Mariel Norton   25 July 2016

What filler words do you find yourself using?  Picture: Iryna Yeroshko  CC 2.0

Ever find yourself in the middle of a chat inserting, um, gaps in the, er, conversation?

The ‘um’ and ‘er’ you use are known as filler words – and most of the time we don’t even notice we’re using them.

While this pair are typically British, here are some fillers from around the world:  

 

German

‘Äh’ is a very common filler, along with oder (or), echt (real), also and so.

 

Serbian

‘Ovaj’: literal translation would be ‘this’ or ‘him’

 

Portuguese

‘Então’ means ‘so’ while ‘tipo’ means ‘like’

 

Belgian Dutch (Flemish)

‘Allez’ is a typical filler used in this language

 

Spanish

‘Este’, 'ehm’ and ‘pues’ are used frequently as fillers

 

Swedish

‘Alltså’ is used in place of ‘thus’

 

Japanese

えーと(pronounced ‘eeto’) translates into ‘um’

 

Tagalog

‘Ano’, which translates as ‘what’

 

Bulgarian

‘ъ’ (pronounced ‘uh’) and ами (pronounced ‘ami) which is the equivalent of ‘well…’

 

Mandarin

那个 (pronounced ‘na ge’) which again, is used as the filler of ‘um’

 

Which fillers do you use in your language? Share them on our Facebook page.

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