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So I've been watching terrace House lately and was wondering what the equivalent to あのさぁ/あのね would be.

I know that it's used to initiate a conversation or if you plan to speak after you've been silent for a while. I would translate it to sth. like "well... " or "so... ".

I caught myself using あのさぁ/あのね when speaking Japanese and was wondering what one could say in German since tend to not find a word in German to start a conversation like in Japanese.

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For me, one of the most versatile yet meaningless initial words after a break in a conversation or general stretch of silence:

Also.

Often followed by a short pause and spoken with a rising intonation (similar to a question) to give the listeners a chance to mentally prepare themselves for the real information about to come.

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Weißt du was? ... (you know, ...)
Übrigens, ... (by the way)
Ach so, ... (I just remember I also wanted to tell you...)
Sag mal, ...(literally "Tell me", used with questions or statements you want the other person's opinion about)
Hör mal, ...(literally "Listen", also exists in a plethora of dialect forms like 'Hömma', 'Hüür ens', 'Hea', ...)
... eigentlich ... in questions: "Hat sich Anna eigentlich mal bei dir gemeldet?"

... or just nothing most of the time. It's needed or seen as polite in other languages to use something like that, but it's not very much needed in German. You can in most cases just get to the point.

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