Research in computational linguistics has revealed a correlation between native language and patterns of disfluencies in spontaneously uttered speech. In addition to this research, there are other subjective accounts reported by individuals. According to one commentator[who?], Americans use pauses such as "um" or "em," the British say "uh" or "eh", the French use "euh", the Germans say "äh" (pronounced eh or er), the Dutch use "eh", Japanese use "ā", "anō" or "ēto", and Spanish speakers say "ehhh" (also used in Hebrew), "como" (normally meaning 'like'), and, in Latin America but not Spain, "este" (normally meaning 'this'). Besides "er" and "uh", the Portuguese use "hã" or "é". In Mandarin, "那个(nà gè)" and "这个(zhè ge)" are used, meaning "that" or "this", respectively. In Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian, speakers vocalize an "ovaj", "onaj" or "to jest" ('this', 'that' and 'that is'.) Arabic speakers say "يعني", the pronunciation of which is close to "yaa'ni", [jæʕni] or [jaʕni], (literally, "he means", there being no grammatically gender-neutral third person) and in Turkish, they say "şey" in addition to "yani" (without the [ʕ] found in Arabic) and "ııı". A more complete list can be found on the fillers article.
Fillers are parts of speech which are not generally recognized as purposeful or containing formal meaning, usually expressed as pauses such as uh, like and er, but also extending to repairs ("He was wearing a black—uh, I mean a blue, a blue shirt"), and articulation problems such as stuttering. Use is normally frowned upon in mass media such as news reports or films, but they occur regularly in everyday conversation, sometimes representing upwards of 20% of "words" in conversation. Fillers can also be used as a pause for thought ("I arrived at, um—3 o'clock").
Research in computational linguistics has revealed a correlation between native language and patterns of disfluencies in spontaneously uttered...