Here are the five types and examples:
- 擬音語 Giongo
These are words that resemble sounds made by inanimate objects and nature as mentioned before.
ゴロゴロ – Gorogoro – Rumbling (thunder)
コロコロ – Korokoro – Sound of rolling
ガタガタ – Gatagata – Rattling
ガチャ – Gacha – Sound of a door closing or similar sound
- 擬態語 Gitaigo
These describe conditions and states of things.
クラクラ – Kurakura – Feeling dizzy
すべすべ – Subesube – Smooth to the touch
フワフワ – Fuwafuwa – Fluffy
もちもち – Mochimochi – Chewy, sticky, squidgy
- 擬声語 Giseigo
These are animal and human sounds.
ワンワン – Wanwan – Woof
ニャン – Nyan – Meow
コケコッコー – Kokekokkoo – Cock-a-doodle-doo
ゲロゲロ – Gerogero – Croak (frog)
ガオー – Gaoo – Roar (lion, tiger etc.)
- 擬容語 Giyōgo
These describe movements and motions.
ノロノロ – Noronoro – Move very slowly
ぐっすり – Gussuri – Sleep soundly
ブルブル – Buruburu – To shiver
- 擬情語 Gijōgo
These describe feelings and emotions.
ウキウキ – Ukiuki – Excitement
ワクワク – Wakuwaku – Excitement
もやもや – Moyamoya – To feel uneasy or gloomy
Random phrase of the week
出た！ Deta! Oh here we go again…
Most students of Japanese will immediately recognize 出た deta as the verb which means to leave, exit or go out of something. However, there is deeper meaning.
Deta can be used as a negative criticism or a tease in response to something someone says repeatedly. In this scenario it means something like “oh here we go again” or “Oh no, not that again” or “Again?”.
So if someone starts talking about their favorite conspiracy theory again you can say:
Or your uncle starts talking about his health problems for the 100th time:
Or your mum starts bugging you to do the chores yet again:
Of course this isn’t very polite so only use this with your friends and family members.