I thought I was a hip mom. I've been texting anyone with a texting plan for years — well before many of the teens today were even in the double digits. I thought I had the lingo down: OMG, ROTFL, c u l8r.

But alas, it seems the texting train of teens has ridden right past me (and most adults who I know as well.) Sure, I know about the easy text codes that have become popular lately — like PIR (parents in room) or PAW (parents are watching). But until I started researching this post, I had never heard of CD (cross dresser,) FYEO (for your eyes only) and some other choice phrases.

It turns out, I'm not alone in my cluelessness. The language of teens has always been a bit of a mystery to adults. But as my own daughter approaches the tweens and will soon be requesting a phone of her own, I know that I have to keep on top of the lingo if I'm going to make sure that her entry into the texting world is safe.  

Fortunately, there are a few sites that are geared to help old fogies like myself. Teen Chat Decoder lets you plug in text symbols or phrases to be translated into English. The Internet Slang Dictionary and Translator lets you translate texts in a message box or by looking up the codes in a page-by-page dictionary. Lingo2word is another easy-to-use text translator, with the added perk of translating English phrases into text. All this so you can text your teen in a language they're more likely to understand.  

Here are some examples:

Translating English to text
When you want to say... You should text...
What time are you coming home?
w@ tym RU cmng hom?
Will you please pick up your sister at the mall?
willya plz pik ^ yr sis @ d mal?
Don't forget to do your homework and mow the lawn when you get home!
dnt 4gt 2 do yr hmwrk n mow d lawn wen u gt hom!
C U L8R!

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