Language Lesson

Uki Uki NihonGO + Culture! - Lesson 22 - Onomatopoeia Food

Welcome to Uki Uki NihonGO! + Culture

Konnichiwa! Every language has beautiful expressions that are vivid and rich in meaning. In Japanese, onomatopoeia is one of the most fascinating and also fun aspects of the language.

They often have an interesting rhythm, like "koro koro", "don don" and "puku puku" and they are an essential part of the language.

It’s said that Japanese people regularly use several hundred onomatopoeic words in our daily conversations. With that much variety, they enable us express the exact states of mind, movements, situations, etc.

There are two types of onomatopoeia in Japanese. "giongo" imitates actual sounds that you hear, just like sound effects. For example, "kon kon" is the sound of a door knock.

"gitaigo" expresses things that don't have sounds, for instance "uki uki", the title of our show, which expresses that you are looking forward to something with great excitement.

So we're happy to bring you the first one of our onomatopoeia series today. Here, we'll look at onomatope on everyone’s favorite topic – food!

1. peko peko - means you're hungry. So you can say,
Aa, onaka peko peko. (I'm starving.)

2. Guu Guu (rumbling of your stomach)

Kurasu de onaka ga guu guu itte, hazukashi katta.
(I'm so embarrassed my stomach was grumbling in class.)

3. atsu atsu – piping hot

Kore, atsu atsu dakara, kiwotsukete ne.
(This is super hot, so be careful.)

4. toro toro – melty

Kono toro toro no chi-zu, oishii!
This melting cheese is super good!

5. kongari - means when something is baked perfectly to golden brown.

Pan ga kongari oishiku yake mashita. Douzo meshi agatte kudasai.
(Our bread is fresh out of the oven and golden brown. Please have some.)

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many, many more fun & useful onomatopoeia, so please stay tuned for more in this onomatope series in our future videos.

Dewa, mata.

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Music by: Soichiro Migita

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