Spoken English

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TimeHP

Senior Member
Italian - Italy
Hi all.
I'm looking for sentences and words used among youngs - only very commonly used.
I'm particularly interested in how young people change their way of speaking when they are with their friends.
A simple sentence like What time is it? may change and become...
Waiting for your messages!
Many thanks.
T
 
  • Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    Welcome!

    Perhaps it would be easier if you gave particular phrases, and the forum youngsters could give you the slang versions?

    One American thing you'll find among the youth: tendency to use "like" as a filler in conversation. When adults are around, it's not as bad.

    Z.
     

    GenJen54

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    I agree with Isotta, that providing us with a list of words or phrases would be more helpful.

    As Cowgirl has explained, many of these expressions vary by region, and what might be considered a "hip," or "cool" or "phat" thing to say in one part of the country may be entirely different in another.

    Afterall, we have native English speakers on these forums representing:

    England
    Ireland
    Scotland
    The United States
    Canada
    Australia
    ...just to start.

    Other native English speakers live in non-English-speaking countries so have a completely different take on the subject.

    To get you started, you might go to Word Reference's SEARCH PAGE and perform a search for "slang" in the English Only forums. There you will see approximately 150 threads discussing variant usages of slang in English. They may or may not tell you what is most popular among youth.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I could say that I'm interested in every expressions and words, but not strictly slang.
    Something like commons idioms, so common that every English native can easily understand. Better if they are used mainly from youngs.
    I know about the differences and it's one of the most interesting thing when you study a language, isn't it?
    About the topic, I'd start by Music, Food, Love and Friends.

    One American thing you'll find among the youth: tendency to use "like" as a filler in conversation. When adults are around, it's not as bad.

    We do the same in Italy: we use 'tipo'.
    Many thanks.
    Or should I say Ta?
    T


     

    Gordonedi

    Senior Member
    UK (Scotland) English
    There was a thread on this forum not long ago regarding the use of "ta" in place of "thanks". If you haven't already found it, I'm sure one of my technically proficient forum friends will aid you. :)
     

    Moogey

    Senior Member
    USA English
    TimeHP,

    I admire your curiosity in this subject. I'm trying to learn Italian as I'm sure you know from the Italian-English forum, and would like to know these things in regards to Italian as well. But it's often difficult to think of all the different colloquialisms we use in the language that everybody would understand, especially without being around people of other English-speaking countries for an extended period of time :(

    The best piece of advice I can give you to really learn this is to listen carefully to conversations, whether they're online or in person, and then ask about them. Did you notice any so far in what I've typed? :p

    Nonetheless, if I can think of any I'll put them here and I wish you the best in discovering them!

    -M
     

    tZeD

    New Member
    Canada (English)
    I don't know if this is what you mean, but I can think of two ways of saying "said" that make no sense logically:

    He's like, "Let's go."
    And she goes, "Now what?"

    Even though they're present forms, they actually refer to the past.
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    He's like, "Let's go."
    And she goes, "Now what?"


    Yes, this sort of things. Thank you, tZeD. :)

    Moogey wrote:
    Did you notice any so far in what I've typed?
    I'd say you have used Proper English, havent'you?
     

    morgoth2604

    Senior Member
    Israel - (Fluent Hebrew and English), Passable French, Horrid German
    Mm: Let's not forget the infamous "snap" - as in "wow, really". I hear "yo" a lot at the end of sentences at my school. You'd hear sentences like,
    "That's awesome yo". Also "sick", "that's sick yo" - this doesn't mean it's disgusting but rather it means it's awesome. Hope that helps.
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    Often buzz words are fairly arbitrary and occur among friends and can have no geographical rhyme or reason. For example, my American friends recently took to saying "disaster" drawing out the "ah" because they thought it sounded funny. If you asked, "What's the deal with 'disaster?'" they would answer, "It's just 'disaster.'" It's difficult to reason with people sometimes.

    Thus you can really be quite inventive. You can just make it up as you go.

    Z.
     

    panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Online urban slang dictionaries would be useful if you heard something and wanted to know that it meant, but aren't much use if you want to pick up the latest usage.
    If you could find a UK- or US-published back-packers' guide to Italy, most include a "useful phrases" section. The English side of the English/Italian translation may be a little out of date, but should be written in the normal language of the target audience. Well, I know that I have found some of them completely incomprehensible:D
     

    ellas!

