There are many onomatopoeias in Japanese and it is very daunting to remember all of them so good luck… In this blog I will teach the most commonly used ones.
Japanese has a large inventory of sound symbolic or mimetic words, known in linguistics as ideophones. Sound symbolic words are found in written as well as spoken Japanese. Known popularly as onomatopoeia, these words are not just imitative of sounds but cover a much wider range of meanings; indeed, many sound-symbolic words in Japanese are for things that don’t make any noise originally, most clearly demonstrated by shiinto (しいんと), meaning “silently”.(wikipedia)
First we will start with onomatopoeias for animal sound effects.
Next we will see the onomatopoeias for people sound effects.
|People sound effect||Onomatopoeia|
|Group of people being noisy||わいわい|
|Gobble a drink||がぶがぶ|
Now I will list the onomatopoeias for the sound effects made by things.
sound effects made by things
|Thunder rumbling, or large object rolling||わいわい|
|Thunder rumbling, or large object rolling||ごろごろ|
|Scattered rain, going through pages||ぱらぱら|
There are also onomatopoeias for conditions.
onomatopoeias for conditions
|Shocked with light||びりびり|
|Soaked with sweat, to be lazy||だらだら|
There are onomatopoeias for feelings as well.
onomatopoeias for feelings
|To be lazy||のろのろ|
|To have a chill in your spine||ぞっと|
|To be worried||やきもき|
|Thinking up an idea||むくむく|
|To be irritated||いらいら|
|To feel drained||ぼろぼろ|
|Worrying about the past||くよくよ|
|Being fascinated by something beautiful||うっとり|
Now I will introduce some onomatopoeias for movements.
onomatopoeias for movements
|To roll (something small)||ころころ|
|To be slow||たらたら|
|To move jaws with eating motion||もぐもぐ|
|To flap something||ぱたぱた|
There are so many onomatopoeias in Japanese and it would take so much remember all of them. You do not need to remember the whole thing at first just try and enjoy the uniqueness of the language now. You will naturally start remembering them by reading or hearing Japanese so just find your favorite onomatopoeias and remember them.