Tuesday, 27 November 2007

waku waku = excitement (Japanese Sound Effects)

One of the things I love about the Japanese language is how they have a lot of sound words or onomatopoeia. In English we have only a few of these, such as bang or pop and such. In Japanese there are hundreds, some that mimic real sounds and some that even represent bodily/psychological feelings. If you’ve ever read manga, you will have noticed these. However, for us non-japanese these sound words tend to be quite hard because the sounds often don’t exist in our language. A very simple example is the cat’s sound which is “meow” in English, “nyan” in Japanese.

Some examples from manga are:

Pin pon= doorbell sound

puchi puchi = pop pop, crackle crackle (as in eating cereal or something)

biri biri = tearing, as in ripping cloth, opening a potato chip bag (see also bari, piri)

hyuuuuu = cold wind, lonely wind

shiku shiku = sobbing, whimpering

Anyways, the entry today is actually about pieces of art that Japanese artist Atsushi Fukunaga made which are sculptures of these manga-based sound effects. Ech sculpture shows the katakana for the sounds, just like it is in manga. I though it was quite interesting, have a look. (Go to his website for more)

"ビリビリリリ / BIRIBIRIBIRIRIRI" The sound of electric current runs

The sound of pencils breaking
"ドロドロー/ DORODOROOO" The sound of flowing drainage
Ame no oto-the sound of rain "チュウー / CHUUU" The squeaks of the mice from below the floor

That’s the kind of art I like, something creative not a painting of a bowl with fruit in it! LOL no offense to all those great artists who draw bowls of fruit..

Cheers everyone.


FeFe said...

hontouni arigatou for the interesting post..i agree with you, Japanese language have hundreds of words tht describe sounds which is really something interesting about the japanese language..the words really mimic the sounds..

looking forward to reading to coming posts..LUV: FeFe

Ima-chan said...

^^ glad u like it. Thanks for the comment

Reemy-chan said...

Waaaaaaaw intresting topic Ima .. lol when you see the pictures, it gives u the feeling of hearing these sounds lol weird ..
Enjoy it :D .. keep it Ima ..

Ima-chan said...

Thanks for the comment reemy-chan.. glad u commented AT LAST.. lol jk ^_^

reemy-chan said...

loool .. you know that my laptop wasn't with me lol .. it finally came back for the hospital :P ..

Ima-chan said...

LOL i completely forgot.. lol.. so glad its healthy again ^^