Haha’s of the World: How to Laugh in 29 Languages?

Massùod Hemmat

There are more or less 500,000 words in English language. Of these words, only around 171,000 words are in use. However, a native English-speaker who is educated knows nearly 40,000 words. A native English speaker who is not well-educated knows approximately 15,000 to 20,000 word families or lemmas only. There are around 5000 common words used in formal and informal contexts. So, instead of 500,000 words, learn less than 5000 common words if you want to be fluent.

While vocabulary is certainly important for language proficiency, there are other aspects of communication that are equally, if not more, crucial. One such aspect is laughter. Laughter and humor can help to create connections, build relationships, and enhance overall communication effectiveness. So don't forget to laugh and embrace humor as a valuable tool in your communication toolbox. But if you laugh the way they laugh, that's more fun. Isn't it?

In the following paragraphs, I discuss how people type laughter in 29 languages.


Some weeks ago, I sent one of my poems I wrote in the Turkish language for a cross-check to a friend of mine. She said that it looks perfect. But when I said. “I wrote it.” She sent “dkdkdkdkdkdkd.” I was curious to find out what she means by this. “Oh, sorry, this is how we laugh in Turkish,” she explained. She laughed because she didn’t believe I’ve written that poem in Turkish.

I wrote some gibberish text like “34234wshjfadshfoueoir” and said this is how we laugh. She thought I was not joking and added that they laugh like this, too: “sksksksksksksksksk.” This is called “keysmashing” too.

I took notes. I said, okay — I’ve to write something on this. I reached out to other friends, did some research, and found out about other languages. That’s why I wrote this article.

How People Around the World Type Laughter?

1. Japanese (www)

For most of us, ‘www’ stands for the World Wide Web, but in Japanese, this is how people type laughter. The word ‘www’ means ‘LOL’ or ‘Laughing Out Loud.’ If it’s more serious, you have to add more ‘w.’ ‘wwwwwwww’ = ‘hahahahahha.’

2. Thai (555)

The number ‘5’ sounds like ‘ha’ in the Thai language. So, ‘55’ would be ‘haha’ and ‘5555’ would be ‘hahahaha.’ You just add one more ‘5’ if your laughter is deeper. So, ‘555555’ = ‘hahahahaha.’

3. Greek (xaxa)

Because ‘x’ in Greek sounds like ‘h,’ ‘xaxa’ means ‘haha.’ So, ‘xaxaxaxaxa’ = ‘hahahahaha.’

4. Russian (xaxa)

Just like Greek, ‘x’ in Russian (Cyrillic language) equals to ‘h,’ or ‘kh,’ therefore, ‘xaxa’ means ‘khakha,’ and ‘xaxaxaxaxa’ = ‘hahahahaha.’

5. Persian/Farsi (خخخخخ، ههههه،هاهاهاها)

Persian or Farsi speakers in Iran, Afghanistan, and Tajikistan type in Persian/Arabic script. ‘hahaha’ = ‘هههههه,’ ‘ha ha ha ha’ = ‘ها ها ها ها ها,’ and ‘khkhkhkh’ = ‘خخخخخخ.’ ‘kh’=’j’ in Spanish, e.g., Jose (Khose)

6. Pashto (ههههه، هاهاها)

Pashto speakers in Afghanistan and Pakistan type laughter similar to Persian speakers. ‘hahaha’ = ‘ههههههه,’ ‘ha ha ha ha’ = ‘ها ها ها ها ها,’ and ‘khkhkhkh’ = ‘خخخخخخ.’ But I’ve rarely noticed the last one among Pashto speakers.

7. Urdu (ہا ہا)

In the Urdu language, which is Pakistan’s official language, ‘ha’ is written as ‘ہا.’ So, if you laugh longer, you just add more of it. But they also write the way people in Pashto and Persian languages type laughter. ‘ہاہاہاہاہاہاہاہا’ = ‘hahahahaha.’

8. Arabic (هع هع هع، ههههه، هاهاها)

Arabic speakers in the Middle East and around the world type laughter the same way as Persian speakers do. For instance, ‘hahaha’ = ‘ههههههه,’ ‘ha ha ha ha’ = ‘ها ها ها ها.’ But because they pronounce some vowel letters with their throats, some of the speakers laugh like ‘هع هع هع’ which is ‘hae hae hae’ but in such a way that even the pharynx also moves up and down during the laugher (offline, of course).

