In Japanese internet slang, you see people use「ww」to mean something like "lol". I was curious how this would be pronounced if read aloud. In English, I hear people say either /ɛl oʊ ɛl/ or /lɑl/ for "lol". Is there a semi-standard way to pronounce the Japanese equivalent?

Another answer indicates that the w's stand for 「笑い」. Would the pronunciation then be something like【わらいわらい】or would it be something like【ダブリューダブリュー】?

1 Answer 1


This is usually not intended to be read aloud, but the most prevailing "reading" is not わらう but わら. For example, ww is わらわら.

You can mainly hear this pronunciation on live streaming sites such as ニコニコ生放送 where hosts often configure screen readers to read visitors' comments aloud.

I have read somewhere that /lɑl/ is sometimes actually used in conversations between young English speakers (I don't know if that's true), but わら is not usable in ordinary conversations. If you did it, that would sound extremely nerdy.

  • 9
    I know people who say lol out loud :-)
    – user1478
    Apr 23, 2017 at 3:56
  • 1
    On a side note, I've been told by my Japanese teacher that the usage of the characters "ww" comes from it's resemblance to several straw stems. Straw in Japanese is pronounced わら, just as 笑(い), so it has eventually become an alternative to write 笑. Anyway... wwwww
    – jarmanso7
    Jul 3, 2020 at 10:12

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