Blah, blah, blah...

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themonk
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Blah, blah, blah...

Postby themonk » Wed Dec 30, 2009 11:52 pm UTC

This is just a question that popped into my head a few minutes ago, so it may not be as eloquently written out here as I hope. But...

Do other languages have a way of saying "blah, blah, blah" as in English?

There are two cases where I could use "blah..", as far as I can come up with now:
1) If someone is talking about something and won't stop -
"So I was going to the supermarket to buy some chicken when I suddenly saw Mr. Dawkins. He was buying some fruit and..."
"Blah, blah, blah [get on with the story]/[your stories bore me]."

2) When talking about something where the details are not needed (sometimes "da, da, da" or similar are used) -
"So I told her my number was +49-157-blah blah blah [or da da da]-02 [insert joke]." [sorry, this is a terrible example, but hopefully you understand what I mean]

So yes, are there similar expressions in other languages?

I know in German they spell it "bla bla bla" or simply "blabla" - nothing special. There are probably other ways of saying it though.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Lazar » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:23 am UTC

All I can contribute is the Seinfeldian phrase "yada yada yada". :wink:
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby pabechan » Thu Dec 31, 2009 12:49 am UTC

Czech too has bla bla bla. (I guess it's the same with Slovak too)

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Joeldi » Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:16 am UTC

I had an Asian (I'm assuming Cantonese, but on zero basis other than he had a really thick and musical accent) lecturer who would say blah blah blah, but really quickly so it sounded really strange. Clearly a replacement for whatever he'd say in his native language, used in a similar way.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Sarcastic_Fringehead » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:29 pm UTC

Interestingly, "bla-bla" is used as a noun in French, but the equivalent expression is "gna gna gna" or "gna gna gni et gna gna gna".

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby hum » Thu Dec 31, 2009 2:33 pm UTC

In Portugal we say blabla.

But I like to say blablabla whiskas saquetas blablabla because of the comercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQsSq0MugPU

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby themonk » Thu Dec 31, 2009 8:17 pm UTC

My friend who speaks Spanish said that the RAE (Real Academia Española) has a word for it: "blablablá"

Without the final accent, it does not translate exactly over (at least in written), he said, yet obviously would still be understood.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Benfrenchman » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:50 am UTC

In Japanese, there are a few expressions. The most common one is 'nantoka kantoka' which just means 'this, that, whatever'. It's what you'd sing if you were singing a song and suddenly forgot some of the words.

There's also a slightly less-used one which I really like, 'chinpun kanpun'. It means 'gibberish', or 'it's all Greek to me'. It's based on the sound of Dutch people talking amongst themselves (apparently). For example,
'what was that guy saying?'
'I dunno, chinpunkanpun.'

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Grop » Mon Jan 04, 2010 2:57 pm UTC

Sarcastic_Fringehead wrote:Interestingly, "bla-bla" is used as a noun in French, but the equivalent expression is "gna gna gna" or "gna gna gni et gna gna gna".


Bla bla bla could also be used, at least in OP's first context. In context 2 I'd rather use tralala or etc.

The noun is often used about insincere speech, typically in politics or advertising. Also blablater is an informal verb for talking.

Also, re: it's all greek to me.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby olubunmi » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:38 pm UTC

It's also bla bla bla in Dutch.

It seems similar phrases return in most languages.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Sheikh al-Majaneen » Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:38 pm UTC

Around here they say bob loblaw law blog, or bob loblaw lobs law bomb.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby themonk » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:18 pm UTC

Around here they say bob loblaw law blog, or bob loblaw lobs law bomb.


Where?

Also, "tralala" is used in Germany.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Apparently Anonymous » Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:07 pm UTC

Yeah, we use the term "bla bla bla" in Norwegian as well(as a symbol for generic "talking", often about uninteresting things).
I've heard it being mentioned that it's got its origins in the Spanish verb hablar(means "to speak"), but I'm not sure if that holds any truth.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby smw543 » Thu Feb 04, 2010 1:28 pm UTC

Grop wrote:Also, re: it's all greek to me.

There's a similar phenomenon for the name of that bird we Americans like to eat in late November. Here, we call it a turkey. In Turkey, it is called a hindi (with similar names in several other languages; Hebrew calls it ",תרנגול הודו" roughly "Indian cock"). In India, they also call it a turkey (or more accurately, "तुर्की," the Hindi form of Turkey). I'm pretty sure there are a few more that I'm forgetting.

themonk wrote:
Around here they say bob loblaw law blog, or bob loblaw lobs law bomb.
Where?

It's a California thing.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby sklasklaskla » Wed Apr 29, 2015 5:57 pm UTC

I'm told that in Brazilian Portuguese they say 'skla skla skla'. Native Brazilians please reply with corrections if I'm wrong.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby gilan » Tue May 12, 2015 11:47 am UTC

Interesting question. I found this Blabla cafe while visiting Paris. I thought it was apropos to this discussion.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby Alexius » Tue May 12, 2015 10:17 pm UTC

smw543 wrote:
Grop wrote:Also, re: it's all greek to me.

There's a similar phenomenon for the name of that bird we Americans like to eat in late November. Here, we call it a turkey. In Turkey, it is called a hindi (with similar names in several other languages; Hebrew calls it ",תרנגול הודו" roughly "Indian cock"). In India, they also call it a turkey (or more accurately, "तुर्की," the Hindi form of Turkey). I'm pretty sure there are a few more that I'm forgetting.

In Greek it's a γαλοποὐλα (Gallopoula), which translates as "French bird".
And apparently the Arabic word (ديك رومي, dik rumi), means "Greek (or Roman) chicken"

I have also heard that the Chinese name means "fire chicken"...

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby WanderingLinguist » Fri May 22, 2015 4:02 am UTC

In Korean, the 2nd case would be "어쩌고저쩌고" (eojjeogojeojjeogo). I don't know one for the 1st case in Korean; mostly I've just heard people say "아이구, 말이 너무 많아" (you talk too much). But that's not really the same thing.

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby ThirdParty » Tue May 26, 2015 5:37 am UTC

I gather that Latin had lots of them with slightly different shades of meaning:

"Bar bar bar" (whence comes the word "barbarian") is the sound of someone speaking a foreign language.
"Mur mur mur" (whence comes the word "murmur") is the sound of someone speaking too quietly (or too far away) to be heard clearly.
"Su su su" (whence comes the word "susurration") is the sound of someone whispering too softly to be heard.
"Ul ul ul" (whence comes the word "ululation") is the sound of someone wailing incoherently.

None of them is quite equivalent to "Blah blah blah", which is the sound of someone too boring to listen to, but they're clearly in the same neighborhood, especially "Bar bar bar".

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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby gmalivuk » Tue May 26, 2015 9:40 pm UTC

We get those final forms through Latin, but the imitative origins predate Latin.
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Re: Blah, blah, blah...

Postby ThirdParty » Tue May 26, 2015 10:11 pm UTC

gmalivuk wrote:We get those final forms through Latin, but the imitative origins predate Latin.
True enough. I should have said "Some ancestor of Latin had..."


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