This Study Shares How Languages Around The World Express Laughter Online

PhotoPlus+ - - illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

How many times a day do you laugh? Whether you are relaxing with family, out with friends, or scrolling through memes on social media, the average American adult laughs about fifteen times a day.

And in American popular culture, sharing a laugh with others is not always done in person. Tons of slang expressions have emerged to appropriately encompass humorous reactions over text– including the beloved “LOL,” “HAHA,” or “LMAO.”

But have you ever wondered how other cultures around the world express this same laughing-out-loud sentiment?

Preply, a language-learning platform based in Massachusetts, recently conducted a study that compared how twenty-six languages express laughter on social networks such as Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, and the like.

For example, the most common way to express laughter in Thai is by writing consecutive number fives. This is because “5” is pronounced as “haa” in Thai.

And, if you are laughing hysterically, you can even add a plus sign afterward– such as “5555+”.

In Japanese, “www” is used to represent laughter since “warau,” the word for laughter, and “warai,” the word for smile, both begin with the letter “w.” This usage also has cultural roots since the letter resembles the emoticon of a lopsided– or laughing– face.

Teenage Polish speakers often use the word “heheszki,” which translates to “kicking and laughing,” while Lithuanian speakers use “cha cha cha” since it is pronounced just like “hahaha.”

And interestingly, Italian speakers often use the inverted syntax of “haha” or “hehe” in English. Their “ahahah” and “eheheh” is used since “Italians do not have the strong aspirated ‘ha’ sound,” according to Preply.

PhotoPlus+ – – illustrative purpose only, not the actual person

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