abbreviation - re:

Discussion in 'Spanish-English Grammar / Gramática Español-Inglés' started by cara47, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. cara47 Senior Member

    New York
    English, United States
    Do Spanish-speakers ever use an abbreviation for the word regarding--RE: as we do in English?
     
  2. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod, I say, Moderator

    Arizona
    American English
    How do you use it in English? Do you mean the abbreviation for "in regards to" or "regarding"?
     
  3. Corintio44 Senior Member

    Washington State, USA
    English (American)
    Re: = Asunto:
     
  4. VictorBsAs Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Spanish - Argentina
    Sometimes we use 'Ref.' meaning 'referencia'
    Other options are 'Asunto', 'Tema'
     
  5. EviLito Senior Member

    Spanish - Colombia
    The abbreviation you're looking for is "Ref:" (referencia = asunto, reference). It is common on commercial letters.

    "Re:" is "respuesta" (reply) for me, maybe because it is widely used on email subjects.
     
  6. cara47 Senior Member

    New York
    English, United States
    Yes. I am asking about the abbreviation re: with the meaning of referring to, in reference to , in regards to, etc.

    So Im confused when you say re = RESPUESTA. In the subject line of an email, we use re: to mean "in reference to" or "regarding....such and such"
     
  7. Corintio44 Senior Member

    Washington State, USA
    English (American)
    Re: in English = Asunto:

    I think EviLito is saying that if you see "Re" in Spanish it's an abbreviation for "Respuesta."
     
  8. EviLito Senior Member

    Spanish - Colombia
    Hi cara,

    Yes. As I said, we use the abbreviation "Ref." with the meaning of "referencia, asunto, tema" mostly in bussiness letters. However, if you're talking about the email system, you can use "Re" on the email subjects just like you do in English.

    We don't use "Re" on bussiness letters and we don't use "Ref" on email subjects.
     
  9. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Hi Cara 47,
    I think you are talking about the abbreviation "re", which comes from "regarding", but is equally used in informal situations, with the meaning of "about"/"on the subject of". Though it's more common in writing, we sometimes even use it in speech...."re your mother's situation" etc. I haven't found an equivalent Spanish abbreviation, though there are many expressions that translate the idea: en cuanto a , en lo que se refiere a, referente a etc.
    I think some of the previous answers you have received are talking about something different. "Ref." is used to quote the reference number of a previous communication, but it doesn't mention the subject. And "re" on an English email would be translated as "asunto" on a Spanish one, as someone has pointed out, but it doesn't mean "respuesta".
     
  10. cara47 Senior Member

    New York
    English, United States
    Ah, ha! Thank you, inib. You are right that I am referring to abbreviation for REGARDING in the way we English speakers always use it-- re:
    Now I know that the Spanish speakers do not use any abbreviation and that re: on an English email is translated as "asunto." Gracias.
     
  11. Corintio44 Senior Member

    Washington State, USA
    English (American)
    See Comment #3
     
  12. cara47 Senior Member

    New York
    English, United States
    Yes. I see comment #3 that says "=asunto" by Corintio44. Gracias. So, we have 2 confirmed on that!! Thank you both.
     
  13. EviLito Senior Member

    Spanish - Colombia
    In writing, we use "Ref" in the same way you guys use "Re". That would be the equivalent abbreviation you're looking for.

    And regarding the emails:

    So, the meaning for "Re" on emails is more like "respuesta" (reply) for us, because it only appears on replies and because we don't link it in mind with the meaning of "regarding" as you do. My personal opinion, is that both meanings, regarding and reply, are acceptable for "Re" on emails.

    And this is really odd :p I can't even think right now on a single abbreviation of this kind that we actually use in speech. It's like saying "e-t-c" instead of "etcétera". Interesting I guess. :D
     
  14. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Hi Evi-Lito,
    I see that you don't agree with some of my comments, or they are unfamiliar to you. I stated what I use but can't give statistics about the popularity of this. Maybe other users will clear up our differences of opinion.
    As to using abbreviations in speech, in preference to whole words, I have (only occasionally, I admit) heard Spanish speakers use precisely your example..e-t-c instead of etcétera, and never in English. On the other hand, in English, especially if the abbreviation comes from another language, and one is not sure of the whole locution, we often tend to just spell the abbreviation in speech. It is not totally unusual to hear "Did you remember to put an R.S.V.P on the invitation?" or even to hear e-g (ee-gee) instead of "for example." Another instance is N.B (nota bene). We often write in our own (school/university) notes N.B,( or hear from our teachers "en-bee") such-and-such a comment. The teachers don't say "Nota bene:............x.
    My intention wasn't to change the subject, but just to give other examples where we really do pronounce an abbreviation as such,knowing its intention but often without knowing its origin.
    One last clearing-up point. It's 26 years since I lived in my native country so I'm likely not to be up-to-date with the most modern usages, but I'm most certainly not "contaminated" by mobile or internet abbreviation language.
    Hope to hear from you again, Saludos cordiales,
    Inib
     
  15. cara47 Senior Member

    New York
    English, United States
    EviLito: I think a lot of young people use abbreviations in their informal speech, most of which never catch on in society as a whole: I remember a popular abbreviation used in the 1980's- Don't ruin your "rep" (instead of reputation).

    The acronyms that are used in text messaging (OMG, LOL, etc) sometimes show up as spoken words but not often. Of course, now-a-days MANY people think of texting as talking. I often hear a 20 or 30-something say "I spoke with him today" and they are actually referring to a text exchange.

    We may not abbreviate words per se in our speech but there are many forms of ABBREVIATING: One of the best examples is making verbs out of nouns-- and these verbs soon filter to the journalists. Examples:
    We usually "summer" in the Hamptons. We'll "lunch" on Thursdays this month. I am "bridesmaiding" this weekend. Conversions also happen when a product becomes so popular that everyone uses it--- "Google" it.
    There are endless examples of how our language has morphed/evolved over the last few years, but usually it's about explaining or saying something in faster way. We are all so busy that we cannot take the time to say a noun and a verb and an adjective! :)
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  16. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Agree 100%, but out of curiosity, what does "OMG" mean? I already stated that I'm pretty dull at these things!
    Just guess work, but could it be "Oh, my God!"?
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2010
  17. VictorBsAs Senior Member

    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Spanish - Argentina
    En castellano usamos abreviaturas al escribir, pero rara vez al hablar. Por el contrario, quienes hablan inglés parece que odiaran las palabras largas y encuentran una forma de acortarlas incluso al hablar. Esto pasa también con los nombres, que en castellano buscan formas familiares que son más largas que en el original (de Juan a Juancito) pero que en inglés casi siempre son más cortas. Las palabras en inglés que tienen tres sílabas o más casi siempre tienen un origen que remite al latín (excepto las palabras compuestas).
     
  18. inib

    inib Senior Member

    La Rioja, Spain
    British English
    Puede que tengas razon: de John a Jack no abreviamos mucho pero en los más típicos sí... de Robert a Bob o Rob, de Richard a Rick, Rich, de Thomas a Tom, pero rara vez más largo por mucho cariño que queramos expresar.
    Seremos los más vagos del mundo expresándonos. Puede que así sea. Llevamos muchas décadas creyendo que al final el mundo se entenderá en inglés. Yo sigo pensando que será así, pero no me da ninguna satisfacción. Lo bueno sería que el mundo supiese entenderse en el idioma que fuera. Eso sí que es entendimiento, y se ejercita mucho fuera del mundo de la política y de la economía.
     

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