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From 《君の名は。 (角川つばさ文庫) (新海 誠;ちーこ)》,

かぱんと / か [Usage-1/All]

  1. 2020-10-23 11:53:30 と思いつつ私はかぱんと炊飯器を開け、ぴかぴかした白飯を自分の茶碗に盛りつける。

I originally thought this sentence meant:

I open the bread and rice cooker, and scooped up the delicious looking rice into my bowl.

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This is a case of onomatopoeia/擬音語【ぎおんご】 being used as an adverb. かぱん here illustrates the sound of the rice cooker as it opens. If you look it up on Jaded Network, it tells you it is the sound of "something opening". The sentence doesn't exactly sound natural in english, but this is a more literal translation:

私はかぱんと炊飯器を開け
I opened the rice cooker with a "kapan" sound.

A lot of onomatopoeic words are used this way and can be used adverbially. Here are some more examples:

雨がザーザー降っている。
It is raining with a "zaa zaa" sound.
Natural translation: It is raining cats and dogs.

ばたんと閉める。
To shut with a bang.

ぐつぐつ(と)煮る。
To simmer.

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  • Thank you so much for the awesome explanation as well as introducing me to the jaded network! If I can't find a definition for anything, I will give the database a try. On my reading journey, are there any tips on figuring out if something is onomatopoeia versus a vocab word? For example, if I see ~と<Noun (microwave, ricecooker, door, etc)> would it be safe to assume that it's an onomatopoeia? – Snow Oct 23 '20 at 21:16
  • I appreciate the help! – Snow Oct 23 '20 at 21:36
  • Nice answer; I particularly appreciate your pointing out that trying to translate these onomatopoeic words directly into English often produces an unnatural result. And I'm grateful for the Jaded Network link, as the dictionaries I usually use don't seem to include かぱん. – Nanigashi Oct 24 '20 at 22:12

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