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Japanese Onomatopoeia as in "Is your Japanese pera-pera?"

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Japanese uses a lot of onomatopoeia, much more so than Chinese and a lot of other Asian languages. Onomatopoeia are like "woof-woof", "squeak-squeak" and "bang-bang".

This very interesting link explains their grammatical usages.

http://nihonshock.com/2013/04/japanese-onomatopoeia/

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Yes, the Japanese use it on a massive scale compared with other languages. They say things which would seem ungrammatical or similar to baby-talk in other languages, but which are perfectly grammatical in Japanese.

For example, Japanese mothers usually scold their chilldren with :ちゃんとしなさい!

meaning "Do it properly!". It literally means "Do it with a "CHAN!". Here, "CHAN" is the sound of an object fitting nicely in its place, hence meaning "fittingly" or "properly".

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Perhaps, my most commonly-heard Japanese onomatopoeia is doki-doki. :)

This means you are somehow nervous but in an excited way.

I always hear it in songs, dramas, movies, and even mostly on anime.

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Doki-doki is really common! And you often see it in manga, written in katakana for emphasis and to show that the characters are excited!

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There's so many! And there's even more within dialects!! (Kansai-ben for me, where more than half the conversation can be madeup with these)

I sometimes make mine up sometimes and people end up understanding me.

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Kansai-ben is particularly rich in them. I never had the chance to learn it, so only know a few common phrases. And that accent!

I also like how they say "akan" for "dame" or "ikemasen".

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Kansai-ben is particularly rich in them. I never had the chance to learn it, so only know a few common phrases. And that accent!

I also like how they say "akan" for "dame" or "ikemasen".

Aha. Now that you've mentioned it, I wonder, how many onomatopoeias they have for each dialect. :)

Honestly, I haven't come across on a lot of onomatopoeias yet but it would be nice if somebody can provide a good list of such. :)

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"Onomatopoeia" is a bit of a misleading term for them since most don't actually stand for a sound. Like "muki muki", meaning big and hard muscles, or "giri giri", meaning "just barely". I think the Japanese term for them is 擬音語 (giongo), which obviously doesn't have an equivalent in English.

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^Yup, that's the word. I'm actually learning about it in my Japanese class right now. 擬音語 (giongo) represents sounds (so onomatopoeia).

Meanwhile 擬態語 (gitaigo) are words that express states, feelings, actions, etc.

Although based on those definitions, I wonder what ドキドキ (dokidoki) is? It should be both right?

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I believe doki doki describes the sound of a rapid heartbeat, it's like how your heart is pounding when you see your crush during high school days.  :laugh:

No love for cats in here? How could you guys forget about Nyan Nyan (ニャンニャン)?!  :bored:

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Yeah, I know dokidoki is the sound of a heartbeat so it should be 擬音語 (giongo).

Except dokidoki can also be used to express nervousness (and technically you can feel your heart beating) so shouldn't it also work as 擬態語 (gitaigo)?

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Yes, the Japanese use it on a massive scale compared with other languages. They say things which would seem ungrammatical or similar to baby-talk in other languages, but which are perfectly grammatical in Japanese.

For example, Japanese mothers usually scold their chilldren with :ちゃんとしなさい!

meaning "Do it properly!". It literally means "Do it with a "CHAN!". Here, "CHAN" is the sound of an object fitting nicely in its place, hence meaning "fittingly" or "properly".

I never knew that!! I'd heard that said, and other uses of 'chanto', but I had absolutely no clue that it was an onomatopoeia.

Kansai has its own too? Now I'd like to hear those.

Thanks for sharing the link, OP!

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I am interested in learning some of the more useful Japanese onomatopoeia.  I have only heard a few, but I know there are numerous onomatopoeia and lots of ways to use them.

Here are the few that I know (please correct me if I'm wrong):

kira kira - twinkle, shine

kero kero - the sound of a frog croak

doki doki - heartbeat

wan wan - bow wow (the sound of a dog)

Thanks!

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I've always thought this was a really charming thing about the language! I can't help but think that it's really cute. One of my favorites is "fuwa-fuwa," which describes something fluffy.

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I really find their version of these to be very interesting and charming as well. The most recent one I was made aware of was peko peko which from what I understand is their term for bowing.

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I really find their version of these to be very interesting and charming as well. The most recent one I was made aware of was peko peko which from what I understand is their term for bowing.

This is a bit of a tricky one, actually! I had to do a little bit of research to confirm this one myself, but I knew for sure "peko peko" referred to being hungry, since I remember my Japanese teacher would often say, "お腹がペコペコ" - "My stomach is peko-peko" before we went on break.

Now, my source may not be terribly credible (http://fc03.deviantart.net/fs71/f/2012/159/3/8/japanese_onomatopoeia_for_manga_artists_by_ireal70-d52pjrp.pdf), but it looks like the sound for a bow is a single "peko." I seemed to recall this from reading manga, but I wanted to be sure. A search for "pekopeko" by itself will give you food-related results, or sources saying it's related to hunger, so I think it's safe to say it doesn't signify bowing.

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I just stumbled on this old thread! Anyone else here knows some different Onomatopoeia in Japanese that he would like to share? Would love to see this thread alive again!

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So that's how they were called?
Didn't even know that.

楽々 (raku raku) = easy
中々 (naka naka) = quite
数々 (kazu kazu) = many
全然 (zen zen) = never
クンクン (kun kun) = sniff
どんどん (don don) = drumming
多々 (ta ta) = very much
コロコロ (koro koro) = a popular Japanese comic book

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So that's how they were called?
Didn't even know that.

楽々 (raku raku) = easy
中々 (naka naka) = quite
数々 (kazu kazu) = many
全然 (zen zen) = never
クンクン (kun kun) = sniff
どんどん (don don) = drumming
多々 (ta ta) = very much
コロコロ (koro koro) = a popular Japanese comic book

Great. Thanks for providing some more! Yes, that is how they are called Blaveloper. We had a pretty nice thread about them some while ago (more specifically about animal-related onomatopoeia).

http://linguaholic.com/topic/469-animal-related-onomatopoeia-comparison/?page=1

 

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