The days when your French writing skills were only used for writing a letter or finishing an essay are over — now we’re sending texts and posting on social media instead.
To transfer your formal writing skills into the digital age, you’ll need to pick up some common French internet slang. Master these phrases so you can keep up with your group texts and French friends’ Instagram captions.
When texting your French-speaking friends, you'll find that some words lose a few letters.
The letter C can stand in for a few words in online French abbreviations — it can mean c’est, ca, or ce.
Don’t get a simple C confused with CC, which is a shortened version of the common French phrase Coucou. This is an informal way to say hello to family or friends, and you can expect to see it at the beginning of a text message or DM.
É can mean either et or est, which is a conjugation of the verb etre.
When typing je, the French often drop the e when typing for a simple j.
The term bisous is common in spoken French and is still used online to signify sending love or kisses at the end of the message. You may see it written more succinctly as biz in online communications.
French internet slang is known to be short and sweet. Rather than writing a toute à l’heure, which means see you soon, you might see a French-speaking friend write a tt instead.
A few other common French words that you’ll see shortened include avec to ac, donc to dc, voilà to vla, and aujourd’hui to auj.
Rather than typing out qu, you might notice that the French swap those letters for a more simplistic k. Common words like que, parceque, and quand respectively become ke, parcek, and kand.
For those that are familiar with the pronunciation of the French alphabet, swapping out j’ai for a simple g makes more sense — the two sound the same when spoken.
You might also notice that the letters oi or uoi are replaced with twa. Toi is then written as twa, and quoi can be seen in text conversations as kwa.
In English, you’re probably familiar with acronyms like TTYL. French internet speak has its own, which can help you text and message online like a local.
Keep in mind that many French speakers still use English abbreviations like WTF or OMG, so you may seem some internet slang you already know alongside these new terms.
S’il te plait = STP
Tout le monde = TLM
Mort de rire = MDR
MDR is the French translation of the commonly used English text slang LOL. You’ll see MDR in almost any online conversation and will look like a local if you’re able to use it correctly.
A plus tard = A+
Bonjour = BJR
Bonsoir = BSR
Désolé = DSL
Je ne sais pas = JSP
Beaucoup = BCP
Je t’aime = JTM
On se calme = OKLM
If your friend was angry or upset, you might send this text lingo, which is the French equivalent of saying chill out or calm down.
Pété de rire = PTDR
Like LMAO is to LOL, PTDR is to MDR in French — this might be used to differentiate between something funny and something hilarious.
Salut = SLT
C’est pas grave = CPG
In French internet slang, this abbreviation could signify someone saying no worries, or no big deal.
Whether you want to keep up with a group chat or are trying to understand your French-speaking friends’ social media pages, these slang phrases and spellings are sure to be useful. Practice texting like a local and use your French skills on your own social media accounts!