A wink, a smiley face, abbreviations and…voila! You’ve just drafted the perfect text message or… rather, WhatsApp message, which is all the rage right now. The world of Internet has made communication evolve in leaps and bounds, and when it comes to communicating in other languages, even more so. Fast and fluid communication is essential these days and let us tell you something: on social media, languages have many things in common.
1- Economy of language
Economizing doesn’t only apply to someone who saves in terms of money; it also applies to words. We’ve become experts at this and you’re surely one as well. On Twitter, we can only use a limited number of words to convey a message. Here at Okodia, we have projects where we adapt the translation of some companies’ messages to suit a more international audience, and in these cases, the economy of language goes a long way. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Thus, spontaneity and speed, as well as brevity, are sought after. Surely, you know someone who uses the neologism “stalkear”, which comes from the English word that means “to follow and watch someone over a long period of time in a way that is annoying or threatening”.
2- Emojis rule the world
…of Internet, of course. Emoticons have become very important in the world of languages. There are even those who go so far as to say that they are the universal language. And the truth is that they’re not completely off the mark. Even the RAE made a statement on its Twitter account on the use of emoticons, since it gave rise to a debate on whether they should be placed before or after the period in phrases.
3- Do you follow or…do you follow?
The use of the Internet is changing the meaning of some words. For example, nowadays “follow” has nothing to do with its first meaning, which is basically “to go behind someone else”. What’s more, dictionaries have not yet included the meaning of commonly used words such as “avatar”, which is used to refer to someone’s profile picture on the Internet, while it has added others such as tweeter or tweet.
As you can see, communication is evolving at the speed of light on the Internet. Do you know any more trivia on languages in social media? Tell us about it!