When messaging in Italian, there are lots of abbreviations you may come across. And unfortunately, you won’t find any of them in your trusty Italian dictionary!
To help you understand what your Italian friends have written, I have put together a list of common Italian text abbreviations. It’s not perfect Italian and you shouldn’t use these outside of informal messaging, but it’s good to keep them up your sleeve! You never know, these abbreviations may even help you to send ‘messaggini’ (messages) more quickly too.
The letter K
The letter k doesn’t exist in the Italian alphabet, but it is on Italian phones, tablets and computers. It is used to replace a hard c sound. I have listed the abbreviation, the full Italian word, and the English translation, see some examples below:
Anke – anche – also
Ki – chi – who
Ke – che – what
Km – come – how / like
The letter X
If there’s an x in your Italian message, it means ‘per’ (for, by, to). The reason for this is that the multiplication sign in Italian is called ‘per’, so 2 x 4 = 8 is read ‘due per quattro fa otto’. You can use ‘x’ any time you would use the word ‘per’, as well as in longer words that include ‘per’, such as:
Xciò – perciò – therefore
Xò – però – but / however
Xsona – persona – person
Xk – perchè – why / because
Prox – prossimo/a – next
Xfetto – perfetto - perfect
Numbers and maths
The number 6 is used as an abbreviation for the word ‘sei’, meaning ‘you are’. For example:
Dve 6? – dove sei? – where are you?
C6 – ci sei – are you there? / are you in?
Plus and minus are ‘più’ and ‘meno’ in Italian and their symbols are used to mean ‘more’ or ‘less’:
+ - più – more
− - meno - less
+ trd – più tardi – later
−male – meno male – thank goodness
Sometimes abbreviations are created by losing vowels, such as:
Cmq – comunque – anyway
Nn – non – not
Dv – dove - where
Dp – dopo – later / after
Scs – scusa – sorry
Cn – con – with
Sn – sono – I am
T – ti – you
M – mi – me
Brv – bravo/brava – good/clever
Vbn – va bene – that’s ok
Tnt – tanto – a lot / very much
Other words are just shortened:
C sent – ci sentiamo – we speak
C ved – ci vediamo – we see each other
Risp – risondi –answer
Msg – messaggio - message
How to end a message
At the end of a message, you may see some of these words and expressions:
Pfv – per favour - please
Grz – grazie – thanks
Bc – baci – kisses
Tvb – ti voglio bene – I love you (to friends and family)
Tvtb – ti voglio tanto bene – I love you so much (to friends and family)
Ta – ti amo – I love you (romantically)
And one final sentence here to try out your skills. What does this mean in Italian?
Dve 6? Nn c sent d tnt tmp! C ved la sett prox?
Here it is in proper Italian:
Dove sei? Non ci sentiamo da tanto tempo. Ci vediamo la settimana prossima?
And in English:
Where are you? We haven’t spoken in a long time. Shall we see each other next week?