Are Filler Words Usual for Japanese?

This article will discuss Japanese words and phrases that are often used in everyday communication, that is, simply put, Japanese slang. You will not meet them in formal written speech and this is hardly taught in textbooks. However, you should know them if you really want to easily understand Japanese friends and moreover, it would be nice to be able to express your emotions in different everyday situations.

So, let’s start with the filler words that are used to take time, to collect thoughts. Surely they are well known to those, who learn Japanese:

え ー と (e: to) and あ の ー (ano:):

あ の ー 、 こ う 言 う 事 は 後 で ゆ っ く り 話 し た た 方 が い い ん じ ゃ な い い – Well, is it okay to talk later?

え ー と 、 来 週 の 日 曜 日 は 何 日 か な。 – So … What is the date on next Sunday? 

There is another word that people in Japan use really often: な ん か (nanka) – something, somehow.

For example: な ん か 食 べ た く な い – Something I don’t want to eat.

な ん か 何 で も い い。 – Yes, somehow, anyway.

Now we turn to the most interesting part, to slang.

Many words cannot be accurately translated, so it’s better to explain their meaning using examples.

や だ (yada) – expresses disagreement; used when you do not want to do something.

無理 (muri) – impossible; unrealistic

You can say several times in a row 無理 無理 無理 (muri muri muri), which will mean “absolutely impossible”, “no, no, no, this will not be even discussed.”

や ば い (yabai) – oh wow; awful.

This word is used both in a positive and in a negative reaction to something.

だ る い (darui) – a synonym for the word め ん ど く さ い (mendokusai), which means “enraging”, “tiring”, “annoying”.

For example, “the work is really annoying, I don’t want to do it” will be: マ ジ 仕事 だ る い な 行 き た く な い な.

Why do you need to learn spoken Japanese? If you want to communicate with the Japanese and don’t want to sound like a robot, then you can’t do it without spoken phrases of the Japanese. You must admit that it is much more pleasant and comfortable for you to communicate with a person when he uses not only the literary language in his speech but also different words that make the speech more lively, warmer, and pleasant.

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