How to laugh online

If you’re starting to understand humour in a different language, you’re likely making pretty good progress with that language. When you’re chatting online, how do you show you’re laughing?

In English we might say ‘hahahaha’ or ‘hah’ or ‘LOL’. Perhaps we’d even include a smiley face 🙂

Using ‘hahahaha’ as a starting point, a Reddit thread found these answers:

Thai: 55555
In Thai, the number five is pronounced “ha” — so instead of saying “hahahahaha,” Thai speakers will sometimes write “55555.”

Japanese: www
This abbreviation, not to be confused (which is to say, often to be confused) with the one for the World Wide Web, likely originates with the Kanji character for “laugh,” 笑, which is pronounced as “warai” in Japanese. “Warai,” in message boards and chat rooms, quickly became shortened to “w” as an indication of laughter. And then, much the same way “ha” begat “haha” begat “hahaha,” the sentiment became extended — to “ww” and then “www” (and also, if you’re so inclined, to “wwwwwww”).

Spanish: jajaja
In Spanish, j is pronounced like the English h, so “jajaja” is the direct analog of the English “hahaha.” (Source: Mashable)