Around the World: Laughing Through Text

They say you learn something new every day, but today’s piece of knowledge is sure to make you smile as it did me. One of the wonders of modern technology and social media is the ability to interact with our students outside of the classroom. And through this, I’ve noticed things that I’ve never thought about before….one of my favorite being how we laugh through text.

For an English speaker like me, I prefer to use the simple ‘hahaha’. There are a few of us that prefer ‘lol’ (which, in my opinion, normally stands for I-say-I’m-laughing-but-I’m-not). I’ve even seen a few ‘hehe’s’ here and there. But a few months ago I noticed a Spanish friend using ‘jajajaja’ and it only took me a few seconds to realize it was in place of ‘haha’. It’s a clear representation of the language and I was thoroughly amazed that I’d never thought about it before.

Of course, Spanish and English aren’t the only languages that laugh differently through text. After doing my research on the matter, I noticed that I’ve been in contact with a few of them before without realizing what they meant.

For example – kkkkkkkkkkkkkkk
And the mysterious ^^ and ~~

Of course, it’s easy to explain why Spanish speakers use ‘jaja’ and Russian speakers may use ‘xaxa’ – linguistics. But textual-laughter like the Japanese “~~~”  or Korean and Chinese “^^” required a bit more research. Upon looking, I learned that they are the western keyboard equivalents for the Chinese character 笑  (laugh).

Just can’t explain kkkkkkk, wkwkwkw, and rrrrrrrr. Any help, guys?

Here are all of the examples of international laughs in text that I was able to find (credit to Fiona’s ESL Blog)…

Swiss – hehe or hihi
Spanish – jajaja
Portugese, Arabic (?) – kkkkkkk, hhhhhh
Japanese – ~~~ or ^^
Korean, Chinese – ^^
French, English – hahaha
Greek, Russian – xaxa
Indonesian – wkwkwkwk
Ukranian – rrrrrrrr

Hope you were as amused as I was. Please leave a comment or any other laughter from around the world!

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