Translation:Um, what is your name?
I think "あの" and "えと" are just like their english counterparts of "umm" and "err" when you're thinking or hesitating and just like them can sometimes be drawn out "えとー".
Yes, "あの" and "えと" are Japanese filler words, and some English equivalents would be: "umm", "err", "uh", "huh", "well", "so" and "like".
In English these types of words are a part of something called "speech disfluency". They interrupt the flow of otherwise fluent speech and are therefore best avoided. But i get the impression that they're more accepted in Japanese, and not necessarily considered to be "speech disfluencies", especially "あの".
For example the sentence: "あの、お名前は何ですか？".
In this sentece i would NOT translate "あの" as "um". I would translate it as: "Excuse me". and "あの、お名前は何ですか？" would therefore be translated as: "Excuse me, what is your name?".
Because in this case "あの" is used as a way to ease yourself into the question: "お名前は何ですか？", and in this case "あの" arguably fills an importent role to make the question more polite.
Where as "um, what is your name?" sounds very unnatural and is definitely considered to be a speech disfluency.
Anyway, that's just what i learned.
TL;DR Yes, "あの" and "えと" are used as filler words equivalent to the English: "um". However in this case it is in MY OPINION wrong to translate "あの" as "um". As "um" sounds very unnatural in this specific sentence. Because in this case "あの" acts as a way to ease yourself into the question, and makes the question more polite than just "what is your name?". So i would translate "あの、お名前は何ですか？" as: "Excuse me, what is your name?".
It would help if DL Japanese had an 'idoms' (or something like it) section as other DL languages do. These 'filler words' as you call them are very important to know, but they resist strict translation.
It's accepting excuse me as a solution right now. However, um/umm or even ehh can be good translations since with あの you are just asking for their attention, similar as we use excuse me in English but not a direct translation of excuse me.
I "translated" it as "um, what is your name" because I expected the program to accept it. But a proper translation would be "what's your name" or "what is your name" because that's how we would say it in English.
I was taught to translate あの as "well" but uses as you described 「あの。。。知りほせん。。。」"well...I don't know...." えと is always treated as um and, like um, I try not to overuse it
In English, we have "ann" vs "a-nu" for such words. We have annum, annual, anniversary, anus, anal, etc. "An-a-" words also start with "an" and have a single N but not in the same syllable, and with a short A. The ones that refer to the body part have a long A. Ano has a short A.
I didn't expect to learn Spanish here :D Well, after checking I can imagine your discomfort ;)
BTW, in czech, slovak and informal polish it means 'yes'. Doesn't really make sense here.
From my understanding it may be a way of being polite or showing respect. Not 100% sure though, still learning.
Use お (おなまえ、おちゃ) when unsure, ご (ごはん) is very conditional and rarely shows up.
Go is a very old form from Chinese. ごはん cooked rice/meal is the only common usage I can recall.
You've also got, "parents = ryōshin" (両親) whose polite form is "goryōshin" (ご両親).
You usually ask for someone's name when first meeting them since you're not that well acquainted, therefore in Japanese you treat the name and person with more formality.
I translated 'ano' as 'uh', got corrected as 'um'. :/ just venting, i don't expect anything to change :p
Damn autocorrect made me lose my streak, changing Um to I'm! First world problems, i know
I was taught that お in this situation can translate to honorable. So it's basically asking what is your honorable name.
No one would ever say that, i don't think. But to your point, it could be what is his/her name.
The "o" prefix indicates that the speaker is talking about a specific person's name, probably the speaker's.
Probably the listener's, you mean. Using it with reference to oneself would be rather conceited (unless one is royalty in a historical drama, perhaps).
If you'd want to say "What's a name" you'd probably use something more along the lines of 「名前はどういう意味ですか」(namae wa dōiu imi desuka) which literally means «what does "name" mean».
How do we know when "ano" means "um" or it means "that"? Or am i just very confused. Im a beginner.
Context, mostly. You'll notice here with it written out, it has a comma after it, indicating it's the interjection instead of the "that [x] over there" definition. To that effect, it would need a noun immediately following it, like あのすし. Otherwise you'd have to use あれ followed by some kind of particle to have the word all by itself and still mean "that over there."
There is something similar in spanish, you could say "esto" (this) for "um", but the tone you use and the context makes very clear when you mean one thing or the other
Why is it necessary to teach us how to say "um"? Saying "um" or "err" when you're talking is a bad habit that gives a bad impression and shouldn't be taught.
I'm not too sure myself, but I read somewhere that using the Japanese equivalent for "um" instead of switching back to your native language gives off the impression that you're well-versed and practiced in Japanese.
Maybe in English. In Japanese, it's sort of a polite way of getting someone's attention, or of softening a request to make yourself seem less forceful, which is important when talking to anyone who isn't a subordinate.
Oh come on, "erm" is basically the same (British variant) as "um". Don't mark me wrong.
I need help with polite phrases because sometimes I see あ and sometimes お. What differentiates one from the other?
いい質問ですね！To my knowledge, あ does not ever denote politeness; you will instead see お (e.g., "お願いします") or ご (e.g. "ご注意ください"). Typically, お precedes a native Japanese word, and ご precedes a Chinese loan word.
While I was also taught the phrase in your comment, when I moved to Japan I came to understand that using あなたは to address someone is too direct (to the point of being impolite), so お名前は is much more polite.
So, I spelled it out to "ano, onamae wa nanidesuka？" But further digging says its "Onamae wa nandesuka？" what caused the I to drop from 何?
I mistook あの to be demonstrative in the sense of, "that person -- what's his/her name?" Would that work here, or would you need a noun and/or particle (i.e.. あの人は、お名前は何ですか)?
I read the extensives reponses and I conclude nothing about あの, "Hey" or "Ah" it'd work better for an easy speech
Literally, あの means "that", referring to somthing that isn't near either the speaker or listener. So in this use, it's basically like saying "as for that" as a way of changing the subject to what the speaker wants to talk about.
Crap, in my language "Um" spells "Hum" and I got it wrong that way, not even a typo... Why in the world would I be talking about humming there? It was obviously a typo!
Definitely not "excuse please" (this is ungrammatical in English). Perhaps you could translate idiomatically あの as "excuse me please," but that would more literally be ”あの、すみません。”
You hear it all the time! あの、えっと、とかー！Politeness is important in conversation, and it's considered rude to let silence linger (especially in Japan; this is why you hear "そうですか" constantly) -- so you can fill those pauses when you're thinking with "um" and the like (which is not considered rude).
it's not a literal translation though, it is just used as a filler word in Japanese, it actually has its meaning in the correct context. あの = that, and if you speak a little spanish we use "este" the same way, they are really similar in usage.
When I translate the あの as "Hum" it correct it as faulse. I am wrong or あの can be taken as a "hum" ?
Yes it can, and interjections don't have literal translations, so the idea of calling it "um" as opposed to "may I have your attention" or anything else doesn't make much sense.