So, I have this sentence:

身動きすると、シャリンと涼やかな音が鳴り響く。

And I have no idea what シャリン is doing here. As far as I can tell, it's modifying 音, sound, but the only word "シャリン" that I've been able to find is 車輪, which means wheel. I thought maybe it could be an onomatopoeia, but I couldn't find anything when I searched...

Has my dictionary failed me? Or am I misunderstanding the と particle somehow? The only thing I can think at this point is that the sound is clear/refreshing (涼やか) like a wheel, which seems kind of weird to me.

up vote 6 down vote accepted

First off, you should have mentioned what the thing is that is making the sound シャリン. That is the unmentioned subject of this sentence.

" As far as I can tell, it's modifying 音, sound.."

No, it is not. It is modifying the verb 鳴り響く.

"the only word "シャリン" that I've been able to find is 車輪, which means wheel"

Why would anyone write 「車輪」 as 「シャリン」? If it were 車輪、how would you explain the 「と」?

It is an onomatopoeia and when you see a 「と」 attached to an onomatopoeia, it always modifies a verb. 

「シャリン」 is not such a common onomatopoeia. The best I could describe it is that it is the sound it makes in your mouth when you bite into lotus root. It is crisp and moist at the same time. (If you do not have a Japanese kind of ear, it might not sound シャリン even if you had a chance to eat lotus root.)

It is also used to describe the sound made when someone draws a sword in a drama or film (if not in real life).

シャリン is less metalic than チャリン (clink).

I know I am not giving you what you want to hear; hence, my first paragraph above.

  • 1
    While no one likes to be wrong, this is what I wanted to hear. :) I have seen random nouns/verbs written in katakana just for emphasis before, which is why I thought of that. My Japanese classes have never spent much time on onomatopoeia, so I had no idea of the grammatical implication of the と in combination with an onomatopoeia. I've always seen it as linking, quotative, or confusing, (hah). For the record, the subject is a person who just woke up somewhere strange. – kitukwfyer Mar 14 '15 at 23:41
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    This might or might not be of help, but without context, I recall sounds like this{link:youtube} for "シャリン、シャリン"…. – Yosh Mar 15 '15 at 9:22

It is an onomatopoeia. Some one heard the sound and made it a word which is most resemble. 車輪 is not relevant in this case.

シャリン ( Sharin ) is not a word of Japanese origin, hence, its written in Katakana, so it definitely does not mean 車輪 ( wheel ) in this case. This is either a foreign word phonetically spelled out ( could be a person's name as in Sharron ) in Katakana or a made up word to represent a sound as an onomatopoeia as was mentioned earlier. The "と" of course is just "and". This is one of the most challenging parts of the Japanese language, trying to figure out words in katakana because many of them are so obscure and don't show up in any dictionary at all.

I usually resort to either Japanese to Japanese dictionaries ( online ) and/or just googling the word ( in Katakana ) to find any usage out there in the world. In this case it is only coming up with the name of a restaurant / cafe.

Because so many words in Japanese sound the same much of Japanese is dependent on the surrounding context or the Kanji which has meaning ( the reason so often Japanese people draw kanji on the palm of their hand when holding a conversation to get across the real meaning of what they are trying to say ). Even for native Japanese speakers it can often be impossible figure out the meaning of words that are not in Kanji as in this case.

Do you have any more of that sentence or paragraph that could put it more into context?

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