Chileans are incredibly connected. I don’t have any stats on hand, but believe me when I tell you that there are more cellphones than people, that internet cafés dot the landscape, that people are online all the time, and that they tweet to beat the band.
They also love facebook. And maybe so do you. I have a relationship with it, sure, but maybe it’s more of an amigo con ventajas (friends with benefit) situation, or perhaps we’re just seeing each other. I’m not sure I’d say I love it. Though I do see more of it than I should at times.
What’s funny about Chileans and facebook is the following: When a Chilean asks someone if they’re on facebook, they use the expression “tienes” (or in Chileno, “tení” meaning “do you have.” Okay, I’m fine with that, do you have instead of are you on. But here’s where it gets creepy. And now it’s time for a small grammatical diversion.
The noun comes before the adjective in Spanish. Casa roja (red house), ají picante (spicy salsa-type-thing). In English it’s the opposite. So in English, when we shorten a phrase, we usually take the second word to be the more important one, where personal trainer becomes “trainer.” In Spanish, this same English expression “personal trainer” becomes “personal.” I talked about this in some detail here.
And take that together with the fact that Chileans love to shorten and lengthen and otherwise add extra syllables to or cut syllables off of words and expressions, and they think that the appropriate abbreviation of Facebook is “face.” (I believe there is no appropriate abbreviation of the word facebook, though someone I know and love dearly used to refer to it as “my face.”
And getting back to the Chilean abbreviation of facebook as face, thus, you may be asked “tení face?” Which to an English speaker means “do you have a face?”
And generally speaking the answer is yes. First of all, because barring horrific news-worthy accidents, we all do. And because nine times out of ten, in Chile, they ae on facebook, too.
(oh, and bearshapedsphere has a facebook page!) See that little honeybear with the sun shining there? Click it and like it if you like. But then I’ll know you have a face!
I guess I’m faceless…
poor faceless Sharon. Good thing you’ve got so much chutzpah! Also, you are in good company. Several very good people I know don’t have (or use) FB. Maybe you all have the right idea!
Oh dear, tengo face…And my daughter really has face!
The other one I have heard and like is “voy el Water”, short for water closet, (WC)! Not that common, but great to hear the long “waater”.
My father-in-law used to work with “gringos” in the north a long time ago and he said the locals would take English words and use them. For example the guard (or guardia) was the “washerman”, (said as one word which took me a while to understand was “watcher man”.
It would have taken me ages to figure out washerman! Nicely done. I’m so glad we all have faces. I mean, face. Voy al water sounds very… Elizabethan to me. In Guatemala it was called “el servicio,” which is pretty funny, since that’s what we call utensils here. Wouldn’t want to mess that one up!
Oh, good old Fa-se-book. Always good for a linguistic adventure 🙂
(Also, I think you’ve got a mistake in what the Spanish for personal trainer would be – maybe your brain refusing to believe that “personal” could possibly be the correct abbreviation?)
they say “personal,” so I’m not sure what you mean. I mean that they take the first word to be the noun, which would make sense, if it were in Spanish.
I haven’t heard people say “fa-se book,” but I still smile every time I hear “internetch” from a Brazilian!
Just saw the comment below mine – I was all ready to defend myself and say that I swear in Google Reader it said “trainer” both times!
you’re on the ball, Emily. I’m on word repetition, apparently. I didn’t understand your comment, I thought you meant something else. Too much computer time, perhaps? Thanks for noting the error!
Indeed, you used “trainer” in both sentences! Your mind must be visually correcting it. (:
oyyyy. Thanks, Cari! Off to fix! And thanks Emily, sorry I didn’t understand your comment!
The correct abbrevation for FB is Facey. I know becaue Australians are the world leaders in abbreviations.
And I am constantly amazed at the quantity of FB friends chilenos have…never under 750. I’m not sure I have even met 750 people in my life.
hahaha, you have definitley met more than 750 people in your life. I recently was at a barbecue where I learned that one woman used FB as a dating service. Upon seeing a friend of a friend that looks suitable, she strikes up a conversation. This I find truly bizarre.
As for your countrymen being the leaders in abbreviations, I hope we can meet up in the arvo one day this week. I will welcome you back with great glee! (but no singing).
Jjejejej I’m chilean and read this is very intresting to me and I will remember this in the future! Time ago I was talking with a friend who’s from US. We went to buy food and I ask her: do you want to eat an as? (In Chile we pronounce “as” exactly like “ass”) She look at me openig huge eyes, almost thinking that I was lesbian jajajja…..but no, I was asking to her about “as”, and this is like a hot dog, but with real meat. Cultural stuffs…..