Category: Just for Fun


Japanese Onomatopoeia Guide

If you aren’t familiar with Japanese onomatopoeia (or any onomatopoeia for that matter) here is a quick introduction. Onomatopoeia is the word for when we take a sound and make a word out of it. In English, this is words like BOOM! SLAP! or HAHAHA! The spelling of these words is based on the sound that the action makes. Every language has onomatopoeia, but in every language they are slightly different. For instance, in many languages, the onomatopoeia for laughing isn’t “hahaha” but is often “kkkk” in Asian languages or in Spanish, “jjjj.” This may seem strange to English speakers, but of course it makes perfect sense to the native speaker!

The Japanese seem to like onomatopoeia even more than other languages (they have over 1,000!) so we are devoting a whole post to teaching you the most common Japanese onomatopoeia you might find. Japanese onomatopoeia aren’t just written, but they are also crucial to speaking and sounding fluent. There are 3 types of onomatopoeia you will learn in Japanese. 擬声語
(giseigo, animal and human sounds) like MOO! or YAAAWWWWN and 擬音語 (giongo, inanimate objects and nature sounds) both exist in English. The harder part about Japanese is that they have onomatopoeia that describe mental states, movements, and even feelings. Since we don’t have words for these in English they can be a bit harder to learn.

擬声語 (giseigo) Animal and human sounds
These are mostly what you will think of in English like MOOO! or ACHOO! or Sluurrrrrp.
擬音語 (giongo) Sounds made by inanimate objects and nature
What sound does the wind make? WOOOOSH! A beating heart? Thump, thump, thump.
擬態語 (gitaigo) Describe conditions and states (things that do not make sounds)
Gitaigo are onomatopoeia that we do not have in English. They describe feelings or states of being that make no sound at all!
 
To break down the names of the various onomatopoeia we can see the kanji 擬 means mimic + (insert type of sound) + 語 (kanji for word or speech).

You will see all the onomatopoeia written below in both hiragana and katakana. While there isn’t a hard and fast rule, usually actual sounds (like animal noises or doors slamming) are written in katakana and soft sounds (like ones that describe emotional states) are written in hiragana. Of course this isn’t a real rule, and you can see any of these sounds written either way depending on the context!

Japanese Onomatopoeia Forms:

Double Form: にこにこ (niko niko) -> For the double form, it is usually used as an adjective. For instance, “彼はいつもにこにこしている” meaning “He is always smiling” BUT it can also be used as an adverb to verbs that follow them.

TO Form: にこっと (nikotto) -> For TO form, it is mostly used an an adverb to verbs that come after. For example, “彼はにこっと笑った” (For this one there isn’t a literal translation because にこにこ is a representation of sounds/state of being) but this can be translated as “He pleasantly smiled” as “にこにこ” always has positive meanings.

RI Form: にこり (nikori) or にっこり -> Nikori can also be used as an adverb just like nikotto. So what is the difference between nikotto and nikori? Not much really, they are interchangeable and mean pretty much the same thing! “彼はにっこり笑った” meaning “He pleasantly smiled”
 


OK! Now we’re ready to learn some onomatopoeia and watch some fun anime gifs while we’re at it!


擬音語 – Sounds made by inanimate objects and nature


どきどき/ドキドキ – dokidoki sound of throbbing
dokidoki

ごぼごぼ/ゴボゴボ Gobogobo
Gurgling sound

japanese onomatopoeia

ぺらぺら/ペラペラ – perapera – sound of flapping in the wind
pekopeko onomatopoeia

ざあざあ/ザアザア – zaazaa – sound of rain falling
ザアザア rain falling

パリパリ — Paripari – crunchy; crisp

パリパリ paripari onomatopoeia

ずどん/ズドン – zudon – THUD! BANG!
ズドン zudon

へろへろ/ヘロヘロ – herohero – flimsy plastic flapping around – im tired, im beat

くしゃくしゃ – Kushakusha – Crumpling sound of paper

ギシギシ/ぎしぎし – Gishi gishi – Squeaking noise of beds or old floors

ぱちぱち/パチパチ – pachipachi – snapping closed, sharp pop or ping like pachinko!

