Years ago, I remember texting with a Brazilian chick in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
She ended up being a chick that lied about being a widow and, from what I could guess, wanted to set me up to get robbed somehow.
That’s my theory anyway.
You can read more about her here.
Regardless, before I suspected anything, we were texting normally in Spanish.
And, in the conversation, something funny was said but I forgot what was it exactly.
Just some joke about Argentine people in general because, with both of us being foreigners, they were a easy punching bag to break the ice with.
And, more broadly speaking, I find that it’s not uncommon in some contexts for Latinos down here in other countries to take the piss out of Argentines.
Mostly because of the reputation they have for being very arrogant or sometimes racist.
A reputation that I wrote about here.
Anyway, in the context of something funny being said, I replied with the following text message “kkkk.”
It had to be 4 K’s, you see.
Because, for those who don’t know, kkkkkk is a way for Brazilians to indicate that they are laughing or something was funny.
Among the Spanish world, they say jajajaja.
In English, I think we Americans have evolved from a simple “hahaha” and most of us use “lol.”
The more sophisticated use “roflcopter” as you can see here.
Regardless, as I replied to her, I remember only typing 3 Ks at first.
Then feeling it needed an extra k for some reason.
So it doesn’t look as bad or whatever.
So kkkk it was!
Though, being honest, I actually don’t remember how many Ks I used to indicate I was laughing.
Which, like lol, I actually was not laughing in the moment.
But it seemed appropriate to respond with nonetheless!
Still, regardless of how many Ks I used and if that somehow makes me an involuntary member of the KKK or not….
It’s still, at least to us Americans, a funny observation that we make when we live in Latin America long enough.
It’s not really that big of a topic to discuss but, more broadly speaking, the Latino ways of “expressing laughter” by text are a funny thing to poke at.
Like how, back when I was in high school, I remember taking Spanish classes and making fun of how Spanish speaking Latinos use “jajaja.”
Where, one afternoon, I was in Chemistry class and made some Spanish joke about that to a friend named Darian.
He was a white dude, noticeably fat and over 6 feet tall.
A very friendly dude that I knew in high school.
And, walking up to him, he asked something about Spanish or Spanish class maybe?
In which I just remember making the joke about how “jajaja” would sound in Spanish.
Where I pronounced “jajaja” but where the J is pronounced like an actual J in English and not how it would sound in Spanish.
And he found it funny.
Boom – I made a good joke for once.
And, while you live in Latin America long enough, you notice the same thing about KKK for Brazil as I indicated before.
In which it doesn’t take someone too clever to make a joke somehow tying the KKK laughter of the Brazilians to the American understanding of what is KKK.
Bad and overused joke but one nonetheless.
Still, I suppose it is interesting to ask, no?
Why do Brazilians use “kkkkkkk” as a way to show they are laughing?
I have very minimal experience with this topic but I’ll bring to you one relevant moment in my life before getting checking to see what the internet says.
“Do You Understand What I’m Saying?”
In Buenos Aires, Argentina, I remember being at some apartment full of Brazilians.
There was one Brazilian guy I was friends with named Thalisson.
He was about my age and white.
And he was a student studying medicine at the main university of Argentina, la UBA.
Anyway, from what I could remember, he was living in a building for students and there happened to be quite a few Brazilians in the apartment.
I don’t know why – granted, maybe that was just my impression since he was Brazilian and introduced to those he knew.
Not saying everyone in the building was Brazilian but that’s beside the point.
Anyway, I remember pulling out my Google translator and wanted to give my Portuguese pronunciation some practice.
For those who don’t know, Spanish pronunciation is different from Portuguese pronunciation.
And so he was cool with seeing how I pronounced the words that I typed into Google Tranlsate.
Funny enough, he actually could understand my pronunciation.
I got lucky I guess because my Portuguese is shit and I always found the pronunciation rules of the language to be difficult to work with.
Anyway, while we were there waiting for someone to come by so that we could visit a nightclub soon after…
I brought up the topic of “kkkkk” out of curiosity.
And he told me that Brazilians use “kkkkkk” because, according to him, the K letter in the Portuguese alphabet is somehow pronounced by a “kah.”
So “kah” is close enough to “ha.”
I have no idea how true that is because I genuinely do not know Portuguese that well.
Knowing Spanish, I can read some stuff in Portuguese because some of the words are very similar but I don’t know how “k” is actually pronounced.
So here’s a video in Youtube showing all of us how the “k” is pronounced.
You be the judge of if it sounds similar enough to a “kah.”
I think it does based on that video.
And, based on other sources on the internet, it might be true!
Here’s a source here confirming the fact as I quote it:
“Because the letter K is pronounced like CAR (minus the R) in Portuguese, and repeating it many times like kkkk makes the easier onomatopoeia for typing laughing out loud or laugh out loud - LOL.”
So maybe there’s some truth there!
Maybe it’s true then that not every Brazilian is a member of the KK and their linguistic differences just make for an awkward way to say “lol.”
And, to be fair to the Brazilians, apparently they have another way to say “lol” that looks like rsrsrsrs as you can see here.
Thankfully, the US and the English speaking world doesn’t have anything bad named “rs.”
Though, if said Brazilian was talking to a Pakistani, said Pakistani might get confused as to why the Brazilian is saying on repeat “RUPEE RUPEE RUPEE RUPEE RUPEE” if he were to see an “rsrsrsrsrs.”
Ok, ok, bad joke, bad joke, I know…
Still, that’s all there is to say on the subject.
If you have any comments or input yourself, drop them below in the comment section.
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And thanks for reading.