locutorio

kuleshov

Senior Member
Spain Spanish
There are a lot of immigrants in Spain; and therefore there are a lot of "phone shops" where they can make phone calls at a cheaper rate.
These shops are called Locutorios in Spain. What about English speaking countries?
 
  • GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    In the United States, at least where I am from, we do not have such shops.

    We have standard pay phones, which are coin operated and can be found at filling stations and convenience stores, but no specific "shops" where you can "pay" to make a phone call. As has also been mentioned, there are also street corner phone booths, but with the advent of cell technology, these are becoming more and more scarce. Neither phone booths nor pay phones offer "cheaper" rates.

    I believe the types of shop you are asking about exist in very large cities, such as NYC or Los Angeles, where there exist denser pockets of immigrant populations.

    I don't know what they are called, however. Sorry.
     

    cacalos

    Member
    Español y gallego- España
    In "locutorios" you can make calls cheaper than standard pay fhones by coins, to send money to your family in your country, to get cards for cellular fhone, make photocopys, use PC's, etc. I think they are not booths but shops, even offices and meeting points for foreings.
    Excuse my poor English.
     
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    kuleshov

    Senior Member
    Spain Spanish
    That's right. They are shops. It would be interesting to hear from someone who lives in a big city like Manhattan.
     

    cacalos

    Member
    Español y gallego- España
    May be "call center". There is another thread called "call center" about the translation for "call center" and somebody says to be "locutorio". Anothers say "central telefónica" but I bet, in accordance with the explanation, for call center=locutorio. Furthermore, central telefónica is Telephone exchange.
    Do you understand my English? Si me entendéis es un milagro.
     
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    tamsen

    New Member
    U.S.A - English
    We have these in South America. I would call them a telephone kiosk. Telephone booths are different. They are independent and do not require the assistance of an operator.
     

    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    I know it's very late to come in on this thread but it so happens I am looking for a suitable English expression for these places. Tamsen, you mention telephone booths but in England these are public call boxes, card- or coin-operated, for making phone calls.
    A clue might come if there is a name out there for places where you can use computers, and I don't mean cyber-cafés.
    Here in Argentina, you pay an hourly fee for access to a PC with internet connection, chat mail, etc. However, as someone has already mentioned there are often telephone cabins like a public callbox. You can also make electronic payment for utilities, etc., make reservations for long-distance bus services, but sweets (candies) and cigarettes, take photocopies, send faxes, even have a cup of coffee or a Coke. Perhaps these are unique to this country but it would be nice to find a word or expression i English to describe them.
    Any bright ideas?

    Thanks a lot in advance.
     

    gaiart

    Member
    Catalan & Spanish
    When my English friend and I refer to one of these places we just call it an "internet place" but I think "call center" sounds good, even though I understand it's something to do with the telephone exchange too.
     
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    Porteño

    Member Emeritus
    British English
    This thread seems to have been going around in circles for quite some time and we still do not have a concensus as to a suitable translation into English.

    When locutorios first appeared here in Argentina, they were indeed, largely restricted to providing only a telephone service, in which case they could have been aptly described as 'call centres'.

    However, they soon started to incorporate Internet service and thus did not fall into the category of either 'call centre' or 'internet café' (since they did not serve refreshments.

    Later they expanded to provide for electronic payment service for utility bills, etc. and then for travel and theatre reservations (bookings). Most also sell cigarettes, sweets and have a coffee and soft-drink machine.

    Thus they have become a sort of 'jack of all trades' and there does not seem to be an equivalent anywhere else, least of all in English-speaking countries.

    Conclusion: It seems very unlikely that there can be a word or expression in English to describe this Argentine 'locutorio'.
     

    Jenesaisrien

    Senior Member
    Buenos Aires Castellano
    Another difference is that locutorios in Argentina are usually run by Argentinians, not foreigners. They are not a "meeting point" for immigrants and it's very unlikely that you will obtain considerably cheaper rates for international calls.

    I agree with Porteño..I don't think there's an equivalent in other countries and it's definitely one of the services I miss the most when I'm abroad.
     

