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Primero mi pregunta en español:

¿Hay un equivalente español para la taquigrafía de texto inglés conocida como "HTH?"

Details in English:

Some of you may know that HTH is text shorthand for "Hope That Helps" or "Happy To Help." I have often used it to close a post, but now that my Spanish is getting a bit better, I find myself writing more and more in Spanish and would like to wrap things up with a short, quick equivalent of HTH. Does Spanish have one? By the way, I have looked at a few rather comprehensive pages on the topic of text shorthand (and learned a lot in the process), but thus far, have not seen anything that addresses this. Thanks in advance for your help.

Detalles en español:

Algunos de ustedes pueden saber que "HTH" es la taquigrafía de texto inglés para "Hope That Helps" (Espero Que Eso Ayude) o "Happy To Help" (Feliz De Ayudar). La he usado muchas veces para cerrar un post, pero ahora que mi español está volviéndose un poquitín mejor, me encuentro escribiendo más y más en español, y quisiera envolver mis comentarios con un equivalente, breve y rápido, de HTH. ¿Hay uno en español? Por cierto, he echado un vistazo a unas páginas bastante amplias en el tema de la taquigrafía de texto (y aprendí mucho en el proceso), pero, hasta ahora, no he visto nada que menciona esto. Gracias de antemano por su ayuda.

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Spanish doesn't have a strong tendency to condense phrases like English does. Not a productive tendency, at least; that is, you can find common abbreviations in certain types of texts, but no new ones are being coined right now. In general we do fine either spelling it all out or borrowing from English, though that depends a lot on the community in question (e. g. it should be much more common to find English shorthand in messages among gamers or programmers).

Taquigrafía, by the way, is not how I would translate things like "HTH" or "BTW" or "AFAIK" in Spanish. As far as I know the term is only used for what is traditionally understood as shorthand, i. e. writing by hand using special characters to compress text, generally to take notes in real time while someone else speaks.

Some people would refer to "HTH", "BTW", "AFAIK" in Spanish as acrónimos, but according to the DRAE this would only apply to pronounceable abbreviations. The proper term seems to be sigla, which is a kind of initialism (although sigla sounds a bit too formal for internet shorthand).

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  • Other popular abbreviations similar to these, that is, consisting of the initials of the words that form a phrase or sentence typical of letters and emails, are IMO (in my opinion) and ASAP (as soon as possible). – Gustavson Feb 4 '17 at 20:43
  • I am giving you the green checkmark, @pablodf76 because not only did you answer my question, but you went above and beyond by letting me know that taquigrafía is not the word to use. (Some things aren't as simple as looking it up in a dictionary obviously!) That was immensely helpful, so thank you for that. Honorable mentions go to Dertalai. (I LOL at your close.) Others go to Carlos Alejo (for his encouragement) and Gustavson and guifa for their insight (impressive knowledge of the differences between Spanish and English). – Lisa Beck Feb 5 '17 at 17:16
  • BTW, I'm adding an additional comment to let everyone know that I was really surprised to hear that Spanish doesn't use acronyms and abbreviations in texting as much as we do in English. Part of that may be because one of the pages I visited before posting this question kind of blew my mind with its level of Spanish "shorthand" (sigla). You can read all about it here: All the Spanish Text Message Slang You’ll Need to Send Gr8 Texts 2 Ur BFF. P/h it is just that the small % who do use it, are rather fluent in it. HTH. ;) – Lisa Beck Feb 5 '17 at 17:22
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No. There is no shorthand for HTH in Spanish. In addition to what other answers say, in Spanish it's more difficult to standarize a shorhand because there is no standard way to say that. Some examples:

  • Espero haber(te/os/le/les) sido de ayuda.
  • Espero haber(te/os/le/les) servido de ayuda.
  • Espero haber(te/os/le/les) ayudado.
  • Espero que (esto/eso) (te/os/le/les) sirva.
  • Espero que (esto/eso) (te/os/le/les) valga.

By the way, HTH.

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    Welcome to Spanish Language! Yours is a nice first answer indeed, we hope to see many more of them around here. Please, come in and have fun! – Charlie Feb 4 '17 at 19:24
  • @Dertalai, what you said above, "in Spanish it's more difficult to standarize a shorhand because there is no standard way to say that," is indeed a clever conclusion. – Gustavson Feb 4 '17 at 21:49
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I agree that English speakers are much more prone than Spanish ones not only to create but also to use abbreviations, not only in email and Internet messages, but also in more formal contexts, such as English language teaching and learning (ESL, TESOL, FCE, CAE, CPE, etc.). Spanish speakers only share that tendency perhaps while texting, but this is a rather restricted field.

English is, as a rule, much more economical than Spanish when it comes to the number of words that need to be used to express something. In translation, for example, Spanish versions tend to exceed the wordcount of English ones by 20 or 25%. A good example of this -- which I often give to my students -- is that to say "Mind the gap" (or "Watch the gap," in AmE) we need around ten words in Spanish: Cuidado/Atención con la distancia/el hueco entre el tren y el andén.

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    Pretty sure "mind the gap" is, *Al salir, tengan cuidado para no introducir el pie entre coche y andén" (cualquier que haya estado en Madrid lo entenderá). But more seriously, it's not really that Spanish is longer than English — it's that all translations tend to increase the size of a text in general unless they are between very similar languages because a translation tends to preserve distinctions that wouldn't be made in a native text. When I translate my own texts from Spanish to English I tend to end up with longer texts as well for that reason. – user0721090601 Feb 4 '17 at 18:18
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    If any translation from Spanish into English does not result in a reduced wordcount, that is because the translator has not been idiomatic enough. Some examples of the linguistic economy of English are the frequency of the zero article, the use of phrasal verbs, the use of words that contain a manner of doing or being for the translation of which additional adverbs or adjectives will be needed (for example: "shuffle" in English = "caminar arrastrando los pies" in Spanish), and so forth. – Gustavson Feb 4 '17 at 20:36
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    @Gustavson for every zero-article, you have a pro-drop. For every phrasal verb, you have synthetic verb forms, and for every word with a meaning that needs two or three words to express in Spanish, well, Spanish will have one that needs two or three in English (consider translating accurately "sello, signo, firmo y rubrico"). The thing is, every language leaves things implied but potentially ambiguous to keep things short, but when translating, we make them explicit (=wordier) unless our target language allows the same. – user0721090601 Feb 5 '17 at 0:27
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    But to measure, I grabbed two great works — Don Quijote and Great Expectations and measured their first chapters in English and Spanish. In both cases, the translation was longer by about 5%. (from 1850-ish to 2050-ish words for each) – user0721090601 Feb 5 '17 at 0:27
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    @guifa, we are oversimplifying things. It's not true that there is a one-word verb for every phrasal, but I admit that that might not be the best example of conciseness in English. For the example you give in wordy legal Spanish, I can give you others in legal English for which there are not enough words in Spanish to make a one-to-one translation. I have been a translator for around 30 years now, and I can assure you from my experience that what I said about English being more concise than Spanish holds true. – Gustavson Feb 5 '17 at 2:08

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