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Japanese Lessons

Lesson 8 - Onomatopoeia

Japanese has many onomatopoeic words and phrases, and the key to it is to make it sound as close as you can to the realism or way of making the sound.

These are usually made by making the same sound twice or can be used to modify verbs, or even some expressions can be used in the way of the na adjectives.

Sometimes a "-to" is added right after the onomatopoeia, to indicate that it is a quote.

Kirakira hikaru (shine sparklingly)

Yet, some of the consonants that appear voiceless (I.E. "k", "p", "s", and "t") can be used to describe a a favorite situantionsneat, small things, quiet things, pretty/phenomena things, and such. However, the hard consonants (I.E. "g", "b", "z", and "d") are used to describe something bad or negative. Such things are loud, ugly, power, big things.

Giragira hikaru
(shine dazzlingly)
The sound seems to make it sound warm or soft.

Nurunuru suru
(feels slimy)
This makes it sound as something slippery.

The next phrases, are something you might come encounter with.

(to describe chattering away frivolously, to describe speaking foreign language fluently)

Jon san wa nihongo ga perapera desu.
(John is fluent in Japanese.)

(to describe the sound of rushing water, such as pouring rain)

Ame ga z'z' futte imasu.
(It is pouring.)

(to describe someone looking around restlessly)

Kodomo wa kyorokyoro to ok'san o sagashimashita.
(The child looked for the mother restlessly.)

(to describe something soft and wet, or to describe the awful mess)

Heya no naka wa guchagucha desu.
(Inside of the room is awfully messy).

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