    Member
    England, English
    I say "like" a lot. e.g. "I was just like 'ok..' "

    And I saw "woah/wow", "oh my god", "umm.." a lot too.. I know that might not be what you're looking for though.

    Also I mix words together and make up my own randomly. Oh I say "random" a lot.
     

    swift_precision

    Senior Member
    US/English
    TimeHP said:
    Random is a quite new word for me. I'm going to use it a lot, as well.:D
    T
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jeje please dont be one of those people who overuses the word random. I hear young people use it too much like "why did this random guy just start walking to me?" "he called a random person" as if, inherently, everything is exactly the same as everything else and as soon as one difference is noted "!whoa that person is random"
     

    *Cowgirl*

    Senior Member
    USA English
    morgoth2604 said:
    Mm: Let's not forget the infamous "snap" - as in "wow, really". I hear "yo" a lot at the end of sentences at my school. You'd hear sentences like,
    "That's awesome yo". Also "sick", "that's sick yo" - this doesn't mean it's disgusting but rather it means it's awesome. Hope that helps.
    :warn: Where I come from "snap" usually means s**t:warn:
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo jeje please dont be one of those people who overuses the word random

    Thanks, I'll remember this.
    But anyway I'm old enough not to preten to be a teen.
    Moreover I live in Italy and now I speak English only when I meet a friend of mine, from Manchester, or two Chinese friends...

    Random once or twice a week (I'm joking...)
    T
     

    Jessila

    Senior Member
    France, french
    Do teens use a lot of initiales too to shorten what they mean?

    For instance, I remember a few years back looking on the web for the lyrics of the tv-show Friends' opening credits... And I was very puzzled when I saw:
    "Your lovelife's D.O.A!"
    Maybe it is totally evident to natives, but for a learner - well, it's not that obvious lol! So I went on the web, found a "Friends" forum and asked the meaning for it. I was basically looked at as an alien or something, but I still got the answer: (I put it for non-natives like me ^^ )
    D.O.A ==> Dead On Arrival

    Maybe I'm completely besides the topic, I don't know... Do youngsters resort to this kind of abbreviation a lot? ( and if they do, maybe some of us can provide TimeHP with a few others ;) )
    Or is it just common colloquial language?
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    Rarely, I'd say. There is "SOL," which means "sh** outta luck," and of course there are Internet abbreviations. This sort of thing is popular in small children who have learnt how to read, and they abbreviate everything. You can see this in Sleepless in Seattle, if I'm not mistaken.

    Z.

    EDIT: There is "MIA," which is "missing in action," which people do use. There is also "snafu," which is "situation normal all f***ed up" (or "fouled up") and "fubar," which is "f***ed up beyond all repair." With the exception of "MIA," adults say these more though.

    In the Friends episode you saw, they were being silly. You could do this, with military or Internet abbreviations--"OMG, he looked at me!"--but it's quirky and not common.

    Random is perfect. You say it disparagingly from ages ten to fourteen, and around fifteen it can take a positive meaning. A "random sense of humor" is a good thing in the second part of teenagedom. Also: whatever.

    Also, among university students in America, people have started saying "heart" to mean "love," to be silly. They even add little symbols, as in, "I *heart* cornflakes."

    You can also say "whoa" in a different way now. For example, "I'm missing you like whoa," to mean "I miss you a lot."
     

    Jessila

    Senior Member
    France, french
    Isotta said:
    Rarely, I'd say. There is "SOL," which means "sh** outta luck," and of course there are Internet abbreviations. This sort of thing is popular in small children who have learnt how to read, and they abbreviate everything. You can see this in Sleepless in Seattle, if I'm not mistaken.

    Z.

    EDIT: There is "MIA," which is "missing in action," which people do use. There is also "snafu," which is "situation normal all f***ed up" (or "fouled up") and "fubar," which is "f***ed up beyond all repair." With the exception of "MIA," adults say these more though.

    In the Friends episode you saw, they were being silly. You could do this, with military or Internet abbreviations--"OMG, he looked at me!"--but it's quirky and not common.

    Random is perfect. You say it disparagingly from ages ten to fourteen, and around fifteen it can take a positive meaning. A "random sense of humor" is a good thing in the second part of teenagedom. Also: whatever.

