ギリギリ・ぐるぐる・ブルブル

Hello everyone.
I’ve been reading regurarly these days, and switching from Graded Readers to native material has brought a large amount of new vocab to my awareness.

The ones that I’m always suprised and awe me the most are onomatopoeic words… there’re so many !!! like for reals :exploding_head:

I’ve been wondering, is it a common thing ammong children’s books or do this go into spoken language too ?

any favourite ones?? mine is もたもた :rofl: … I still try to imagine the situation that became a word.

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The Japanese language has a lot of onomatopoetic words and yes they are also a part of the spoken language. I bet you’ve heard someone say ペラペラ right?
I recently read ガリガリ、ヒソヒソ、ギリギリ and どんどん. Some people think that onomatopoeia is the worst part of the language since there are so many onomatopoetic words and they can have multiple different meanings as well.
It’s reputation has been hiding in the shadow of kanji it seems.

There are even separate dictionaries available!

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Here are two blog posts with loads of them:


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Ohhh , I was forgetting about that one. I heard that one watching Shirokuma Cafe … :rofl::rofl:

I really like どんどん and だんだん … I wish there were more like that pair.

Thanks, I’ll check those resources… meanwhile I’m going ぺこぺこ, so I’ll eat first :yum:

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The Dictionary of Basic Japanese Grammar has a short section on it, describing how the sound symbolism works. For example “voiced consonants represent something big, heavy, dull or dirty, whereas voiceless consonants represent something small, light, sharp or pretty”. ころころ – small object rolls, ごろごろ – heavy object rolls, ぽたぽた – small amount of liquid drips, ぼたぼた – large amount of liquid drips.

There are several pages of examples then, it’s easier to learn them when they don’t appear that random but have some system.

Also interesting is that [sh] represents “quiet human emotion”, and the same sound symbolism is used for adjectives like 悲しい or 嬉しい.

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カリカリ is the one for crispy/crunchy (which is funny to me because my name is spelled カリ in Japanese and I love crispy foods). わくわく is also fun ^____^ I find myself saying it out loud when I get excited about something.

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I like くしゃくしゃ (crumpled) and ふわふわ (fluffy).

http://www.city.ichikawa.lg.jp/roa01/1111000089.html
The ride isn’t as exciting as the name suggests though.

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I can recommend this book (by the author of みんなうんちー Everyone Poops!) for anyone who wants to study Japanese onomatopoeia. It has illustrations as well as explanations in English and Japanese.

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These are hella common. If you’re not already using a vocab resource outside of Wanikani, they’re one of the reasons I’d strongly recommend it. You’ll hit plenty of them in N3 and N2 study, or other resources like the core 3,000 and 4,000 levels of iKnow.

They’re also not just onomatopoeia; they’re normal, everyday adverbs that often don’t have any other (commonly used) equivalent.

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THanks to you all. I think I’ll a add book to my collection for this matter.
Kanji helps a lot to cement any given word once I run into a new vocab.
But onomatopeic words don’t have the same initial feeling of grasping them from the very start, and at least for me they need several encounters when reading for making them stick.

I was somewhat unsure on how much they permeated spoken language… they kind of sound funny :sweat_smile:

@iansacks Thanks, indeed they are very common adverbs from what I can tell. I add vocab as I run into any new word, but yeah I totally agree with getting vocab outside WK. I’m not following JLPT steps actually, so for me the exponential increase in onomatopeic words has come related to reading children books (in contrast to graded readers for japanese learners) … hence I though they could be more of a kids “funny way of talking” :sweat_smile:

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I bought this book just the other day :smiley:

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LOL the わくわく express needs more わくわく :joy:

Sidebar: I wonder if イライラ is just a coincidence–sounds an awful lot like the English word “irritated.” :exploding_head: 外来語?

If you have it already, how are you finding it? I almost pulled the trigger on buying it right away, but this review gave me pause:

(外国人にとって)英語より日本語での説明が役に立つ。英語での例文の代わりにもっと日本語の例を挙げたら、ほうがようかった。

It’s related to 苛立つ、いらだつ so seems like a coincidence to me but what do I know. I thought so too actually.

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Well, I didn’t read it much yet, but it’s more a funny way to learn onomatopoeias (through comics) than a serious book. I don’t understand the review, in the book both the english and japanese are present, so even if there are some differences you can read them. My japanese friends seems to like it.

Cool. What the hell. Ordered.

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I like メラメラ, personally. (The sound of fire flaring up/roaring)

I like ドキドキ to describe nervous excitement.

I love this! I don’t think I ever would’ve found out on my own. If you have any other tips about patterns in the language I’d love to hear more.