9. Danish (hæhæ, ha ha, hi hi)

In Denmark, the way people type laughter varies. Some people go for ‘haehae,’ some other for ‘ha ha,’ and a few others for ‘hi hi,’ which is somewhat similar to English except the ‘haehae’ one. But mixing ‘haehae’ with ‘hihi’ would be weird, I guess: ‘haehihaehi’ is pretty awkward. Please don’t do it. Lol.

10. Spanish — Latin America (jajaja)

I was typing ‘ja ja’ which means ‘yes, yes,’ in German to a friend of mine in the US. He thought I laughed in the Spanish language as he didn’t know ‘ja’ is also a German word. If you want to type laughter to any Spanish speaker in Europe, Latin America, or around the world, type ‘jajajajaja.’ It is not ‘yayayay,’ but ‘hahahaha,’ or ‘khakhakhakha,’ like ‘j’ in ‘Jose,’ again.

11. Korean (kkk, kekeke)

I have a growing number of friends obsessed with the growing South Korean films, series, and cinema at large. In case you have friends from South or North Korea, or you make funny memes in Korean, ‘kkk’ and ‘kekeke’ are the most commonly used forms of laughter they type.

12. Portuguese (kkkk, rsrsrs, huehuehue)

In Portugal, Brazil, and other Portuguese-speaking countries, people tend to type laughter in the forms of: ‘kkkkk,’ ‘rsrsrs,’ and ‘heuhuehue.’ You can now type any of these forms to Cristiano Ronaldo or even your favorite Brazilian soccer players’ posts online — only if they share funny stuff. Don’t write, “Great job Ronaldo! rsrsrsrs.”

13. Jamaican (dwl)

In Jamaica, its native speakers use ‘dwl’ when they want to type laughter online. ‘Haha’ and other forms of laughter are also used, but the most common form is ‘dwl,’ which means ‘dead wild laugh.’

14. French (mdr, ptdr)

French natives use ‘mdr’ instead of ‘lol.’ Based on the Urban dictionary, ‘mdr’ means “‘mort de rire’ which translates into ‘died of laughing.’” Of course, other forms of laughter, such as ‘hahaha,’ ‘hihihih’, or even ‘hêhêhê’ are also common in French. In France and even Belgium, some people use ‘ptdr,’ which means ‘broken with laughter.’

15. Nigerian laughter (LWKMD)

In Nigeria, LWKMD is used in online conversations to signify laughter. Its full form is Laugh Wan Kill Me Die or merely meaning ‘to laugh a lot.’ If you have a Nigerian friend, don’t type this to him or her directly. First, make sure there is something that makes both of you laugh. Otherwise, he or she might think you’re weird. LWKMD.

16. Indonesian (Wkwkwkw)

‘Wkwkwk’ means ‘Laugh Out Loud’ in Indonesian, although it does not have any underlying reasons. It is just an accepted form of laughter in online communications between Indonesian speakers. So, with more ‘wk,’ the laughter gets more intense.

17. Norwegian (Høhøhø)

In Norway, its native speakers laugh like ‘Høhøhø.’ Long press ‘o’ on your keyboard, and then select number six from the list, which is ‘ø.’ Other forms of typing laughter like ‘hahaha’ still means laughter in Norwegian, but this form is more common.

18. Chinese (xiào, shēng, xixi, hei hei, 23333)

No matter how hard the Chinese or Mandarin script looks, the way they type laughter online is simple. If you can’t communicate with your Chinese friend via Mandarin, at least try typing laughter the way they do: ‘xiào,’ ‘shēng,’ ‘xixi,’ ‘hei hei,’ and ‘23333.’ Just as English speakers use ‘lol,’ Chinese speakers use ‘233’ to mean ‘lol.’ Adding more ‘3’ intensifies the laughter.

19. Icelandic (híhí)

In Iceland, people type laughter mostly like this: ‘híhî.’ If you want to type it like this, you have to write the letter ‘h’ and then press the letter ‘i’ until six more forms of ‘i’ appear. Select ‘í’ by pressing ‘3’ on the keyboard. So, if you want to type laughter in Icelandic, write it as ‘híhíhí.’

