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conversational fillers (like, t'sais, um, f**king)

Discussion in 'Cultural Discussions' started by Chaska Ñawi, Dec 30, 2005.

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  1. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    So, like in Canada like we're, like, famous for like using the word "like" in like every sentence, eh?

    Yesterday I counted 7 instances of the word "like" in one single sentence of my daugher's. As a teacher, this drives me nuts. You don't hear the once everpresent word "eh?" at the end of each sentence much these days, but still plenty of "ums", "ahs" and some "you knows". In some areas, you also hear "f--king" as the only adjective and adverb present in conversation.

    Now I'm curious to hear what "fillers" crop in other languages. In Quebec, you hear "t'sais?" (you know?) a lot. In Quechua I remember the word "a" cropping up everywhere.

    For some reason I don't really remember many examples in Spanish (except that in my town in Mexico everything was pinche this or pinche that). So, like, I'd be like interested in hearing what some other languages use as conversational fillers....
     
  2. marinax Senior Member

    buenos aires
    español (Argentina)
    uf... that happens a lot in spanish too.

    "esteeeemmm..." is usually inserted between sentences. a way of "ums", i would say...
    "viste" is also used. as "you know" in english.
    "osea" is often heard too. "so I told him that, osea... i told him this" (someone would say)
    but the worst happens among teens... god... it drives me crazy, as you say. "tipo que"-"tipico que" ("like"), "boludo"-"tarado" ("f*cking"), and such words fill the teenagers vocabulary.
    nowadays, my nieces say "a re..." every second. it means something like "yeah, right..."
    - sos feisima... a rrrrreeee.....
    (you are so ugly... yeah, right...)

    just a few. i'm sure someone else would complete this... ;)
     
  3. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    Northamptonshire
    English, England
    Hi Chaska,

    Interesting topic! It's true that Americans (I've never met any Canadians unfortunately so I can't say) use "like" a LOT. I used to count how many times the girls on the bus would say it on our way to University in Madrid. A bit malicious of me I know but it really was incredible...

    In BE, I'm not really sure but we say "you know" quite a lot and I agree a lot of people, namely my father, used "eh?" as a suffix to practically every sentence or even word which of course drove me crazy.

    In French, I would definitely say the word "enfin". I've only recently noticed it, and I don't know if it is a new thing, but they say it all the time. Even though it strictly means "finally", it's not used to mean this at all. In fact it's not the end of what they're saying, sometimes it can even be just the beginning. Also "quand meme", I remember hearing a lot. But "enfin" is a real sentence filler, or sentence "prolonger".

    Enfin, in Spanish there are a ton of sentence fillers. To take an example "vaya", I remember hearing this a lot in Madrid. And "hombre", which seems to be used for everyone, even for women, which was a little odd at first saying as we don't use "man" in this way in the UK.

    It would be interesting to hear other views.

    Best wishes,

    BT
     
  4. la reine victoria Senior Member

    This dreadful way of speaking has reached the UK, amongst the young. It drives me nuts too! I shan't add to your frustration with examples. Also commonly used are 'you know' and 'right', and the expletive you mention is heard everywhere, even small children use it having copied parental example. Also one hears lots of 'ums' and 'ers' or even 'er-um'.

    Another irksome way of speaking is by ending every sentence with the voice asking a question. So we went out to lunch yesterday? I think this originated with certain television programmes but don't know their country of origin.

    LRV
     
  5. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Moronland
    Catalonia, Catalan.
    In English I noticed (also):
    - and all
    - isn't it?
    - innit? (BE)
    - actually
    - right?
    - you know whatta mean?
    - so..

    and yes, Nord-Americans say "like" a lot! this is kind of addicting, innit? ;)

    In Castilian (also):
    - ¿sabes?
     
  6. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Puesssss, pues bien. Pues nada. Es que......
     
  7. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    Among my students, it's "know what I'm saying?", which is pronounced a lot like "gnome sane?" :)

    Typical conversation:

    Student: I gotta take the um, gnome sane, test, gnome sane, for the um, gnome sane....

    Jinti, desperately fighting off the impulse to congratulate the student on his gnome's good mental health: No, what are you saying?
     
  8. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Moronland
    Catalonia, Catalan.
    no clue whatcha sane...:confused: ;)
     
  9. Like an Angel

    Like an Angel Senior Member

    Córdoba - Argentina
    Argentina - Spanish
    Everbody says nada everywhere, instead of being silent or giving the proper answer they say nada.
    A: ¿Cómo estás?
    B: Nada, todo bien.

