Wednesday, February 21, 2007

onomatopoeia and me

Teaching at the elementary school today, I was reminded of how onomatopoeia can be applied to everything in Japan.

I had just wrapped up class with the second graders – a rowdy group to be sure. There are a couple of kids in that class who are a little excessively grabby for my liking, but they’re generally harmless. Anyways, after class a few of the girls come up to me to see what else I have in my teaching goodie bag. There are always a few things left over, as I like to try and have extra stuff on hand in case the planned activities run short or don’t work or whatever. Once they were satisfied that all I had was more boring alphabet cards, they turned their attentions to me.

Byong byong!

Just guess what that is the sound for in Japanese…

Wan wan is the sound a dog makes.
Tsuru tsuru is the sound for something slippery.
Giri giri is the sound for cutting it close.
Betsu betsu is the sound for separate.
Bara bara is the sound for scattered.

Apparently byong byong is the sound that happens when second graders feel you up.

It must be the new bras…

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