I was reading in article in New Scientist recently about the use of “um” in English conversations. There is a general prejudice against people using “um” but research apparently shows is it a key filler word and actually highlights to the listener about a change in topic or break in the conversation that aids understanding. Apparently many languages have “um” in spoken usage. But does Japanese? I’ve tried listening to conversations and I couldn’t identify an “um” or equivalent but my Japanese is pretty poor. For those on here that are fluent - does an “um” exist in Japanese?
Usually えっと (or えぇぇっと, and so on)
Or あの (or あのぅぅぅ, you get the idea)
Uh, yeah, in moderation. When every other word is some sort of filler, a politician absolutely deserves a thorough lambasting.
And, as usual, Leebo got here with the answer first.
But not ええとう？Can you safely elongate the TOO sound or does it become a different word? Or it just isn’t done?
I’ve heard まあ and まあね used as filler a lot in conversation, but they’re more like “well…yeah”. I’ve heard it repeated like “まあ, まあ… ね” when hesitating or making time to think about an idea before confirming it.
That happens, too. I think it’s pretty personal.
And then there’s EtoEto, but who knows when people will be able to start using it.
えっとね to add to the above
You can also use なんだっけ on a more casual basis have to nuance of “it’s on the tip of my tongue but having a hard time remembering”
of put さ often for “like” (also used in a casual conversation)
In summary of everyones’ replies: Japanese has a crap ton of conversation fillers.
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