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20 votes
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Is 写真 an onomatopoeia?

It's just a coincidence. According to this article, the word 「写真」 and its usage predates photography. The 「真」 part referred to 「人の姿」, so 写真 was used to mean 「姿を写したもの」, and was used for other things ...
istrasci's user avatar
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16 votes

Is 写真 an onomatopoeia?

No, it's not. Wikipedia says: 日本語の「写真」という言葉は、中国語の「真を写したもの」からである Japanese "写真" comes from the Chinese meaning "Copy/reproduction(写) of the reality/truth(真)" Source is 『日本語源広辞典』(...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
14 votes
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What the Japanese onomatopoeia for crunch?

It partially depends on what is eaten. くちゃくちゃ is a standard one for chewing e.g., meat. ぐちゃぐちゃ can be used similarly. This is more rough, like wolves biting something drippy. がつがつ sounds like biting ...
sundowner's user avatar
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9 votes
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Can you form verbs from 擬態語 or 擬音語 by adding -る?

Yes it's definitely slangy but somewhat common. Other examples include: ピヨる from ピヨピヨ, to be stunned (by a strong attack) もにょる from もにょもにょ, to mumble, not to know what to say, etc. ボコる from ボコボコ, to ...
naruto's user avatar
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8 votes

What does this ごにゃごにゃ onomatopoeia mean?

ごにゃごにゃ isn't a commonly seen mimetic word, but understandable as a mixture of two more frequently used ones. ごちゃごちゃ: unordered/messy/jumbled ごにょごにょ: muttering/mumbling/murmuring So you could say:...
broccoli forest's user avatar
8 votes

じゅわっと for biting into a mandarin

Many onomatopoeia words are not mentioned in dictionaries, invented by mangaka on the spot, or change their meaning depending on the context/era etc. If you read a lot of manga you will eventually ...
Igor Skochinsky's user avatar
8 votes

onomatopoeia for cluelessness

ポカーン seems like the closest to me. It is often associated with a blank stare. jisho.org has vacantly; blankly; absentmindedly (​Onomatopoeic or mimetic word) as the definition of the root ぽかん. ...
By137's user avatar
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8 votes

What is the Japanese Onomatopoeia for the sound a chainsaw makes?

Basically, for very common sounds there is less variance in what onomatopoeia is used, but when it comes to uncommon sounds, there is a lot more diversity. IMO Chainsaw is a relatively uncommon sound, ...
Enno Shioji's user avatar
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8 votes

What the Japanese onomatopoeia for crunch?

When chewing soft food loudly with mouth a bit open, I use くちゃくちゃ. It may become くっちゃくっちゃ or ぐちゃぐちゃ, depending on person and area. I guess, many Japanese people hate to hear the sound from such a way ...
Yas Ikeda's user avatar
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7 votes

What does こつぐってなる mean?

You misread one hiragana. It says こうぐってなる (So, not つ but う.) The comment 「語彙が…」 refers to the fact that the girl is using a lot of onomatopoeic expressions (instead of proper vocabulary) to ...
Earthliŋ's user avatar
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7 votes
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Is the scream "gya" masculine and "kya" feminine?

Yes, きゃー represents screams of higher tone, and is clearly feminine or childlike. 黄色い声 is usually きゃー. Gay characters often say きゃー in manga, too. ぎゃー, on the other hand, is not necessarily masculine....
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes
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Meaning of とうとうりん

とうとう is "finally". There is an uncommon adverbial phrase りんと (凛と in kanji), which usually means something like "in a cool/gallant/dignified/cold manner". See this entry. But this meaning does not ...
naruto's user avatar
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7 votes
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What is the relationship between ABAB and ABり / AっBり mimetic words?

In general, when there's a contrast, ABAB refers to a status or continuous action, whereas AっBり, ABり and ABっ refer to a short phenomenon or action. ABっ is usually instant. Some onomatopoeias simply ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes

What does the word 「のたのたして」mean?

Here is what the Dictionary of Iconic Expressions says, on pages 833-834: nota-nota M: The manner of moving slowly and heavily. nota-nota (to) (1) お腹がふくれてくると、普通だったらマタニティドレスにペタ靴で、...
Hannah Cairns's user avatar
6 votes

What does the word 「のたのたして」mean?

"のたのたする" is a colloquial expression of "[無為]{むい}に過ごす / [怠惰]{たいだ}に過ごす" meaning "to idle one's time away" as well as "のらくらする." のたのた、のらくら、のろのろ, all are a sort of ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
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6 votes
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Do native speakers ever create/improvise onomatopoeia?

My feeling is that if you genuinely find an onomatopoeia that works better than existing ones, you can certainly use it on the fly. This is really hard though, as a) there are already so many of them, ...
Enno Shioji's user avatar
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6 votes
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After a Katakana word then "tto" are both Hiragana or Katakana acceptable for the Sokuon?

There is no prescriptive rule that covers where to end the katakana section when you write mimetic words, interjections and slang words in katakana (because they are colloquialisms anyway), so we don'...
broccoli forest's user avatar
6 votes
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Meaning of あばば in あばばをしてみせる

if this is a correct explanation of あばば in the 『非色』 excerpt too; Yes, it is. To me, it is kind of oldish to call it あばば, it is now commonly referred to as いないいないばあ. Not only is it said, but it is ...
sundowner's user avatar
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6 votes
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Nuances between するする vs すらすら

Unfortunately, onomatopoeic and mimetic words are things you have to learn by rote. Many of them are used only in a certain type of context. Most native speakers would say すらすら(と) or さらさら(と) is the ...
naruto's user avatar
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6 votes
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How do you define and contrast すっぱり すっぽり さっぱり and すっかり

Each has multiple nuances. I will write typical meanings and example sentences that are often used. すっぱり Cutting things sharply. えだをすっぱり切り落とした。 I hacked off a branch. The act of doing something ...
Miki's user avatar
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5 votes

What does this ごにゃごにゃ onomatopoeia mean?

ごにゃごにゃ is an onomatopoeia for mumbling, or grumbling. ごにゃごにゃと何かを言う mumble something ≂ say something indistinctly / something nonsense
chocolate's user avatar
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