20. Italian (ah ah ah)

Although in Italian people type laughter as people do in the English language, most of the native speakers type it like ah ah ah. Instead of ‘a’ after ‘h,’ Italians prefer writing ‘a’ before the letter ‘h.’ ‘ah ah ah’ = ‘hahaha.’

21. Hebrew (xàxàxà, kh-kh-kh)

In Hebrew, its speakers either type laughter as ‘xàxà’ or ‘kh-kh-kh.’ It sounds like the Spanish ‘jajaja’ with dashes in between. ‘x’ is also pronounced like ‘j’ in Spanish or ‘kh’ in Persian, Pashto, and Arabic. ‘kh-kh-kh’ = ‘hahaha,’ and similarly, ‘xàxàxà’ = ‘hahaha.’

22. Lithuanian, Czech, and Slovakian (Cha cha cha)

In Lithuania, its native speakers type laughter as ‘Cha cha cha,’ which differs from most of the languages but sounds similar to ‘ha ha ha.’ ‘Cha’ is ‘ha.’ If you have a friend who speaks any of the above languages, always type laughter the way they do: ‘Cha cha cha cha.’ But be careful as “it can express mocking as well (such as in ‘cha cha! You’re just saying nonsense’) or disrespect.”

23. Dutch (ghahagha, ha-ha)

In the Netherlands, many of its native speakers type laughter like: ‘ghahagha’ by adding a ‘g,’ which sounds like ‘j’ in Spanish or ‘kh’ in Arabic, Persian and Pashto languages. Many people in Holland type laughter like: ‘ha-ha’ or ‘ghaha,’ and even ‘whaha.’

24. Finnish (ha-ha-ha)

It seems Finnish speakers finish the ‘ha’ with a dash. In Finland, its native speakers type laughter like this: ‘ha-ha-ha-ha,’ but they use other forms such as ‘heh,’ ‘hah,’ and even ‘hah ha,’ too.

25. Swedish (asg=asgarv)

The word ‘asgarv’ means roars of laughter in Swedish. So, Swedish speakers use the short form of it, which is ‘asg.’ ‘asgasgasg’ or ‘asg asg asg’ equals to ‘hahahaha.’

26. Malay (Ha3)

Because ha x 3 times equals to ‘hahaha,’ Malayan speakers type Ha3Ha3Ha3 or Ha3. They also type laughter the way an English speaker types, such as ‘haha’ or ‘ha ha’.

27. Turkish (kdkdkdkdkd, sjsjsjsjsjsh, asdfasdfadf)

In Turkish, they type laughter as “kdkdkdkdk,” “sjsjsjsh,” “asdfdasdfadsf,” and in many other forms. There is no unified form because they all signify: “I laughed so hard; I fell on keyboard.” That’s why they write random letters. But these three forms are common.

28. English

There are plenty of ways to type laughter in the English language: ‘ahaha,’ ‘hahah,’ ‘hehehe,’ ‘hohoho,’ ‘buhahah,’ ‘gahahah,’ ‘ha,’ ‘heh,’ ‘heehe,’ and many more. English speakers also use ‘LOL,’ ‘ROFL,’ ‘LMAO,’ ‘:D,’ and other acronyms.

29. Some other languages

If you want to find out about other languages, visit The Atlantic, Digg.com, the New Yorker, Reddit, Tandfoline, and Buzzfeed,

I feel uncomfortable when someone laughs like this: ‘Hhhhhhhh.’ It sounds like they’re laughing on the moon, and there is no Oxygen. If you do this to me, I’ll type ‘Aaaaaaaaaaaa,’ and then you’ll feel how did I feel. LOL.

This article was originally published on Medium.

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Massùod Hemmat is a versatile writer who specializes in covering a diverse range of topics and news. His areas of expertise include politics, writing, sociology, technology, entertainment, productivity, innovation, business, and entrepreneurship, among others. He can be found on various platforms, including Medium, Vocal, Clubhouse, and Quora under the handle @mhemmat, on Twitter as @masud7h and on Instagram as @masudh7. With a well-traveled background, Massùod has lived in the United States, India, Afghanistan, and Germany and is a polyglot.


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