The language of tweets and hashtags: A bilingual mini-glossary of social media terms
On this page
If I told you I added a “hashtag” to my Tweet or that I posted a “status update” on Facebook, you’d probably know what I meant. But what if I told you that I was a “wikipedian” or that my latest “vlog” was online? Would you know what I meant then? Maybe not!
Today, we use social media to make it easier to share content, collaborate and connect with people. But social media platforms have a language all their own, and if you don’t know it, using certain platforms can be a challenge.
Here’s a useful table that will help you understand the meanings of certain social media terms. The table also gives you the equivalent French term. So the next time you tweet in French, you can say you added “mots-clics” to your “gazouillis” instead of “j’ai tweeté des hashtags”!
|English term||French term||Definition|
|chatting||clavardage (masculine noun)||A real-time texting conversation between users over the Internet.1|
|To remove a person from your list of friends or contacts.1|
|geotagging data||données de géomarquage
(feminine plural noun)
|Information that associates a geographical location with photos, videos, messages, etc.1|
|émoticône (feminine noun);
binette (feminine noun);
|A symbol or an image that represents the mood of the person sending the message.|
|tag||étiquette (feminine noun)||A keyword added to a picture, video or text in order to classify its content or identify a person.
Note: In French, the term used on Facebook is “identification.”
externalisation à grande échelle
|The practice of making use of the creativity, intelligence and expertise of Internet users to carry out a particular activity.|
|home timeline||fil d’actualités
|On Twitter, the chronological stream of all the tweets from any accounts to which a user has subscribed.1|
|news feed||fil de nouvelles
|On Facebook, the centre column of a user’s homepage that contains status updates, videos, photos, etc.|
|gazouilleur (masculine noun),
gazouilleuse (feminine noun)
|A Twitter account holder who reads and posts tweets.|
|On Twitter, a tweet that a user forwards to his or her followers.|
|status update||mise à jour de statut
|A new post on your personal profile.1
Note: Term used on Facebook.
|hashtag||mot-clic (masculine noun);
mot-dièse (masculine noun)
|A keyword, a keyword string or a theme preceded by the pound or number sign and used to index and categorize content.|
pseudo (masculine noun)
|An Internet user’s alias or shortened name.|
|post||publication (feminine noun)||Anything published on a social media platform, such as text, images, videos and audio recordings.|
ouvrir une session
|To start a log-in session; to sign into your account.1|
fermer une session
|To end the current log-in session; to sign out of your account.1|
vlogue (masculine noun);
|A blog in which posts are in the form of a video.1|
wikipédien (masculine noun),
wikipédienne (feminine noun)
|A person who writes or edits articles on Wikipedia.|
|Source: The Translation Bureau’s Social Media Glossary
1 My own definitions.
For a more complete list, I encourage you to check out the Social Media Glossary in TERMIUM Plus®. It’s a very useful tool for all social media users.
Now that you know the meanings of certain social media terms, do you think you’ll be more comfortable using and talking about various social media platforms? Let us know in the comments below!
Adapted by Natalie Ballard, Language Portal of Canada
The opinions expressed in posts and comments published on the Our Languages blog are solely those of the authors and commenters and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Language Portal of Canada.
Leave a comment
Please consult the “Comments and interaction” section on the Canada.ca Terms and conditions page before adding your comment. The Language Portal of Canada reviews comments before they’re posted. We reserve the right to edit, refuse or remove any question or comment that violates these commenting guidelines.
By submitting a comment, you permanently waive your moral rights, which means that you give the Government of Canada permission to use, reproduce, edit and share your comment royalty-free, in whole or in part, in any manner it chooses. You also confirm that nothing in your comment infringes third party rights (for example, the use of a text from a third party without his or her permission).
Comments are displayed in the language they were submitted.