    C: ¿Qué pensás de los paros/huelgas?
    D: Nada, pienso que tendrán sus razones, es una forma deeee... nada, protestar, pedir por lo que creen justo, nada... eso es lo que yo creo, quizás no sea así.

    E: ¿Qué hiciste el finde?
    F: Nada, alquilé unas pelis y salí a bailar con unos amigos. (En que quedamos nada o algo :D)

    Another one very common, for me at least, is no'cierto? (no es cierto?), and it's used like the "eh?" I think.
     
  10. manana Senior Member

    Chile - Español
    Hola;

    En Chile en cada final de frase usamos ¿cachai? (que es algo así como ¿entiendes? o en chileno ¿entendís'?). Empezó siendo una expresión exclusiva de la juventud, pero para ser honesta, debo decir que hoy en día la usamos todos. Es una expresión muy pegote y a veces me encuentro diciéndola sin querer :eek: .

    Otra típica nuestra es "huevón" o "guón" (por suerte esa no se me ha pegado:) )

    Saludos,
     
  11. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    I disagree that "f**ing" is a filler word. I could substitute "you know" or "um" for "like" and it would mean the same thing...

    I was, like, walking down the street, when, like, this guy comes up to me, and he, like, looks at me all funny...
    I was, um, walking down the street, when, um, this guy comes up to me, and he, um, looks at me all funny...
    I was, you know, walking down the street, when, you know, this guy comes up to me, and he, you know, looks at me all funny...


    ...but if I put the "f" word in there, the meaning would change:
    I was, f**ing, walking down the street, when, f**ing, this guy comes up to me, and he, f**ing, looks at me all funny...

    This is true for "p**che", also. I realize that some people use it gratuitously and perhaps many do it unconsciously. However, I think it's used in a way that's meant to punctuate their speech and pepper it with excitement (as they see it) -- not so much as a filler between words.
     
  12. Roi Marphille

    Roi Marphille Senior Member

    Moronland
    Catalonia, Catalan.
    yes, I think the same. Some people use the F-word a lot but not as a filler, they use it to add more emphasis to the adjectives and names...I think.
     
  13. Like an Angel

    Like an Angel Senior Member

    Córdoba - Argentina
    Argentina - Spanish
    And I forgot "entendés?" at the end of a sentece, like "cachai" in Chile as manana said.

    And we also use "eeeeeeeh", "buenooo" as "ums"
     
  14. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    Where is Benjy with his eeuummmm..... ? :)
    This is "em" following an "este"... right?

    Is it "este" or "es de"?
     
  15. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    HOW could I have forgetten "pues"? It was the great Bolivian monosyllable while I was there.

    Pues, que barbaro!
    Si, pues.
    Claro (another big one), pues.

    Every few months I assign my students one-minute impromptu speeches. The object of the exercise is to speak on a topic (drawn from a hat) without once using a filler word. It really makes them conscious (for a brief while) about their use of fillers.
     
  16. Gremli Skremli Junior Member

    Madrid
    Norwegian, Norway
    The Spanish nada drives me mad! It's new to me, and it cracks me up when all they talk about is "nothing". Gives a lot of fuel to my Mexican husbands jokes about the Spaniards though... ;)
    In Mexico I remembered that there was a lot of güey, cuñao, no?, and verdad? The o sea was considered a bit posh by "my" Mexicans..

    In Norwegian there's a lot of liksom (like) and ikke sant (right).
     
  17. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I believe it's the same problem in every language. "Like" (in Finnish "niinku") is a very typical filler word, even 7 times in one sentence. "You see" is another typical but it seems to have been limited into certain dialects. Instead of the f-word we use the c-word and it can also exist 7 or more times in one sentence.
    We also have an Internet service named Korsorator (Korso is a small city famous of bad habits). There you can upload any text and then you get it back filled with c-words, "likes" and other filler words, so the young people can understand what you are saying.
     
  18. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    In (Brasilian) Portuguese, so far, I've learned to ignore:

    né? = não é = right?
    Viu? = Ouviu = (lit) you heard? = you see? = right?
    Pois
    é pa = who knows. dunno?

    I think only the last two really count as empty filler words. Have to see what the native speakers have to offer.
     
