“www” has another meaning in Japanese Web

When browsing Japanese websites, especially user-generated ones like BBS, you may see a lot of “w” letter at the end of lines on Japanese text. Such like,

“Blablabla www”

Do you know what they are? Those “w”, “ww”, “www” or longer consective “w”s mean laugh, laugh out loud in Japan.

“www” means Big Smile in Japan

i share Inc. recently researched how people recognizes “www”, with 472 internet users. The result is that 61.2% of 20’s Japanese thinks “www” as big laugh, against the rest 38.8% think it as “the world wide web”.

The origin of the “www” is, probably,

(笑)

which means “(laugh)”, pronounced as “warai” in Japanese. Then, people who do not have much time to type in Japanese (well, it takes time to type in phonetic codes first, then convert them into Kanji, Chinese origin letters in Japanese), who were on online-game chat and/or instant messengers, started “(warai)” without Kanji conversion

(warai)

shotened,

(w)

later, closing brace was omitted

(w

At last, even the opening brace was erased, as you can distinct them from main text easily, because usually main text are written in Japanese letters. So we now have

w

If you would like to show your laughing more, double it,

ww

If it is LOL, you may want to type three times,

www

So if you see a sentence like “Oh yes, I am serious. www” in Japanese, it means s/he is not serious at all. www

[See also]

(Warai) on Wikipedia Japanese [J]


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@akky is one of the first Japanese pro-bloggers [J]. He also leads Asiajin, writes a tech column on The Japan Times, consults for some foreign companies interested in Japanese web market. (please inquire to akimoto on gmail.com).