onomatopoeia and onomatopoeia-like words you've encountered in the languages you study

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by biTsar, May 18, 2014.

  1. biTsar

    biTsar Active Member VIP member

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    In English there are many onomatopoeiae, think of the word meow to describe a particular sound a cat makes. On the onomatopoeia-like side of things consider clunker which refers to a decrepit old car, slightly removed from the sound clunk, a sound such a car might conceivably make as you amble on down the road.

    To begin this thread, here are two examples from Persian:

    خش و خشِ

    khesh u khesh -- a rustling sound

    example sentence

    با خش و خشِ چادرِ مادر بزرگ آغاز میشد و با ظهورِ سایه مغشوش او در چارچبِ در

    khesh u kheshi châdori mâdar bozorg âqâz mishud va bâ zahure sayeyi maqshushe u dar chârchube dar.

    It would begin with the rustle of grandma's veil, and with the appearance of her flickering shadow in the door frame...



    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -


    هیاهوی

    hayohuye -- din, clamor

    example sentence

    و گم شدند آن کوچه‌های گیج از عصر‌ اقاقی‌ها در ازدحام پر هیاهوی خیابانهای بی بر گشت

    va goom shodand ân kuchehoye gij az atre âqâqe-ho dar ezdehami por hayohuye
    khiyabanhoye bi bargasht.


    And those alleyways high with the smell of acacia are lost in the din of crowded avenues of no return...


    - - - - -

    Both examples are from the poem Those Days by Forugh Farrokhzad, from her book Another Birth [Tavalodi Digar]. Sound files attached.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: May 19, 2014
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  2. BAnna

    BAnna Active Member VIP member

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    The Russian word for drum is барабан (baraban), which sounds a bit like like someone tapping a drum.

    My favorite one in Spanish is quiquiriquí, which is the sound a rooster makes.
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  3. Bob

    Bob Active Member VIP member

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    Here in Cebu we played a game where a room of us would have a partner to find somewhere in the room. The way we would find them is because we would be given an animal and we would make that animal's noise until we find each other in the dark. I never found mine because I had a dog. I said woof-woof they said aw-aw.
  4. Montmorency

    Montmorency New Member

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    In Welsh they call a butterfly a pili-pala, although some say it's not a proper word, others that it maybe related to French papillon. If not onomatopoeic exactly, it seems to suggest the fluttering of the wings.

    A more "proper" word is gloyn byw, which literally means "living coal", although one dictionary has it as "burning coal".

    Another expression if "iâr fach yr haf" which is literally "young hen (or chick) of summer", which goes to show how different cultures view things in different ways.

    "Popty" is oven, and "popty ping" is a neologism for "microwave oven", frowned on by purists, but I like it.

    A jokey word for "jellyfish" is "pysgod wibli wobli" which I also like. More official words are
    sglefrod (y môr) and sglefren fôr (the "m" has been mutated).
    sglefrio means "to skate" or "to slide".
    There is also a very rude expression for jellyfish, but I'll leave people to do their own research on that.
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  5. Nobody

    Nobody Member

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    Korean is replete with such words; they play an important part in the language, and attempt to use sound to describe even non-audial phenomena. Here are some examples:

    부글부글 (bugeul bugeul): simmering
    또박또박 (ddobak ddobak): neatness or punctuality
    꾸역꾸역 (gguyeok gguyeok): one after another
    개굴개굴 (gaegul gaegul): frog noise
    깡충깡충 (ggangchung ggangchung): leaping or bouncing
    반짝반짝 (banjjak banjjak): twinkling
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  6. kikenyoy

    kikenyoy Administrator Staff Member

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    In Thai they skipped the step of naming the sound and use the word maow for cat instead.
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  7. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    In Mandarin cat = 貓 = mao1
  8. biTsar

    biTsar Active Member VIP member

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    Any relation to Chairman Mao ?
  9. Big_Dog

    Big_Dog Administrator Staff Member

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    Although the characters in names often aren't supposed to have meaning, the mao (毛) in Mao2 Ze2dong1 (毛泽东) would mean fur, so probably not.
  10. Josquin

    Josquin Member

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    The same phenomenon exists in Japanese. The language is full of onomatopoetic words, which describe noises, animal sounds, or things like heartbeating. The latter can also be used to describe mental states like nervousness. Unfortunately, I can't give any examples right now, as my Japanese is still quite basic and the words tend to be very similar to each other. Interesting though that onomatopoeia is usually written in katakana, which is normally reserved for foreign loanwords.
  11. Nobody

    Nobody Member

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    I'm not surprised, Korean and Japanese have a lot of similarities.

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