 


擬態語 – Describe conditions and states


ラブラブ— Raburabu – Lovey dovey; head-over-heels in love

Often used to poke fun at classmates!
ラブラブ

にこにこ/ニコニコ – nikoniko – the sound a smile makes!

nikoniko smile onomatopoeia

きらきら/キラキラ – kirakira – twinkle twinkle (water, gemstones, or stars)

キラキラ twinkle twinkle japanese

オタオタ/おたおた — Otaota – shocked speechless

オタオタ shocked speechless

じー/ジー jii – staring and motionless

ジ staring manga jii

そわそわ — Sowasowa – fidgety; restless; have butterflies from excitement or nerves

うとうと – Utouto – To doze off

うとうと – Uto uto – To doze off

ちくちく – Chikuchiku — prickly pain; needle-like pain

ちくちく chikuchiku

ぎゅうぎゅう – Gyu gyu – Jam-packed like a train during rush hour

Image Credit Yeow Kwang Yeo

おろおろ – Orōro — too flustered to think or move

Orōro flustered

ワクワク/わくわく – wakuwaku — Excited; thrilled; to get nervous/anxious from excitement

ワクワク wakuwaku thrilled

うずうず — Uzūzu – to itch with desire; squirm, struggling to resist an urge

japanese onomatopoeia

イライラ/いらいら — irairai – edgy; testy; ticked off (especially when being made to wait)

ごろごろ — gorogoro – stay idle; laying around; loaf around

gorogoro lazy

つんつん — Tsuntsun – to be cross; cranky; aloof

つんつん — Tsuntsun to be cross; cranky; aloof

クラクラ/くらくら — kurakura – feel dizzy; light-headed

クラクラ kurakura

ねばねば — Nebaneba – sticky; gooey

ねばねば nebaneba sticky

ぞくぞく – Zokuzoku Excited; to have an adrenaline rush

ぞくぞく zokuzoku onomatopoeia

うとうと — Utōto – drowsy; nodding off

うとうとUtōto nodding off

のろのろ — noronoro – Sluggishly, lazily, draggingly

lazily dragging sluggish

きびきび – Kibikibi – Energetically

きびきび – Kibikibi – Energetically

ぬるぬる – Nurunuru – Slimy like a fish out of the water

ぬるぬる Nuru nuru

びっくり — Bikkuri thrilled; surprised; frightened; shocked

びっくり bikkuri thrilled surprised

ズキズキ/ずきずき – zukizuki — throbbing pain

ズキズキ/ずきずき zukizuki throbbing pain

ぐっすり — Gussuri – soundly sleeping

ぐっすり— soundly sleeping

すやすや — suyasuya – sleeping peacefully

Suyasuya すやすや

くたくた — kutakuta – weak with exhaustion; worn out; beat tired

くたくた exhausted

ぐしゃぐしゃ – Gushagusha – Messy hair or clothes

ぐしゃぐしゃ gusha gusha onomatopoeia japan manga


擬声語 Human & Animal Sounds


ガブガブ — Gabugabu – gulp vigorously; swig

ガブガブ swig

ごくごく — Gokugoku – gulp down a drink; drink in long gulps

ズルズル — Zuruzuru – slurp
ズルズル — Zuruzuru slurp

がつがつ/ガツガツ — gatsugatsu – eating ravenously; devour

がつがつ/ガツガツ — gatsugatsu eating ravenously; devour

ぺこぺこ — Pekopeko – Be hungry; starving; famished

ぱくぱく/パクパク— Pakupaku – heartily eating; quivering lips. This is also the origin of where Pac-Man came from!

ぱくぱく quivering lip

むしゃむしゃ — mushamusha – to munch or to chomp on something

ちびちび — Chibichibi – to nibble on food; to sip a drinkちびちび to nibble

がみがみ/ガミガミ — gamigami – nagging (loudly); scolding

ぺらぺら/ペラペラ — perapera – Speaking fluently

ぶつぶつ — Butsubutsu – grumble; muttered complaint

もぐもぐ meaning mumbling

はきはき/ハキハキ — Hakihaki – unhesitating; talk clearly and briskly

もぐもぐ/モグモグ – mogumogu – chewing food, also mumbling
もぐもぐ/モグモグ mogumogu

Animal Sounds

ワンワン — wan-wan

Woof (dog)
japanese onomatopoeia

ウォーッ – U~ō~tsu

Howl (dog)
japanese onomatopoeia

ニャーニャー – Nyānyā

meow (cat)
japanese onomatopoeia

ゴロゴロ – Gorogoro

Purr (cat), but in hiragana ごろごろ “to be lazy”
japanese onomatopoeia

モーモー – momo

Moo (cow)
japanese onomatopoeia

ヒヒーン – Hihīn

Neigh (horse)
japanese onomatopoeia

ケロケロ — Kerokero

Ribbit (frog)

ホーホー – Hōhō

hoot (owl)

チチチ – Chichichi

tweet (birds)
japanese animal sounds

チュンチュン – Chunchun

Chirp (bird)
japanese animal sounds

リンリン – Rinrin

Chirping (cricket)
animal sounds in japanese

チュウチュウ – Chūchū

squeak (mouse)
animal sounds in japanese

ブーン/ぶーん – Būn

Buzz (bee), also used for cars
animal sounds in japanese

ブーブー – Būbū

Oink (pig)
japanese animal sounds

Here are a few more as well…can you find some anime or manga that shows these 擬態語? Share it in the comments!


