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Japanese onomatopoeias


torakris
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I have been in Japan for close to 15 years now and I still have problems with onomatopoeias, no not just spelling that word (which I actually had to cut and paste--twice :blink: ) but what the sounds are actually describing.

Onomatopoeias (cut and pasted again :biggrin: ) are words used to descibe a sounds and there are an incredible amount used in the Japanese language, especially when describing food.

what are some of your favorites?

I like

karikari = crispy

but there is also

garigari = crunchy

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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another one that most people are familiar with is

shabu shabu = sort of like swish swish, or the sound the meat makes as you are swirling it through the stock/water

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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What a heavy topic! You could write a book on it and gitaigo!

Giongo = 擬音語 = onomatopoeia (copied and pasted as you did)

Gitaigo = 擬態語 = imitative word?

(There is a slight difference between the two.)

In fact, there are books on giongo and gitaigo.

How about this webpage, although it is not at all exhaustive:

http://home.alc.co.jp/db/owa/s_kaydic?ctg_in=4

Favorites?? I've never thought about such a thing.

How about

Assari (light, bland, ...)

Sappari (similar to assari)

Mattari (rich, fatty)

Kotteri (similar to mattari)

Sukkiri (refreshing)

The list goes on and on and on...

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"Hoka hoka" and "atsu atsu" invoke a sense of piping-hot and fresh for me when it comes to describing foods. A sort of "right out of the pot" type of feeling I guess.

My friend is a doctor of Internal medicine in Tokyo and he said the Japanese people eat way too much food that is at extremes of the temperature scale and that it is not too healthy. For example, a piping hot bowl of ramen and a glass of ice water along with it.

Not onomatopoetic but I love the term used for describing something scrumptious.

"hoppe ga ochiru hodo oishii". Sort of like "it's so good that my cheeks are falling". Does anyone know where this term originated?

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then there are some that describe the actual act of eating

もぐもぐ

mogu mogu

sort of the munch munch sound from eating

ぱくぱく  ばくばく

paku paku baku baku

eating quickly

(I am not really sure of the difference between these two...)

ばりばり

bari bari

the crunch sound from biting into crunchy foods

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Not onomatopoetic but I love the term used for describing something scrumptious.

"hoppe ga ochiru hodo oishii". Sort of like "it's so good that my cheeks are falling". Does anyone know where this term originated?

I did a google search, but failed to find an answer.

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ぱくぱく  ばくばく

paku paku    baku baku

eating quickly

(I am not really sure of the difference between these two...)

baku baku sounds more violent to me.

ばりばり

bari bari

the crunch sound from biting into crunchy foods

The same goes for pari pari and bari bari.

o-senbei o pari pari taberu = to eat sembei "pari pari"

Kono kankoku nori wa pari pari janakute bari bari da! = This Korean laver is not pari pari but bari bari!

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Koshi ga aru udon ya nodo goshi no ii soba o tsuru tsuru (or zuru zuru, which sounds more violent) taberu

= To slurp up udon noodles with firm texture and buckwheat noodles with good throat-passing

(Sorry for my poor English; how would you put nodo goshi (throat passing) in English?)

Soto wa karikari, naka wa mochimochi no pan = Bread crispy outside and mochi-like inside

Pasapasa no gohan = Cooked rice that does not stick together, that is, not delicious

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"Piri piri" - spicy, zappy. 

I've always wondered if this expression had any connection with the Portuguese hot red pepper.  As far as I know, the Portuguese didn't bring in piri-piri to Nagasaki.

Stands to reason they would have. Weren't they the first to bring it to many parts of Asia?

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Koshi ga aru udon ya nodo goshi no ii soba o tsuru tsuru (or zuru zuru, which sounds more violent) taberu

= To slurp up udon noodles with firm texture and buckwheat noodles with good throat-passing

(Sorry for my poor English; how would you put nodo goshi (throat passing) in English?)

That is a difficult one, something like "easy to swallow" just doesn't describe it...

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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Koshi ga aru udon ya nodo goshi no ii soba o tsuru tsuru (or zuru zuru, which sounds more violent) taberu

= To slurp up udon noodles with firm texture and buckwheat noodles with good throat-passing

(Sorry for my poor English; how would you put nodo goshi (throat passing) in English?)

That is a difficult one, something like "easy to swallow" just doesn't describe it...

I'm stuck with this one.

Nodo goshi refers to a sensation that a certain food gives you as you get it down (your throat).

Fortunately, this is quite off-topic, so let's forget about it. :biggrin:

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I hate dorodoro (muddy) no houtou (type of udon) nabe!

Many people like torotoro (runny?) no toro (fatty tuna), but I prefer akami (lean tuna).

My children like fuwafuwa (soft), torotoro no 'fuwatoro natto' (product name).

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It seems like almost all of these terms could potentiallly be examples of reduplication -- do the repeated elements have related meanings when they stand on their own? Is there a word "tsuru," for example, and if so, what does it mean?

"went together easy, but I did not like the taste of the bacon and orange tang together"

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It seems like almost all of these terms could potentiallly be examples of reduplication -- do the repeated elements have related meanings when they stand on their own? Is there a word "tsuru," for example, and if so, what does it mean?

No. Tsuru, for example, is onomatopoeic, that is, an imitation sound (although there is a word tsuru, which means crane.)

More info later.

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An onomatopoeic word is often reduplicated. This I think reflects the fact that the associated sound is often repeated. For example, a dog barks 'wan-wan' in Japanse (bow-wow in English). But, if a dog barks only once, we will say 'wan to hoeru' (where to is a postposition), not 'wan-wan to hoeru'. When we say 'soba o tsuru-tto taberu' (where -tto is a postposition), instead of 'tsuru-tsuru', this means an action of eating buckwheat noodle at one slurp.

Some common words are also reduplicated to mean a plural. For example, yama-yama means mountains and kami-gami (not kami-kami) means gods. When we talk to small children, we sometimes use such expressions as o-te-te (hands) and o-me-me (eyes) where o is a honorific prefix.

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No kidding? That's cool! As a followup, I've created a thread about bagels in Japan.

I was drowsing this morning, a little before six o'clock, when I suddenly realized that you must have interpreated mochimochi as meaning 'as sticky as mochi (rice cake)'. What the word means is 'as chewy as mochi'.

I hope I can sleep well tonight.

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I was drowsing this morning, a little before six o'clock, when I suddenly realized that you must have interpreated mochimochi as meaning 'as sticky as mochi (rice cake)'.  What the word means is 'as chewy as mochi'.

Thanks for the clarification, and sleep well!

Michael aka "Pan"

 

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Last night I was watching a tv show and they were making Shanghai gyouza, with thick skins, and they described the finished product as pari pari (giving a nice a crunch when it is bitten into) and mochi mochi (chewy in a good way).

Kristin Wagner, aka "torakris"

 

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