How street/slang communication has parents on their toes!!

17th Jan 2014

As the Oxford English Dictionary now accepts words such as 'OMG' and 'BFF' one does

wonder how to hold onto the correct grammar without conforming to the modern day slang.

Learning a language is quite a difficult task in itself, however the English language isn't so

straightforward now thanks to the digital age.

From childhood, I can remember parents constantly correcting children's grammar to ensure

mannerisms were in place. Now, parents seem to be at a loss with having to learn a whole

new way of abbreviated speech which I feel it is safe to say creates a communication barrier

between child and parent.

With slang so widely acceptable in all forms of social media and so constructively influenced

by reality TV such as 'The only Way Is Essex' (abbreviated as TOWIE) and 'Made In Chelse'

parents are having to work harder to understand this street style way of communicating. What once 

used to be known as simply a different dialect/accent depending upon which part of the UK you live in in 

now known as a trending nationawide language. Put simply, an abbreviated form of speech.

What's a parent to do!! As a parent myself with English being my second language, I am having to not

only learn to speak with appropriate grammar but also understand this modern way of communication

where almost half a sentence is swallowed, chewed up and spat out in a jumble...where than you are

having to think hard and decode.

A simple example - my daughter and her friend admired a 'selfie' (instant pic taken of oneself) on their

phone. The exact words were 'ohhh totes heart this'! Interpreted as 'oh I totally love this!' I mean where

would a parent even start at becoming a hopeful communicator in the modern day and age. One thinks

maybe it's time to arrange a course on street/slang style or even one better create your own parental lingo.

Make it viral and get the kids reeling!

If you have any translation or interpreting requirements, please call us on 020 7253 or e-mail, and our team of trained linguists will do our best to help you!


Sobia Ahmed, Punjabi and Urdu Interpreter (full time)


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