Weekly Words no. 6: Sound FX

April 6, 2018


Japanese is a language with an overabundance of onomatopoeia (words that describe sounds).  In fact, that's one of my favorite things about it!


Unlike when learning other languages, learning onomatopoeia in Japanese is absolutely critical!  You'll find that sounds are described everywhere.  In comics, advertisements, television, and even in everyday conversation. 


In the media, you will see onomatopoeia frequently accompanies visuals to enhance the emotion and atmosphere they present.  People will also use sounds instead of By learning to recognize sounds written and spoken in Japanese, you will less likely be confused when they appear in popular entertainment and casual speech.


Last week, I talked about the sound for jumping:  ピョンピョン。 This week, I'm selecting some of my favorite Japanese sounds to share!

•  擬声語    Onomatopoeia   Written in Hiragana as ぎせいご

ex.  このページでは、どんな擬声語を書くべきか。

       Kono pe-ji de wa, donna giseigo wo kaku beki ka?

       On this page, what onomatopoeia should I write?



• ペコペコ  Rumbling of a Starving Stomach 


ex.  ランチの時に、君は凄くペコペコでしょうね?
       Ranchi no toki ni, kimi wa sugoku pekopeko deshyou ne?

       You'll be awfully hungry at lunchtime, won't you?



キラキラ  Glistening   


ex.  キラキラ物は美しいと思う。
       Kirakira mono wa utsukushii to omou.

       I think sparkly objects are beautiful. 



• ウフフ   Chuckling Mischievously 


ex.  彼氏がいたよ、ウフフ。。。

       Kareshi ga ita yo, ufufu. . .

      Well, you had a boyfriend hehehe. . . 



• グッスリ  Soundly Sleeping


ex.  赤ちゃんは静かなへやでグッスリ寝ます。
       Akachyan wa shizukana heya de gussuri nemasu.

       The baby sleeps soundly in a quiet room.

What sounds should I have included?  Please share in the comments!





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