  19. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    Now that is seriously funny. (Too funny - I just about choked on my coffee.) If only I spoke Finnish I'd look up the website.

    Makes me want to design an equivalent site in English.
     
  20. nycphotography

    nycphotography Senior Member

    I do be learnin stuff
    John-Paul Miller, NYC
    There are several, mostly based on ebonics.





     
  21. ~Julie~ New Member

    Germany
    In germany we often say "also" or "halt". teachers hate it when we say these words ;-))

    julie
     
  22. xav

    xav Senior Member

    Paris
    France
    So, a bit of French now.

    Common :

    Euh...
    Ben... or Eh ben...
    Tu vois ? Vous voyez ?
    Tu sais ? Vous savez ?
    Comment dire ?
    A vrai dire...
    Alors... or et alors...
    ..., non ?
    ..., hein ?

    "Djeun" (que ;)) :

    J'veux dire
    J'te dis pas
    Ziva

    Toulousain :

    Cong, putaing, putaing cong (not "cong putaing", don't ask me why).
     
  23. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    Which reminds me that in Quebec I still hear "ben" a lot, in addition to alors.
     
  24. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    Northamptonshire
    English, England
    "To be fair"
    "To be honest"

    Ok, so these aren't so much sentence fillers, but it seems like every other sentence starts with these phrases amongst my friends. And, to be honest, I'm not innocent of it either...

    To Xav, or anyone else, what do "Djeun" and "Ziva" in French? I'd be interested to know.

    BT
     
  25. xav

    xav Senior Member

    Paris
    France
    Djeun is the new word for "jeune" (plutôt de banlieue que du XVIè arrondissement)

    About "ziva", since my interpretation of the word was bad (it's verlan for "Vas-y", but the meaning has changed), I allow myself to quote here my WR friend Geve :

     
  26. marinax Senior Member

    buenos aires
    español (Argentina)

    actually, it means nothing. is just that: a filler. ;)
     
  27. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    Northamptonshire
    English, England
    Ah yes, the infamous verlan. This is a subject that could well have an entire thread dedicated to it.

    Verlan is basically where syllables in certain French words are reversed. I forget the rule right now, a friend of mine once explained it to me. A classic example is "garetteci", which the French actually say instead of "cigarette". It's true that this manner of speaking is mainly used by young people. But I find it fascinating and have come across no equivalent in my studies of language.

    Thank you Xav for clarifying that for me and bringing this subject back to my mind. Perhaps a new thread should be started on the subject because it is fascinating...
     
  28. BasedowLives

    BasedowLives Senior Member

    uSa
    i don't know. i'm certainly not the most eloquent speaker when i'm around my friends. this is how a convo could go.

    me: oh man, i was at this store and i was fuckin, uhh trying to check out so i could get out.
    friend: wow what a pointless story.
     
  29. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    I had no idea about verlan.

    In Buenos Aires they use vesre - reves. This can drive a non-native speaker (and I suspect a native speaker unfamiliar with Portenos) crazy trying to keep up. One example would be jermu for mujer.

    And don't forget Cockney rhyming slang, which is amazingly inventive and complex. I think you do need to start a new thread here.
     
  30. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    Northamptonshire
    English, England
    Hi Chaska,

    I didn't know verlan appeared in Spanish too, perhaps it has a different name in Spanish. But you're right, I've been frantically trying to think of the words that are reversed, and "mmef" or "femme" was one of them. Names can't be reversed...

    You're absolutely Isle of Wight (right) on the Cockney rhyming slang, new threads will be appearing soon.

    BT
     
  31. marinax Senior Member

    buenos aires
    español (Argentina)
     
  32. Brioche

    Brioche Senior Member

    Adelaide
    Australia English
    I've been told that the rising terminal is the fault of Australians.

    It seems to be most common among young women in the lower socio-economic groups.
     
  33. la reine victoria Senior Member

    Thanks for that Brioche. I had my suspicions. In the UK the group you mention has a twice daily dose of 'Neighbours' on television.

    Heaven be thanked that I was born Royal! :>) :>)

    Victoria Regina
     
  34. fenixpollo

    fenixpollo Mod Chicken

    Arizona
    American English
    This phenomena is also common in the Southern U.S.
     
  35. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    And also in California...and it has crept into the Boston area in the dark of night.
     
