. Currently the bumpy rash is covered in soothing organic coconut oil (I have a good supply on hand for all the no grudge fudge Ive been making http://french-word-a-day.typepad.com/motdujour/2013/07/fudge.html
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 10:26 AM
P.S. Millie -- many thanks for the correction. Off to update the post ... Any other errors Ive missed?
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 10:27 AM
I thought that we only had jelly fish in Long Island Sound. I didn't realize that other places have them also. C'est domage. I have been lucky and have never gotten stung,but of course, I don't swim with the (jelly) fish.
Thanks for the French texting short cuts. I don't know them in English and many times have to look them up in Google.
As for which fouta to buy..what are the couples colors?
Posted by: Kathleen from Connecticut | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 02:19 PM
Hi kristin, je vous signale un article qui peut vous interesser in the LA Times TRAVEL
Sunday September 1, 2013: "A bookish haven for Americans in Paris".
Have a wonderfull autumn! Odile in LA
Posted by: Odile CA | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 05:12 PM
"...Good thing you don't have to conjugate to get your point across to God."
Posted by: Gordon Lyman | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 05:25 PM
I recently saw a girl at a beach in Hawaii suffer two jellyfish stings. She cried and cried and lifeguards put vinegar on the welts. She said it reduced the pain, but I saw she had the welts for several more days.
Posted by: Gordon Lyman | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 05:35 PM
Love those foutas! Have one on my table here in Paris, but the shop where I bought it had less fun colors. Thanks for sharing and good luck selecting the gift for your friends.
Posted by: Julia ~ Falling Off Bicycles | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 05:49 PM
When I have been stung by jellyfish, I use Adolph's meat tenderizer. It really works. Just moisten the powder slightly to make a quick paste and dab it on. You can do this after you come out of the sea, no need to rush out right away. Hope this helps, because they really sting and itch.
And I would get the lower right hand fouta....love those colors, so summery and lively.
Love your French word of the day, too!
Posted by: Meg | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 06:02 PM
I'm amazed the French don't have a French term for SMS. (Thanks,Nigel, for explaining Short Messaging System for SMS). Our bank recently became PNC and no one seems to know what it stands for, only that it's supposed to appeal to "the achiever in you." How stale can you get?
Weather in Kankakee has finally cooled off; after a week of early dismissals nfor over 90 degree temps, my classroom is actually comfortable today. Happy week, everyone! Joan L.
Posted by: Joan Linneman | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Has the word fouta been used long in France? It is actually an Arabic word meaning towel.
Posted by: Hani Agrama | Tuesday, September 03, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Hani, thanks for translating the word foutas. The French have adopted it--but only to refer to these scarf-like beach towels that, here, are imported from Tunisia--where they are used for the hammam. Your note reminds me of a few other Arabic words the French regularly use... Could be a good post to share. Thanks!
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Wednesday, September 04, 2013 at 07:33 AM
Je ne crois pas que "snuck" soit un vrai mot anglais. Je ne peux
pas le trouve à mon dictionnaire d'anglais. Le passé du verbe 'sneak'
c'est 'sneaked'. Peut-être je fais tort parce que mon dictionnaire
soit ancien; je suis un peu de la vieille école. Joanne, Carmel, CA
Posted by: Joanne Ablan | Wednesday, September 04, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Sneaked may be more formally correct but most Americans say "snuck", as in " I snuck ihto the room", not "I sneaked into the room":. It may be an argot thing. We definitely have jellyfish in Fla. and you want to avoid at all costs. Various remedies sound possible. Jean Marc is one of those people who doesn't attract biters where you and I and most all light haired, light skinned people are like magnets for the biters. Loved the foutas, particularly the bottom left.
Posted by: Diane Young | Wednesday, September 04, 2013 at 10:23 PM
"He's right--and fear is like a magnet... it seems to attract the very thing it hopes to avoid!
There is a scriptural basis for your assertion: In Job 3:25, after wishing he had never been born, Job says, "For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me." Some biblical scholars attribute Job's plight to his fear. Fear has been described as the opposite of faith and the companion of doubt. For, if one is in fear, one cannot be in faith. Faith is believing what one hears is true, while fear is the natural consequence of suspecting that it is not.
Posted by: Kent Benson | Friday, September 06, 2013 at 09:46 PM
You misspelled a word? Prier au lieu de Priez? Prier est correct! Many times I've seen signs, or directions in a French textbook that use the infinitive form as a command.
Posted by: Alice Dent | Saturday, September 07, 2013 at 12:25 AM
Diane Nyad who just swam from Havana to Key West was thwarted by jellyfish the last time she tried. She had to wear a special mask to make it across. She's blond, BTW. Lifeguards recommend squirting Windex or Glass Plus (it's the ammonia) on jellyfish stings here in Florida since they are usually at hand. A baking soda paste (mixed with water) also takes the sting out & with hornet & bee stings. Je crois que tu es très courageuse!
Posted by: Alice Dent | Saturday, September 07, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Michael, so cheered to see your note and to know my Mom is getting her vision taken care of. Thank you so much for visiting us here at our language blog-I am sure others appreciated an update on Jules, too! Welcome, Michael, and please come back for a visit.
Kent, your note about the related scripture is much appreciated. Thank you!
Fred, glad you saw my note! I think of you, too!
To all who responded to this post, many many thanks. We are in and out of the house this weekend and I am sorry for this brief reply. On our way to Momtpellier now, for a yearly reunion with friends to honor the memory of a dear school chum of Jean-Marc. Wishing everybody an enjoyable weekend. Take good care.
Posted by: Kristin Espinasse | Saturday, September 07, 2013 at 10:02 AM
So glad you and JM were able to plan a little getaway but I'm sorry for the jellyfish stings. I've never had one but I'm sure they're nasty! Hope you're feeling better.
Love all the foutas, esp. the ones at the top but I'd be tempted to buy one of each-what great colors!
I've never texted in my life and don't plan to in the future. Too much of a technological intrusion on my life. Cell phones are bad enough and I rarely use mine. With teenagers, you're kind of stuck in the middle of that stuff-good luck with that one! I don't envy you!
Hope you're having a wonderful day!
Posted by: Carolyn Dahm, Sharon, MA | Saturday, September 07, 2013 at 04:54 PM
Posted by: Lucy | Saturday, September 14, 2013 at 08:56 PM