Favourite filler words

What are your go-to fillers when you’re having a conversation in Japanese? Apparently I’ve been using なるほど a bit too much cus one of my coworkers found it very entertaining :sweat_smile:
My personal favourite is the えー.

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I think different areas use different fillers. In my small country town, almost everyone says “あのー”, its one of the most common things I hear, second only to “やばい”. When I first moved here I liked to use the occasional “ええと”, but I’ve since conformed and pretty much start every conversation with “あのー”.

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Where I live it seems that ええと is more popular with girls than boys? Not 100% sure on that, but I definitely notice girls using it more, and boys using あの.
I say あの now for everything, often even when I’m speaking English which sounds weird and bad. Had to speak to a small group of English speakers a couple weeks ago and kept saying あの.
I also say そうそうそう a lot as kindof a right, yeah, got it.

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I’ve been finding myself using そうですか lately, sometimes with another filler in front, like あっ・え〜, or alternatively at the back, like ヘ~.

As a conversation starter, so to say, yeah, I also tend to go for あの、Oさん. When I don’t know what to say mid sentence, I pause awkwardly for a think, or… Make this sort of humming sound.

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Filler words while speaking or stuff to say when listening to people?

For the former, I know Japanese people say it all the time, but I can’t get out of the English mindset where using excessive filler words makes you sound dumb… So I just stick to my guns and don’t use any. Besides, my imperfect Japanese gives them enough to think about :stuck_out_tongue:

For the latter, I like to use the simple はい because it works in all settings. In casual settings you can say it more loosey-goosey, but if you say it short and strong it works in a formal setting too. そうですね、おおお~~、ええ!are some of my other favourites

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I’m on team んー as well as of course the ultimate word そう and all its variations. I use んー in english as well so it’s just the thing I carried over. I probably say “um” more than “mnn” but hey one translates and one doesn’t.

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To me なるほど can be a filler word but it can also be used to say that you understand what the other person is saying, kinda like 了解 or 分かった. Filler words are those that you say when you’re thinking of the next word/sentence to say, such as あの, さ, ま, そう, or ええと.

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I heard ○さ、 a lot while I was in Japan. I somehow didn’t know what さ meant despite studying Japanese formally for 2 years but I quickly learned from context because everyone used it constantly

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I really like どうでしょうね。especially when you do the mmmmmm… right before it to make yourself sound more contemplative.

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I’m a big fan of 確かに and そうかな… I probably overuse them to a ridiculous extent. Tacking on かな to everything in general is a habit I want to suppress a little more! It’s okay to sound more certain about what I’m saying occasionally, I’m sure.
In formal conversations with people I don’t know, when I start to feel nervous about phrasing myself correctly, そうですね is a magic filler that means nothing more than “I am buying a couple more seconds to think about what you said before I respond.”

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