Hi, I’ve been encountering a lot of mimetic words, (onomatopoeia) words much more recently and was wondering if anyone has any tips on dealing with them. At first, I thought I could just memorize them in context. However, not only is that pretty difficult given how frequent they are, but I find that just memorizing them plainly does not give me a sense for the words themselves. It feels, flat to me. This contrasts against English onomatopoeia which I can immediately recognize as representing their respective item likely in part because I am a native speaker.
I thought that just reading a ton would give a sense of the language which would in turn allow me to acquire sense for their onomatopoeia. That, really has not worked, and while I am making strives in getting a feeling for Japanese, I have not made much progress on this front aside from plain memorizing.
Also, and I might be wrong, I feel like sometimes the author is just making up his own onomatopoeia and that confuses me. I sometimes have a hard time finding what the respective onomatopoeia is with a dictionary, let alone guessing from context clues. Is this common?