しーん/シーン – shiin – the sound of silence
In manga this is most often used when someone tries to say something funny and it isn’t funny, to describe the sound of no one laughing!

こそこそ – Kosokoso – Sneakingly; secretly

ねばねば – Nebaneba – Sticky like okra or raw egg

ぱさぱさ – Pasapasa Dry; lacks moisture

ぐずぐず – Guzuguzu – To procrastinate; act slowly

しくしく — Shikushiku – dull pain; gripping pain
This is also used when someone is crying

ぐちゃぐちゃ — Guchagucha – pulpy; soppy; soggy

ぼそぼそ — Bosoboso tasteless, bland, and dry; muttering under your breath

21 Hilarious Japanese Proverbs

These Japanese proverbs may sound funny, but in every language there are certain sayings that just don’t translate quite right! Here we have collected 22 of the funniest Japanese proverbs, but they each have very real lessons to teach! At the bottom of this post we have collected some familiar English sayings…can you match up the English to the Japanese? Remember, not every Japanese saying has an English equivalent!

Ready….GO!

japanese proverbs farts

1. 屁を放って尻つぼめ

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The Best Anime Cosplay (Just in time for Halloween!)

With Halloween just around the corner, you may be into finding the best anime cosplay for your costuming needs. Well look no further! We’ve put together a collection of all the best anime cosplay we could find on the web. If one of these are you and you are missing attribution, let us know and we will add it right away!

Halloween is a fun holiday to get dressed up, but a lot of anime cosplayers do this for a living! That’s right! Becoming a professional cosplayer means learning costume design and tricks for make up to help you totally transform into character. While Halloween you may wear the clothes of your character, with cosplay you become the character. What do you think? Do you have what it takes to do anime cosplay?

Princess Mononoke Cosplay

Courtesy of Lovely Orange
best anime cosplay
best anime cosplay
 

Nia Teppelin – Gurren Lagann Cosplay

Courtesy of Cra-zy-Frog
nia teppelin cosplay
nia-anime
 

Maka and Soul – Soul Eater Cosplay

Courtesy of Nami-Ayashi

maka-and-soul-eater-cosplay maka and soul cosplay

 

Edward Elric -Fullmetal Alchemist Cosplay

Courtesy of Kicka Cosplay

fulllmetal alchemist cosplay fullmetal alchemist cosplay

 

Suzuya Juuzou – Tokyo Ghoul Cosplay

Courtesy of Misaki-Sai
tokyo ghoul cosplay
tokyo ghoul cosplay
http://misaki-sai.deviantart.com/art/TG-Suzuya-Juuzou-490085289
 

Nonon Jakuzure – Kill la Kill Cosplay

Courtesy of Maysakaali
kill la kill cosplay
nonon-jazakure-anime-kill-la-kill
 

Armin – Attack on Titan Cosplay

Courtesy of MmoSite
attack on titan cosplay

attack on titan anime

 

and of course, no anime cosplay list would be complete without…

Sailor Moon Cosplay

Courtesy of Team Blase Cosplay
best anime cosplay
sailor moon anime

Which one is the best anime cosplay do you think? Will you be dressing up as an anime character for Halloween?

Why Japanese Emoticons are Better! 絵文字!

