Monday, February 17, 2020

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #14: Muka Muka

In Japanese dramas or anime, it’s highly likely that you might have heard the phrase, “Mukatsuku!” uttered by people who are angry. In modern Japanese...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #12: Bero Bero

PHOTO: Getty Images Last month, I introduced the onomatopoeia “bero bero”, which can be used to describe excited dogs licking your face, or the funny faces you...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #11: Pero Pero

PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Lam I’m pretty sure you’ve done this before when you were young: whenever you made a mistake, you’d stick out your tongue unconsciously, even...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #10: Kyaa!

PHOTO CREDITS: しろまるんさんによるイラストACからのイラスト When a young girl is surprised or excited, she’ll most probably scream out loud. And in the world of onomatopoeia, the most common expression...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #9: Ton Ton

It’s considered a polite gesture to knock softly before entering a room. We usually refer to this action as “ton ton”. “Ton ton”...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #8: Tsuru Tsuru

I just returned from Hokkaido a few weeks ago. Winter is still in full swing over there, so there was heaps of snow everywhere.

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #7: Fura Fura & Bura Bura

This month, I’d like to talk about different movements: “fura fura” and “bura bura”. “Fura fura” is a swaying movement that is commonly-used to...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #6: Bata Bata

Recently, I’ve been bogged down with events, and haven’t had time to focus on work. In Japanese, this is referred to as “bata bata”. It’s originally used to describe the sound of large objects...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #5: Pika Pika

I’m pretty sure you’ve heard of “pika pika” from the ultra-popular anime character, Pikachu. Pikachu’s super power, Lightning Rod, is a burst of bright light, befitting the onomatopoeia that inspired its name. Similarly, when eye-blinding...

Go Go Nihongo! Volume #3: Niko Niko & Niya Niya

“Niko niko” and “niya niya” are used to describe smiling expressions. However, although they bear a striking resemblance in terms of pronunciation, the underlying meaning is totally different, and I’ll explain why. “Niko niko” is derived...
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