Parents of net-savvy teens can be excused for sometimes thinking that their kids are speaking a different language. Thanks to the explosion of text-messaging on cell phones, instant messaging, and online forums such as MySpace and Facebook, a unique short-hand language has evolved.
For parent who aren't up on what ?abend? or ?pachs? mean (?absent by enforced net deprivation? and ?parents are coming home soon,? respectively), this teen slang can quickly make it tough to keep up with what your teens are talking to their friends about online. Fortunately, there are a number of online dictionaries that will translate this language (commonly known as ?Leet speak,? or ?netspeak?) into proper English. One particularly comprehensive tool can be found at NoSlang.com. "It's really useful," said NoSlang.com founder Ryan Jones, "you can just copy and paste from somebody's LiveJournal and find out what the heck they're talking about. It's also a great way for parents help protect their kids by learning their language.
Not many parents know to look for warning signs like paw, p911, or pir.? While teens have always had a language all their own (?Far out, man!?), the relative anonymity of much online conversation makes it even more important for parents to keep track of their kids? activities online. In addition to NoSlang.com another good ?Leet speak? translator can be found by clicking here. There is also a great beginner's guide to ?Leet speak? here.
Source: Telecommunications Research and Action Center. http://www.trac.org