The internet is a wonderful place. You get to mingle, explore and talk to other cultures and different languages through online chat rooms, social media, and email. And we love it. But sometimes, there’s a little bit of a culture gap when it comes to slang, laughing and common phrases. While we may say ‘LOL’ or ‘haha,’ this could be absolute gibberish to your pen pal. So how do you show you’ve found something funny online in other languages?
Japanese – www
Nope, they’re not laughing about the World Wide Web, so don’t worry, you won’t need to make up a cheesy joke about Internet Explorer. ‘Www’ comes from the Kanji character 笑, which means ‘laugh.’ In Japanese, this character is pronounced as ‘warai’ which is then abbreviated in most chat rooms and on social media as ‘w’ to indicate that something is funny. Just as in English we go from ha, to haha, or even hahahahaha (if something is REALLY funny) the people of Japan do the same.
Spanish – jajaja
When it comes to pronunciation, Spanish letters are completely different to English letters. In fact, a ‘j’ in Spanish is actually pronounced as a ‘h’ so even though the spelling of ‘jajaja’ is different to our ‘hahaha’ they are in fact pronounced in exactly the same way. This is also the same for the Greek ‘xaxaxa,’. The Danish, Icelandic, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, and the Hebrew versions are also all their own way of pronouncing ‘haha’.
Thai – 55555
As much as you may be feeling pretty proud of yourself that the girl or guy you’ve been chatting to online has finally responded to your phone number request, they’re actually just laughing at you (sorry). In Thai, you pronounce the number 5 as ‘ha.’ Because of this, many Thai speakers will often forget about writing ‘hahahahaha’ and just write 55555 instead.
French – hahaha, hehehe, hihihi, hohoho, MDR
The French are very similar to the English, whereby they have multiple different variations of their laughing (although we’d love to hear LMFAO in French). Most of their laughing variations are spun from onomatopoeic language, but in the past few years, they have also adopted many Americanized phrases. Instead of writing LOL – which of course means ‘Laughing out Loud’ (NOT ‘Lots of Love’, Grandpa) – the French use MDR which stands for ‘mort de rire’ which translates as ‘dying of laughter.’
Korean – kkkkk or kekekekeke
Laughing in Korean just sounds incredibly adorable. These phrases quite literally mean ‘hahaha’ but have been derived from ㅋㅋㅋ which is short for 크크크 – however, it is abbreviated and shortened down for the sake of chat rooms and social media. Don’t worry; they’re not insistently telling you that everything is okay.