    Chaperito

    Member
    English, United States
    I agree with the statement that nothing like a locutorio exists in the US, mostly because of how or phone system works, however I have heard people living in other countries on army bases call them “call shops”. I also like the idea of calling them “call centers” and I am going to have to disagree with the argument that locutorios are not limited to calling services. While it is possible that a locutorio will also sell coffee and perform numerous other tasks, what makes it a locutorio are the “cabinas” . You can have a locutorio without coffee, but a coffee shop with no cabina would by no stretch of the imagination ever be called a locutorio.
     

    Popposil

    Senior Member
    BCN
    Spanish, Catalan, Spain
    Here in Spain, at least where I live, "locutorios" are not only places where you make phone calls. There you have internet access at a cheap price (cheaper than at internet cafe's, which were the first places with internet access that were set here). In fact, most internet cafe's have disappeared because of the low rates of "locutorios". Of course, you can also phone to Colombia, Ecuador, Turkey and even Australia at a low price. You can also buy cell phones, phone cards, repair your cell phone at a low price...(easy repairing I suppose) "Locutorios" here are usually run buy turks (most of them), but recently ecuadorians have begun with the business. I agree with Porteño and Jenesaisrien, I don't think there's an equivalent for it in other countries.
     

    Sallyb36

    Senior Member
    British UK
    We do not have anywhere similar to locutorios in England. We have internet cafes, but they do not have the cheap telephone facility of locutorios. In fact they do not have telephones in them, just computers!
     

    brilliantpink

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    First of all, I want to weigh in here and say that the 'locutorio' you describe is definitely not a call center (or call centre). A call centre, in North America, is a centralized office dedicated to providing large-volume telephone calling services. See Wikipedia on the subject http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_centre
    What you describe is not common where I live. The closest I can think of are franchises such as Kinko's or "the UPS Store" that provide a similar type of service.
     

    Sallyb36

    Senior Member
    British UK
    May be "call center". There is another thread called "call center" about the translation for "call center" and somebody says to be "locutorio". Anothers say "central telefónica" but I bet, in accordance with the explanation, for call center=locutorio. Furthermore, central telefónica is Telephone exchange.

    Do you understand my english?.

    Si me entendeis es un milagro.
    Call centre in the UK is not even similar to a locutorio, it is not even a place where the public can go to make a phone call - it is usually an office where the workers make or receive calls all day long.
     

    leclezio

    New Member
    argentina castellano
    Hi everybody, I'm new at the forum and glad to be part of it now. I was in London six years ago and when I requested a "locutorio" to make a long distance call to Argentina (where I'm from) my friend Ian took me to a place with separate booths where you could only make phone calls and maybe use a computer or two. It was in Walthamstow and mostly used by Pakistani people. Of course, my friend did not give it any name. Just helped me out. I speak Spanish but post this in English in case a native speaker has seen the place in London.
     

    zazap

    Senior Member
    Canada, French and English
    What do you mean, Filis?
    I have also seen similar places in Amsterdam, but can't remember what they're called for the life of me. "Long distance Call centers" would be my bet.
     

    Chaperito

    Member
    English, United States
    Here in Spain, at least where I live, "locutorios" are not only places where you make phone calls. There you have internet access at a cheap price (cheaper than at internet cafe's, which were the first places with internet access that were set here). In fact, most internet cafe's have disappeared because of the low rates of "locutorios". Of course, you can also phone to Colombia, Ecuador, Turkey and even Australia at a low price. You can also buy cell phones, phone cards, repair your cell phone at a low price...(easy repairing I suppose) "Locutorios" here are usually run buy turks (most of them), but recently ecuadorians have begun with the business. I agree with Porteño and Jenesaisrien, I don't think there's an equivalent for it in other countries.
    Again, if there were just computers in it, it would be an internet cafe and not a locutorio, and therefore the extras of coffee, snacks, computers, phone cards, have nothing to do with "locutorio" itself. In Mardid there are numerous locutorios with JUST phones, and somebody to take the money. In fact, I've seen one that doubles at as a clothing store! The only thing that links ALL locutorios are the phones. (by the way, they have cheap rates for calling the states too!)
     

