Monday, October 02, 2006

ギタイ語 and ギオン語

擬態語 and 擬音語

Don't you just hate those onomatopea (or however you spell it) type words? From ときどき to ぺらぺら (pun intended), they blanket the language. I'm the first to admit that it feels...rather dorky to be using words that, in English, are generally only used by small children.

But unfortunately, these kind of words are a big part of Japanese, and therefore a necessity for any serious learner.

Yes, Japanese is filled with onomatopoeic phrases. These words describe sound or action directly, and are divided into two categories: giongo and gitaigo.

Giongo are the words which express voice or sounds. Gitatigo are the words which express actions, states or human emotions. You'll notice above that the kanji for 態 (tai) in gitaigo is also the same kanji found in the second half of 状態 (joutai), meaning condition or state. This should be helpful in remembering which is which.

However --and this is a big one -- making a distinction between 擬音語 and 擬態語 isn't that big of a deal. The only thing that you should remember is that 擬語 convey sounds.

One other thing that I noticed in writing this post was that many words have a (と) attached to their ends since they are seen as quotations of actual sounds. However, in most dictionaries and example sentences, the と is omitted.

Let us now get to some examples. For October, I've decided to write a few words concerning how I've been feeling lately --SLEEPY.

If you can, print this page out or type in the comments section some example sentences using the 擬音語 and 擬態語 below.

擬音語 and 擬態語: Examples

うとうと: Lightly dozing off for a short time.

すやすや: Restful, deep sleep and the sound of soft breathes in that sleep. Often used for babies and kids.

ぐっすり: Very deep sleep without waking moments.

ぐうぐう: Deep sleep, snoring sound. Also describes the sound an empty stomach makes.

こんこんと: An almost coma-like sleep.

ぐうすか: Deep, snoring sleep with a negative impression. Also describes people dozing off somewhere without regard for time or place.

うつらうつら:In a daze; only half awake.

こくりこくり: Describes nodding off. (see also こっくり)

まんじり: When followed with a negative word like しない or できない this means an inability to get sleep. Used in the form of まんじりとも often.

I'll be posting more updates regarding 擬音語 and 擬態語 as I come across them in my studies. If you would like to post some words that you hear often, please do so in the comments section and I will add them to the list above at a later date.


yorkii said...

do the examples come from the book that you recommended previously? 絵で分かる日本語辞典?

jljzen88 said...

Yes! They come from the october section, which I'm studying now. It's a great book for giongo and gitaigo because it matches up nicely with things that are occuring at the same time. So you can use the vocabulary and therefore remember it.

Very practical, if you ask me. I'll try to get some shots of the book up, if I can.

yorkii said...

yea, i went into shinjuku's 紀伊国屋 at the weekend and i looked through the book. i think ill purchase it the next time i go in. its pretty expensive off amazon.

yorkii said...

found this excellent section on the ALC webpage. it has a whole database of ぎおのご ぎたいご ことわざ and stuff..

it has a daily expression etc. should be a good source.


yorkii said...

i meant ぎおんご

jljzen88 said...

That's a great tool! I wish you could get it mailed to you each day!

yorkii said...

yea or as an RSS feed

yorkii said...

i got the book. its great.

i especially like the pronounciation guide that comes with it, that is something that is often over-looked in Jpanese.

jljzen88 said...

I agree. Though it looks rather foolish on the front, I think it is in fact a handy textbook.

yorkii said...

yea. it has the pronunciations for all of the words, too. which is something that i had not thought about before. the actual pronunciation of japanese is just as unique as our own language.

something else of interest to you is this thesis extract:

its not really geared towards Japanese and it could be even further summarised, but it does raise some questions. it did for me anyway. have a look


Clayton said...

regarding onomodopeias, could you perhaps read this page and summarize and simplify what you find there for us?

Anonymous said...

Dont forget Giseigo....

jljzen88 said...

Wow. That page...
I'll try to get to explaining it, but I'm not even sure I understand it. Giseigo? What's this?

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