I found a friend to learn French with (we are both native English speakers). We text each other and I am wondering if there are French versions of common texting onomatopoeias. Here are the ones I use most often:

  • haha – for laughing
  • hmmm – for thinking
  • wow – for amazement
  • errr – for frustration
  • ahhh – for understanding
  • psh – for being dismissive
  • The goal is to communicate information that is naturally transmitted between people through non-verbal channels Oct 23 '17 at 21:39
  • 1
    Voici une liste intéressante où vous pouvez piger ce qui vous plait: les-onomatopees.fr/liste-onomatopees.php
    – Max D
    Oct 23 '17 at 23:36
  • Voir aussi Wiktionnaire et Wikipédia. Aussi la question sur les abréviations sous SMS. Merci !
    – user3177
    Oct 24 '17 at 13:37
  • @Max D: je suis intrigué par votre utilisation de "piger", je suppose que c'est dans le sens de "prendre, piocher" ? De quel pays ou région êtes-vous ?
    – Greg
    Oct 27 '17 at 5:17

These are French equivalents I use when texting or messaging my friends - just note you might come across some alternate spellings:

haha – for laughing

hmmm – for thinking

Ouaouh/waouh/waou/waw – for amazement

Grrr/aaargh – for frustration

aaaah – for understanding

bof - for expressing a feeling of disappointment or lack of enthusiasm for something (ex: "pizza ce soir ? - bof, pas envie, j'en ai déjà mangé hier" "comment était le concert hier soir ? - bof, pas génial")

pff - for expressing you are feeling let down or you are feeling a bit downhearted (ex: "hé, tu viens boire un verre ce soir ? -pff... pas possible, je dois travailler" "youpie, je pars en vacances ce soir ! Je penserai à toi quand je serai sur la plage ! - pfff, arrête, c'est pas drôle, je suis jaloux")

euh (or euuuuh with multiple "u" to tell it is a long "euh"): for expressing a moment of doubt (ex: "sais-tu à quelle heure part notre train -euuuuuh... attends, je ne sais plus, je vais vérifier")

As you can see, some are common to English or quite close.

  • I think your answer covers it thank you! By the way here is an example of psh: a friend says "we should get burritos" I might say "psh I ate a burrito yesterday. Let's get pizza!" Oct 28 '17 at 8:34
  • OK, then I'll edit my answer, I had another understanding about what you meant by being dismissive.
    – Greg
    Oct 29 '17 at 9:55
  • @user1834536: bof, des burritos, j'en ai mangé hier, mais de la pizza: miam miam!
    – chqrlie
    Oct 30 '17 at 22:48

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