i put this image on my flickr a while back but just realised that i hadn't posted it here. its a list of japanese sound symbolic words that i printed with the ends of ready-made bits of wood from the hardware store. some of these words work like onomatopoeia and others are imaginary sounds meant to symbolise states or feelings. you can read more about japanese sound symbolism here. there are so many of these kinds of words in japanese and i love them; i often find it hard to memorise japanese vocabulary but these ones always stick because they sound like what they are.

pikapika - clean and shiny
nitonito - big smile (most japanese people don't know this one but its in the dictionary!)
wakuwaku - the sound of a bubbling stream or an excited child
nokonoko - nonchalance (he walked into the room, nokonoko-ly)
dokidoki - beating heart
girigiri - close to the limit
yoboyobo - wobbly like an old persons legs
barabara - loose and disordered
perapera - blah blah


tulibri said...

I love language "gimmicks" like these. Thank you for sharing!

Hello Sandwich said...

This is just so gorgeous! I love it! and all of your lovely work! xxx