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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tactile onomatopoeia

触知性 擬音語

Japanese is rich in words that are supposed to sound like what they describe, i.e., onomatopoeia.

Today we're going to look at six Japanese onomatopoeia that describe the sense of touch:

But rather than giving an explanation of each, how about seeing if you can guess the meanings from the sounds? Don’t scroll right down to the bottom yet. First look at the following six pictures and on a piece of paper, write down what you think is the correct letter of each of the six onomatopoeia below against the number of each picture.

A) zara-zara ざらざら
B) tsuru-tsuru つるつる
C) nuru-nuru ぬるぬる
D) beta-beta べたべた
E) deko-boko でこぼこ
F) giza-giza ぎざぎざ

Japanese onomatopoeia
Answers below.

1. E dekoboko = uneven, rough, rugged, full of indentations and projections, like the cratered surface of this Martian moon
2. B tsuru-tsuru = smooth, slippery, like the surface of porcelain
3. F giza-giza = jagged, notched, corrugated, milled, serrated, like the edge of a saw
4. A zara-zara = rough, like the tongue of a cat
5. D beta-beta = sticky, clinging, like flypaper
6. C nuru-nuru = slimy, slippery, like a jellyfish

Photograph acknowledgments:
Cat's tongue: Jennifer Leigh
Porcelain: Bastian Frank
Flypaper: Craig Pemberton
Jellyfish: M. Buschmann

© JapanVisitor.com

1 comment:

  1. These are amazingly simple to recall once you hear them a few times in conversation. They also come up more times than you would think


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