#EngKnowledge: Written Laughter from All Around the World

Nowadays, we do online interaction as much as offline. Tech innovators and providers always try their best to come up with the freshest ideas and inventions to make our online interaction just as lively as the offline one.

The introduction of emoji in early 1990s undoubtedly forever changed our way of exchanging messages online. With a single icon, we can describe exactly what we feel or how we react to something our friends said. For example, we use the emoji ‘face with tears of joy’ to react to something so funny that got us laughing in tears.

 

Face with tears of joy

‘Face with tears of joy’ emojis (Source: Wikipedia)

 

However, there are also those, like me, who prefer to type our laughter instead. For this purpose, we usually type LOL (Laughing Out Loud), LMAO (Laughing My A** Off), or simply hahahahahahaha.

‘Hahahahahahahahaha’ is considered as the most basic written laughter that everybody from anywhere can understand. Now, here are some that are not that simple.

 

Italy – Ah ah ah ah ah
Italian seem to think ‘ah ah ah ah ah’ as the phonetic way of writing laughter.

Chinese (Mandarin): 哈哈 or 呵呵
Laughter is written 笑声 and pronounced xiào shēng, but Mandarin native speaker also relies on onomatopoeia for laughter: 哈哈, pronounced hā hā, and 呵呵, pronounced he he. Similarly, xixi, 嘻嘻, suggests giggling and is usually used when somebody is trying to be cute.

Japanese: www
Not to be confused with World Wide Web, www in Japanese laughter came from Kanji character 笑 for ‘laugh’ which is pronounced as warai. Warai was quickly shortened as ‘w’ in chatroom and internet forums. Nowadays, Japanese type ‘w’ to indicate laughter, or ‘wwwwwwwww’ if it’s something really funny.

Korean: kkkkk or kekekekeke
The written form kkkkk or kekekekeke comes from ㅋㅋㅋ, short for 크크크, or keu keu keu, the Korean equivalent of hahaha.

Thai: 55555
In Thai, the number 5 is pronounced ‘ha,’ so instead of saying ‘hahahahaha,’ Thai speakers will sometimes write ‘55555.’

Spanish: jajaja and Greek: xaxaxa
In Spanish, ‘j’ is pronounced like ‘h’ in English, therefore ‘jajaja’ is an analog to ‘hahaha.’ Same goes to ‘x’ in Greek, which is pronounced like ‘h’ in English.

Hebrew: חחח/ההה or khkhkhkhkhkhkhkhkh
The letter ‘ח’ is pronounced ‘kh.’ Some sources also render it as ‘xaxaxa.’

Brazilian Portuguese: huehuehue
This is Brazilian onomatopoeia for laughter.

Portuguese: rsrsrs, hashuashuashuashua, rá!, and kkkkk
‘Rsrsrs’ seems to me like somebody laughing through his teeth, while hashuashuashuashua seems more complicated as the position of letter h and u and s and a are in such distance on the keypad. Rá! sounds like Ha! and I think kkkkk is similar to Korean’s kkkkk.

French: hahaha, héhéhé, hihihi, hohoho, or MDR
French uses onomatopoeic laughter variations much like those in English, as well as the universal ‘LOL’ to indicate laugher. The French equivalent of LOL is MDR, which stands for ‘mort de rire’ or ‘dying of laughter.’

Indonesian: wkwkwkwkwkwkwk or wakakakakakaka
Also an onomatopoeia, this is how most Indonesian laugh online. We also use hahaha, LOL, xixixixi, hehehe, buakakakakakakak, or bahahahahhahahak.

 

Source:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emoji
https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/12/55555-or-how-to-laugh-online-in-other-languages/266175/
https://www.buzzfeed.com/ahmedaliakbar/hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh?utm_term=.wePzexKR7y#.kjgM6VxPgO
http://metro.co.uk/2016/01/02/how-people-type-laughter-around-the-world-5596241/
https://voxy.com/blog/index.php/2012/04/laughter-internet-languages/

Compiled by @alicesaraswati for @EnglishTips4U on Thursday, 16 March 2017.

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