Fill the silence!

Oct 6, 2016 | Language, Miscellaneous

filler wordsWe all use little words like “um” and “like” and “well” that don’t really bear any meaning, however, they do win us some time when we can’t find the right word. These little words are called filler words as they help to fill in the awkward silence when you can’t think of what to say next.

These words are part of every language, but they are a bit different in each one. While in English “y’know” and “I mean” are two of the usual suspects, in Portuguese you would often hear “então” which literally means “so”. The Finnish might use “niinku” that is the equivalent of “like”. If you can’t think of a word in Hungarian, you might get away with substituting it with “izé”, which is something like “thingy” or just say “aszongya” that is a contracted form of “it says”. In French, “tu vois”, meaning “you see” and “tu sais” (= “you know”) are common filler expressions. In Bulgarian you can use “такова” (takova) that is a multi-purpose word that could be translated as “such”. In Japanese you could go for “ええと” (eeto) that might mean “well”, “uh”, or “let’s see”, depending on the context. It’s an excellent word to use when you can’t think of anything else!

So…, well, is there any expression that uh… you often use?