Tristan Alexander McLeay <zsau@Y...> wrote:

> I was just wondering what various con- and natlangs (and dialects) use to
> 'umm' or 'aah'.
> To start off with, Aussies tend to prefer 'umm', and I understand Japanese
> 'anoo' (but I could be wrong).
> Tristan

The Japanese do use "anoo", and I think it softens the abrupt beginning of
an utterance in a way (as in humble opinion shall follow), and I
remember making "Sa..." the attention grabber for the beginning of a
conversation, a sign that one is thinking about what to say.

I think the Japanese sometimes say "chotto" (lit. a little, a bit) to get
people's attention.