Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Japanese lesson 102

Okay. I'm giving you a Japanese lesson today.

Japan has a whole vocabulary of words that are based on onomatopoeia, words that sound like what they are trying to describe. In a way, it is a very simple way to learn Japanese. Learn a sound that is similar to what you are trying to describe, such as pitter in English, and then a repetition of the sound will give you a word; pitter-patter to describe rain or the scampering of feet or something.

Japanese is FILLED with words like this!!! For example, what do you think "bara-bara" means?

Of course first learning what the sound is in Japanese is the challenge because many sounds do not sound at all the same to foreign ears. Roosters crow "Koke-ko-ko~~" not "Cockadoodledo~". Dogs say "Wan-wan" rather than "Bow-wow." When I go to the doctor's and say I have a headache, he wants to know if it is "Gan-gan" (splitting) or "Zukin-zukin" (throbbing). Food can be "saku-saku" (crunchy) or "fuwa-fuwa" (soft and fluffy) or "atsu-atsu" (steaming hot).

So, did you guess what "bara-bara" means? Here is a hint.

The cat box is now "bara-bara" (scattered, loose, DESTROYED!)

That's the end of the cat box.

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