    Chaperito

    Member
    English, United States
    PS. I didn't even think of "call center" in the respect of telemarketing or customer service. I guess a good word for it would be just "call shop" then. OR Commvenience store!!! priceless filis!
     

    brilliantpink

    Senior Member
    Canada, English
    The word for locutorio IS: Call shop.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Call_shop

    Regards,
    I recently got back from a trip to Germany, where I did indeed see "call shops" (with signs identifying them as such - there seems to be no equivalent word in German!) If you were to use the term in Canada - and I presume in the USA, correct me if I'm wrong please - you would probably have to explain what you mean, as the concept doesn't seem to be widely known.
     

    0scar

    Banned
    Spanish-Argentina
    Los locutorios acá son lugares con cabinas telefónicas numeradas en las que hay un teléfono común y un medidor de llamadas digital.
    El tipo que atiende el locutorio solo se limita a cobrar al cliente lo que marca el medidor de llamadas después que el cliente termina de hablar.
    Se pueden hacer cualquier tipo de llamadas, no solo internacionales.
    También se le puede pedir al que atiende que mande un fax, si uno no tiene máquina de fax en la casa.
    Si en el locutorio se puede navegar por internet entonces se llama Locutorio y Cyber Café.
     
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    Tonguetwister

    Senior Member
    USA English
    In the US we don't have these because phone service is pretty much ubiquitous; pretty much everyone has cell phones and has telephones in the home. Service is relatively inexpensive, and prices are low enough that there are not special places to make calls that are cheaper than using a cell phone or using a pay phone with a phone card.

    If you come to the US you are probably best off buying a phone card which gives you access to discounted services provided by private service companies that you can call from any telephone, including a public pay phone. Or for $20 you can buy a "disposable" cellphone that comes with $10 worth of service and can be "refilled" if you use up the $10 initial amount provided.

    In Mexico there are (or at least were) "casetas" that must be the same as what you call a locutorio.
     

    nanlu

    New Member
    Argentina, spanish
    when my english friend and i refer to one of these places we just call it an "internet place" but i think "call center" sounds good, even though i understand it's something to do with the telephone exchange too.
    Hello, im from buenos aires and i work in a "locutorio" and i don't know how to call it either! But I think that it can't be "call center" as calls centers here are places where people work attending phone calls from users of electronic equipment,credit cards and they bring you assistance for the inquiry you have. besos!
     

    nangueyra

    Senior Member
    Castellano-Argentina
    Hello

    Here in Argentina a "call center" is a place where employees make phone calls and bother you all day long with different "extraordinary" offers. There have been a lot of problems with them as employees work a lot of hours, with low salaries and bad working conditions. They employ young people temporarily and when they have to confirm them in their jobs, with all the benefits enforced by law, they fire them and hire new ones.
    Excuse me, this was not the main subject but perhaps someone is interested in learning about it.

    Bye
     

    Amapolas

    Senior Member
    Castellano rioplatense
    I have just seen a movie where one of the characters goes to an "Intenet Café " (so it's written on one of the Windows. This is what we call "locutorio" in Argentina. Perhaps an USA native could tell us how they call it .
    Pero un locutorio normalmente tiene solo cabinas telefónicas y computadoras. No es lo mismo que un café con internet.
    De todos modos, hoy en día están desapareciendo. Con el auge de los celulares y los cafés con wifi, ya ni quedan teléfonos públicos en la calle. ;)
     

    nangueyra

    Senior Member
    Castellano-Argentina
    Pero un locutorio normalmente tiene solo cabinas telefónicas y computadoras. No es lo mismo que un café con internet.
    De todos modos, hoy en día están desapareciendo. Con el auge de los celulares y los cafés con wifi, ya ni quedan teléfonos públicos en la calle. ;)
    Sí, en parte tenés razón, pero muchos estaban en grandes kioscos o en lugares donde podías tomar un café o una gaseosa o comer un sandwich.
    Saludos
     
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