  36. Fuzzyblob Senior Member

    English, USA
    I don't know about the UK, but in the US we say 'man' a lot (at least some people do).

    'Hey man, how's it going?'
    'Man it's hot in here.'

    With the first sentence that I used, most people would probably say something slightly different and gender nuetral if they're talking to a girl, but the second sentence is talking to no one in particular, kinda like talking to God or something, so no one changes that one.
     
  37. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    "Mujer" - ¿Pero qué haces, mujer!

    If you are talking to a woman, it would be very odd addressing her as a "hombre" in sentences like the one I've put as an example.
     
  38. throughout

    throughout Junior Member

    Spanish-México
    In spanish is common "no", " osea", "bueno", "nada".
     
  39. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Et en français: "quoi":

    "T'as vu la femme quoi". "Voilà quoi".

    Qu'est-ce que ça veut dire exactement?
     
  40. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    Justement : rien du tout, c'est vrai, quoi !
     
  41. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Merci, Agnès. Mais, quand est-ce qu'on l'utilise? C'est bizarre pour moi que l'un de ces mots soit utilisé au bout de la phrase, étant donné que en espagnol, on les utilise pour gagner du temps et nous permetre cherchez les paroles qui expiment ce que l'on est en train de songer.
     
  42. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    Je pense que c'est souvent utilisé pour renforcer ce que l'on vient de dire : C'est vrai, quoi, il m'énerve, ce jeu vidéo ! j'y arrive pas, c'est crispant à la fin, quoi ! C'est également un tic très chic-parisien (les snobs parisiens prononcent plutôt koââ) : Tu connais les plaines de Mongolie ? J'y ai fait du trekking ethno-culturel ! Mââgnifique, quoââ !
     
  43. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Ça tient, Agnès. Merci, mais j'aimerais que vous me disiez encore une autre chose, à quel son vous vous réferez en parlant de "ââ"?
     
  44. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    C'est un a très fermé et très long. On le prononce sans ouvrir la bouche en grand.
     
  45. ampurdan

    ampurdan Modstachioed modnster

    jiā tàiluó ní yà
    Català & español (Spain)
    Humm... Je crois savoir... "Mââgnifique", prôche au "en/an", n'est-ce pas?
     
  46. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France
    France, French
    Un peu, oui. Je suis nulle en phonétique, malheureusement... :eek:
    Si vous connaissez le film "le Père Noël est une ordure", le héros à lunettes dit sans arrêt : c'est celâââ, oui...
    J'ai trouvé le son !!! :)
     
  47. anangelaway

    anangelaway Senior Member

    Toulouse
    French
    Merci Agnès! Ce cite est top, je me marre bien! Je le conserve. Cela me rappelle de si bons souvenirs!!! ;) :D
     
  48. xav

    xav Senior Member

    Paris
    France
    Très bonne question. Les fillers de fin de phrase servent à mon avis à se donner du temps pour préparer la phrase suivante, tout en empêchant l'autre de prendre la parole. Et lorsqu' il n'y a pas de phrase suivante, ils servent simplement à "occuper le terrain"...
    :)

    Je suggérerais bien la création d'un glossaire multilingue des "fillers". Ce serait extrêmement utile, un vrai complément au dictionnaire.
     
  49. Chaska Ñawi

    Chaska Ñawi modus borealis

    an old Ontario farmhouse
    Canadian English
    Ben :) , Ca serait fantastique! Et merci, Anges, pour les examples. Nous faisons la meme chose ici avec "Well", mais c'est quelquechose des villages, pas des villes.

    Wellllllll, you could do that. Xlation: Es-tu completement fou?

    Welllllll, you might give Ronnie Prue a call for that. Xlation: Je n'ai aucune idee s'il fait cette-chose la (J'ai oublie "la" - autre "filler" Quebecois - je retourne a ca), mais tu pourrais demander".

    Welllll, I don't know when I can make it over. Xlation: C'est la saison de chasser les cerveaux, et je vais etre completement bu dans le chalet.

    Examples de la: Mets-le la. Ou mieux, Mets-le la, la.

    Il y a aussi "pis". Pis, je suis alle a la grange, pis j'ai trouve une moufette la, la, pis j'ai grite.....

    J'adore le joual!
     
  50. nitad54448 New Member

    paris
    romanian
    Bon bah, ehh, je sais pas,...
    il y a souvent un "quoi" rajoute a la fin de la phrase...
     
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