1. Forum
  2. >
  3. Topic: Duolingo
  4. >
  5. Filler words in other languag…


Filler words in other languages

I've thought about how people say "like" and "you know" in English when thinking about what to say next, and it made me curious as to what people say in other languages. I found a list and thought I would share!

Spanish: ¿no? ("no?"/"isn't it?"); ¿sabes? ("do you know?"); ¿verdad?/¿cierto? ("true?"); ¿no es cierto? ("it is true, isn’t it?"); ¿sí o no? ("yes or not?"); ¿me sigues? ("do you follow what I’m saying?"); pues; tal; bueno; es de (old).

Spanish (Mex.): O sea ("That is"/"in other words"); Como que ("As if"/"like if"); Tipo ("Type"/"kind [of]"); si pues; esteeee.

Spanish (Chi.): ¿cachái? ("do you get it?"); mira; Si, po (from Si, pues).

French: quoi ("what, y’know"); bah, ben, eh bien ("well"); tu vois ("you see"); tu sais, t'sais ("you know"); putain ("whore"); con ("idiot"); donc; voyez (old).

French (Par.): quoi ("what"); genre ("type"/"sort"/"kind").

French (Que.): alors; bien; tant; hein.

German: gell ("you know, right?"/"isn't it?"/"got it?"); also ("therefore"); eigentlich ("actually"); so ("so"); echt ("really"); find ich ("I think"); denn (from dann, "then"/"so"); doch.

Finnish: niinku (from niin kuin "so as"/"like"); tuota/tota ("that"); tota noin/tuanoinnii ("that so"); nääs (old) ("you see"); kato ("look!"); tavallaan ("in its way").

Russian: типа (tee-pah, "of the type"); это самое (eh-toh sah-moh-yeh, "that"/"most"); того (obs.) (toh-voh "of that"); blya (from blyad, "whore").

Dutch: zo ("so"); dus ("thus"); eigenlijk ("actually"); nou ("well"); zeg maar ("say"); weet je [wel] (“you know”); hoor ("you know"/"hear").

Japanese: ええと (eto, "uh"), あの (ano, "um"), ま (ma, "well"), そう (sou, "hm"), ええ (e-e, interjection indicating surprise); nanka.

Greek: έτσι (etsi, "like"); ας πούμε (as poume, "let's say"); ξέρω γω (ksero wo(?), "I know or do I know?").

Mandarin: 这个 (zhèige, "this"); 那个 (nèige, "that"); 那么 (nàme, "so"); 嗯 (n/ng/en); 啊 (a)

Bulgarian: nali ("isn't it?"); znači ("it means"); tova ("this"); takova ("this kind [of]").

Serbian: znaš? (“you know”); mislim ("think"); ovaj ("this").

Swedish: [å så] då va? ("and so on"); typ; ju; va; liksom.

Tagalog: parang ("like"/"similar to"/"quite"); kuan.

Cebuano: mura'g (from mura ug, "similar to"/"and"); kuan.

Bengali: মানে (Mā-nay, "[It] means"/"What I mean is").

Polish: wiesz ("you know").

Hebrew: כאילו ("as if").

Hindi: मतलब (matlab, “meaning”).

Malay: lah; je [pun] (from sahaja”).

Arabic: يعني (yaani, “I mean”).

Portuguese (Port.): pois e; esta bem?; po'.

Portuguese (Bra.): gente.

Italian: loro.

Norwegian: lissom.

Albanian: ëëë; që.

From: https://www.quora.com/What-filler-words-in-other-languages-are-used-the-way-like-is-in-English

November 5, 2018



Here are some Irish ones (note that many Béarlachais are used even by "true" Gaelgeoirí)

  • Bhuel (well)
  • Mar sin (donc, therefore)
  • Ar an nós/nóta sin (on that note, speaking of which)
  • (Mar) like (English)
  • Ya know?
  • Ca/d - What?


Oh my goodness! I live in miami and we've had a mass migration from rich venezuelans in the last few years, and I swear, they are the spanish equivalent of vally girls! If I have to hear another "O sea" my ears WILL bleed! Please, please, I beg all of you to refrain from starting ALL of your sentences with "O sea". If you don't I'll like start using like, like all the time in english. Like you get me?


omg as a venezuelan myself i'm totally guilty of using "o sea" "aló" and "de pana" compulsively :(


The first step to fixing a problem is acknowledging it exist. Try to do the rubber band thing (where you snap a rubber band in your wrist every time you say the words) I heard it helps tremendously. Besides as long as 8/10 of sentences don't use those frases it's not that annoying.


Oh this is cool! Useful for a ton of languages.


Just a note: "Gell" is dialectal and only used in the South and Central-West. It may not even be understood in the North and East of Germany.


Oh this is a very good list!


Hungarian: hát; nos (meaningless really just placeholders)

You'll also hear "igen, igen, igen" (yes, yes, yes), "az igaz" (that's true), and ertem ("I see").


brilliant..thank you so much for such a useful and interesting list.. I live in Canada and being a very multicultural place ,we have speakers of most of these languages..So I recognized a lot of these words/expressions on your list.. well done!:-))

small addition to your list

In Russian people also use popular filler words "nu" ( =well/ok/ so..), "ladno" (same meaning ) and "blin "-evfemism for swear words

in French, I often see/hear .."du coup"(=approx. )english "like" ) used a lot..also the expression "n'importe quoi"..


Also in Hindi: है न? (hai na?) = Isn't it? ठीक (thiik) = well, अच्छा (achhaa) = good, तो (to) = so/then. In Hindi I also see यानी (yaanii) which means "namely" ... I wonder if it comes directly from Arabic?

You mentioned "pues" in Spanish, and in Colombia, I really here this dominate. Pueeeeeeeees.


Swedish: ba' (from bara, just). Any teenage conversation is riddled with ba'

Learn a language in just 5 minutes a day. For free.