    Also, among university students in America, people have started saying "heart" to mean "love," to be silly. They even add little symbols, as in, "I *heart* cornflakes."

    You can also say "whoa" in a different way now. For example, "I'm missing you like whoa," to mean "I miss you a lot."
    Hey thanks for that, it's really interresting ;)

    Just to correct one thing, it's not in "one" episode of Friends... It's in every episode... since it is in the opening credit song:
    "So no one told you life was gonna be this way
    your job's a joke, you're broke,
    your love-life's D.O.A!


    I'm thinking of another word that I heard a lot: wicked
    Don't kids and teenagers say this a lot too?

    And as for your "I'm missing you like whoa!" lmao :D
    I can so perfectly hear it in my head, and it's so funny!
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    Wicked was popular from about 1990-95, so before my time. You could even say, "wicked-cool," "wicked-crazy"--really, whatever you wanted to attach onto it.

    If a young person said it now, it would be silly or tongue-in-cheek, since the word has already had its day in the sun. Or even sarcastically--"Yeah, it was pretty wicked," with the right tone of voice would mean, "It was not the least bit cool."

    Z.
     

    Sazzle_14

    Member
    English - GB
    I have to say, being a teenager (if only for a few more months!) that I NEVER abbreviate when speaking, only when texting or on the internet, such as 'lol' ('laughing out loud', although it also stands for 'lots of love' confusingly!) and the like. I do however say 'random' very frequently and 'randomly', and others say 'randomer' to mean a 'random' person! And 'like' appears at least once in every spoken sentence of mine. And I really overuse 'so' e.g. 'I was like, sooo late'!
    I'm studing Italian....any chance of anyone giving me examples of the use of 'tipo' in place of 'like'???
    Thanks muchly(another 'random' word, sorry!)! :D

    PS I tell a lie, I do abbreviate 'definitely' to 'defs' but that may just be a personal thing...
     

    Isotta

    Senior Member
    English, Hodgepodge
    You could abbreviate Internet slang to be funny though. Because it would come across as ridiculous.

    You can also abbreviate "favorite" to "fave." "Pictures" to "pics." University students have taken this cute little convention to the next level, "Hey, do you want to be in a relaish with me?" "I'm going to have a nervie breakdown." By the university level, it moves into absurdism. It's their way of conveying "whatever."

    Z.
     

    Sazzle_14

    Member
    English - GB
    :D Funny you say that about university students.....

    I think it is because we don't have time to speak properly, what with all the sleeping and drinking we have to fit into our days....

    You'll find that amongst modern language students, there is a new form of slang, that of 'franglaise' or 'italianese' for example, the casual mixing or whatever words come to mind, whether English or 'whatever'.

    Examples: 'Shall we aller?' or 'Merci beaucs'....
     

    TimeHP

    Senior Member
    Italian - Italy
    I'm studing Italian....any chance of anyone giving me examples of the use of 'tipo' in place of 'like'???

    Examples:

    Soft use:
    - Ho bisogno di qualcosa di nuovo (I need something new)
    - Tipo? (Like?)
    - Mah, non so...un cappotto, delle scarpe, dei jeans (Well, I don't Know...a coat, shoes, jeans)

    Exagg. use:
    Mi ha detto, tipo, di essere da lei, tipo, per le otto. Ma io penso che ci andrò, tipo alle dieci.
    (She told me to be at her home, like, at 8. But I think I'll go there, like, 10 o'clock).
    Sometimes you use 'tipo' when it's really useless.
    ;)
     

    nycphotography

    Senior Member
    American English
    Isotta said:
    Rarely, I'd say....


    In the Friends episode you saw, they were being silly. You could do this, with military or Internet abbreviations--"OMG, he looked at me!"--but it's quirky and not common.
    Does anyone actually SAY "oh em gee"? I think we TYPE OMG, but SAY "oh my god".

    But we actually SAY "dee oh ay" DOA , as well as write it. Ditto for "em eye ay" MIA.
     

    ElaineG

    Senior Member
    USA/English
    Does anyone actually SAY "oh em gee"? I think we TYPE OMG, but SAY "oh my god".
    I've never heard anyone say "oh em gee," but I have heard (rather a lot) "el oh el" (sometimes sarcastically, sometimes (terrifyingly) not). And of course people say "IM (eye em) me" in spoken language too.
     
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