If you’re alive today and have a cell phone, you’ve probably sent an emoji (絵文字). The word “emoji” actually comes from Japan e (絵, “picture”) + moji (文字, “character”), 絵文字! They are, after all, the ones who invented them. The word literally means picture letter, and it’s similarity to “emotions” or “emoticons” is coincidental. But most built-in messaging apps for Android or iPhone have a pretty boring selection of tiny picture letters to help you express yourself. Japanese emoticons, however, take emojis to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL. It’s not just Japan either — Korea, China — all the Asian emojis are better than ours! What do I mean exactly? Let’s take a look at some standard Android emojis:

japanese emoticons

There are some cute faces, some cute animals, and pizza, of course! They are all 12×12 pixels as a standard size. But rather than use standard text messaging, the Koreans developed an app similar to WhatsApp called Kakao (its competitor is Line in Japan) that uses “stickers” instead of emojis. You’ve probably seen these hilariously adorable images on Facebook messenger too. They’re like emoticons, but WAY BETTER. Line and Kakao are used even more than Facebook in Japan and Korea, so making Japanese emoticons better was an obvious way to go. Apps like Line and Kakao are the standard in Japan and Korea, as opposed to regular built-in messaging in most countries. Of course, Facebook stickers are just copying what Japan and Korea had already done. The best part about Japanese emoticons is they NEVER END! Since they charge about $2 per “package” people are creating new ones all the time to be sold in the Line Emoji Store. Yes, there is a whole store! They even have Japanese emoticons from your favorite manga and anime too!!! Can you recognize any below?

Now for the fun part! Here are some packages of emojis that you can buy and add to your phone! Even better, most of these are ANIMATED EMOJIS! If you want to see the animation for most of them, you’ll have to download the Kakao or Line app…and tell your friends!

line app logo japanese emoticons kakao app logo

Animated Korean & Japanese Emojis

winky-hampster

throw-your-phone-emoji

that-cute-thing

japanese-emoji

crying-japanese-emoticon

angry-table-flip-kakao

that-cute-thing-friend

Korean & Japanese Emoticons to Download

screenshot_2016-10-13-13-51-46

weird japanese guy

screenshot_2016-10-13-14-39-13

japanese emoticons

up and down chipmunk emoji

cool japanese guy emoji

korean food emoji

cute korean emojis

muzi and friends

kakao friends emojis

kakao friends animated emojis

funny baby emoji

mulang emojis

mulang emoji friend

screenshot_2016-10-13-13-52-18

screenshot_2016-10-13-13-52-00

byebye emoji

Top 10 Best 80s and 90s Anime

We all love anime, and there are so many to choose from, but 80s anime and 90s anime were truly a golden generation. Many of us older folk grew up on these 90s anime and many of them paved the way for the newer anime we enjoy today. 90s anime made anime an international phenomenon and brought so many amazing shows to televisions around the world. So we thought we would compile a list of the 10 BEST 80s anime and 90s anime for your enjoyment. This list is in no particular order, but let us know what you think!

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Special Nihongo Master Interview with Christine

We have a special feature this week as we talk with one of our very own users who recently passed the JLPT N5 studying only with Nihongo Master! Christine tells us a little bit about herself and gives us a Nihongo Master review too!

IMG_6809
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Weird Japanese Body Parts

Don’t worry! Japanese body parts are the same as everyone else’s 😉 But one of the first things you’re taught when you learn a language as a child is all the parts of the body. In America, we even have a song for it: “Head, shoulders knees and toes, knees and toes…” You know how it goes! Of course those are important body parts to learn (along with eyes and ears and mouth and nose) but what about all the other body parts? Those weird things with very specific names like your belly button or your pinky finger? Or what about the space of skin in between your eyebrows?? Today we thought we’d talk about the human body and all those weird parts it has– in Japanese!
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10 Tricky Japanese Tongue Twisters (早口言葉) with audio!

Japanese tongue twisters (早口言葉, hayakuchi kotoba) are sayings that are meant to make you stumble over your words. Just like an English tongue twister, a Japanese tongue twister has no real meaning and is meant to be spoken as fast as possible. In fact, 早口言葉 literally means, “fast-mouthed words.” A famous English tongue twister is “Sally sells sea shells by the sea shore.” Another good (but long) one is “Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. If Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers, how many pickled peppers did Peter Piper pick?”

Tongue twisters are hard enough to say in your native language, so you can bet they are even harder in a foreign language! Our native Japanese teacher, Masako, has made a recording of each one to help you practice. But don’t feel bad if you don’t get it right away, even Masako had to try them a few times!
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Japanese Noodles Guide: NOODLEGRAPHIC!

OK, so you probably already know about ramen noodles, but what other kinds of Japanese noodles are there? Noodles are a staple of the Japanese diet and surprisingly, most of the noodles they eat are not rice-based. But what are these other types of noodles? And what kind of noodle dishes do they make? Do you eat them hot or cold? Do you know when to eat soba noodles? Or what shirataki noodles are made out of? What’s the difference between somen and udon noodles? If you ever had any burning questions about noddles in Japan, this noodlegraphic is just for you! (more…)