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Peter: Peter here. Onomatopoeia lesson #19.
なおみ: なおみです。こんにちは Hi everyone, this is Naomi .ようこそ、Japanesepod101.comの擬音語擬態語のレッスンへ
Peter: Welcome to japanesepod101.com’s onomatopoeia series. In this series, we are exploring the world of Japanese onomatopoeia.
なおみ: はい、そうです There are two types of Japanese onomatopoeia 擬音語and 擬音語.
Peter: 擬音語 are the true onomatopoeia that mimic sounds just like our English onomatopoeia, sound words. For example cock-a-doodle-do
なおみ: コケコッコー
Peter: Tingalingling.
なおみ: ちりんちりん
Peter: Now 擬態語on the other hand describe a situation, feeling or state using sound such as
なおみ: じろっ as in じろっと見る
Peter: To glare at.
なおみ: Or きょろきょろ as in きょろきょろ見る
Peter: To look at curiously, to look at. These are covered in the previous lesson, lesson 18. We hope you will join us on this enjoyable ride into the wonderful world of Japanese onomatopoeia. Without further adieu, let’s get on with the lesson. In this lesson, you will learn some onomatopoeia that explain the action
なおみ: 歩く
Peter: To walk.
なおみ: Such as よちよち ふらふら ドタバタ
Peter: It’s hard to translate them without context. So Naomi Sensei, can we hear them in context.
なおみ: Sure 私の息子は1歳6か月だ。最近よちよち歩き始めたが、すぐに転ぶ
Peter: My son is one and a half years old. He’s recently started to walk but he often falls down. Naomi Sensei, what’s the onomatopoeia in this sentence?
なおみ: よちよちas in よちよち歩き始めた
Peter: よちよちrefers to the unsteady walk of a toddler. It’s used with the verb 歩く to walk or with its noun form 歩き
なおみ: Right よちよち歩きの子供is toddler. よちよち歩くor よちよち歩きis the process of learning to walk. So you cannot use よちよちto talk about adult walking.
Peter: Speaking of toddlers, how do you say crawl like you know, how a baby crawls on one’s hands and knees.
なおみ: Ah you mean はいはい
Peter: Right. That’s the word I was looking for はいはい to crawl on one’s hands and knees.
なおみ: That’s a good one too. jはいはい is not a walking. So you cannot add 歩く. Instead you add suru. So するlike はいはいする 赤ちゃんははいはいする
Peter: A baby crawls.
なおみ: I think はいはい is from the verb はう
Peter: To crawl.
なおみ: And はいはい can only be used for human babies. You cannot use for animals.
Peter: Okay. On to the next onomatopoeia.
なおみ: The next onomatopoeia is ふらふら but the translation of ふらふらvaries depending on the context. So I’d like to introduce two meanings okay and the first one is 酔っぱらった人がプラットホームをフラフラと歩いている。とても危ない。
Peter: A drunk person is staggering along the platform of the train station. It’s really dangerous. In this case, フラフラ means to stagger. Okay what’s the next meaning?
なおみ: 私は東京をフラフラ歩くのが好きだ
Peter: I like wandering around Tokyo. In this case, フラフラ means to wander around.
なおみ: Right. So フラフラcan be translated in different ways but basically フラフラdescribe an unsteady state.
Peter: So フラフラcould describe a shaky state due to fatigue, sickness, drunkenness et cetera and it also means to wander around, to linger or to loiter.
なおみ: そうですね You can use ぶらぶらor うろうろmeaning to wander around. So you could say 東京をぶらぶら歩くのが好きだ or 東京をふらふら歩くのが好きだ
Peter: Meaning I like wandering around Tokyo.
なおみ: But ぶらぶら or  うろうろ  cannot be used for shaky state due to sickness or something.
Peter: Okay. The last onomatopoeia is
なおみ: ドタバタand a sample sentence is ドタバタ歩かないでください。静かに歩いてください。
Peter: Quit stomping around, walk quietly. ドタバタmeans to walk noisily or to stomp around.
なおみ: ドタバタ is the sound of heavy footsteps like this sound. So Peter, how do you describe this sound in English?
Peter: It sounds like stomp, stomp.
なおみ: Stomp, stomp. We describe that sound as ドタバタor バタバタ
Peter: It can also describe a wham bham, hustle bustle situation or a situation that is busy and noisy, right?
なおみ: そうですね。Right. So for example, 明日は引っ越しなので、ドタバタする。
Peter: I am moving tomorrow, so I will be busy running around.
なおみ: ドタバタするっていうのは、とても忙しくてちょっとパニックしている感じですね。And there is also a word ドタバタ喜劇or ドタバタコメディー. Do you know this phrase?
Peter: ドタバタコメディーumm…
なおみ: Like Home Alone, Jackie Chan movies, Charlie Chaplin?
Peter: Ah slapstick, slapstick comedy.
なおみ: そうです。ドタバタコメディー
Peter: Okay let’s look at a variation. ふらふら or ぶらぶらmeans, it describes the action of wandering around without having a definite purpose or direction but ふらふらするor ぶらぶらするalso means to live a crazy life or to kick around without going to school nor having a job.
なおみ: そうですね。For example, 兄は宝くじに当たってから仕事を辞めて、毎日ぶらぶらしている。
Peter: Since my brother won a lottery, he quit his job and has just been hanging around.
なおみ: ぶらぶら良いですね。したいですね。
Peter: But I don’t know like from my experience in hearing this word, it usually doesn’t have a good meaning. I mean, we will give you a sentence where someone won the lottery and he is doing nothing all day where I’ve tend to hear it, somebody who doesn’t have a job and is…
なおみ: Living a lazy life.
Peter: Yeah 毎日ぶらぶらしている。
なおみ: Not so positive meaning.
Peter: Yeah.
なおみ: そうですね。学校にも行かない。仕事もしない。それでぶらぶらしている人を、新しい言葉ですけど、ニートって言います。
Peter: 新しくはないでしょ。
なおみ: 新しくない。
Peter: It’s not that new but they have a word ニートwhich means not currently engaged in employment, education or training and it’s kind of an acronym taken from the n in not, e in employment, e in education or t in training, NEET.
なおみ: 社会問題ですね。It’s a big problem that Japan is facing.
Peter: So parents might yell at their son or daughter ぶらぶらしないで。
なおみ: そうそうそう。ぶらぶらしないで、働きなさい。ぶらぶらしないで勉強しなさい。
Peter: So don’t just hang around, work! Don’t just hang around, study!
なおみ: そうそうそう、そんな感じです。
Peter: Let’s recap the usage of the words we looked at in this lesson and we are going to do this with sample sentences.
なおみ: The first phrase is よちよち
Peter: To toddle while learning to walk, to while.
なおみ: よちよち歩きの子供を見ませんでしたか。
Peter: Have you seen a toddler? Kind of a weird sentence.
なおみ: I thought its bit scary though.
Peter: Like a horror movie or…
なおみ: よちよち歩きの子供を見ませんでしたか。 Where is my baby?
Peter: Oh yeah it was baby ______ (0:08:45). Kind of like an interesting sample sentence. Okay what’s the second phrase?
なおみ: フラフラ
Peter: Meaning to stagger. It also refers to a shaky state.
なおみ: 熱があるので、少しフラフラします。
Peter: I have a fever, so I feel a bit dizzy.
なおみ: And here it’s the another フラフラ meaning to wander around 時間があったので、その辺をフラフラ歩いた。
Peter: I had some extra time. So I wandered around nearby. Lastly we have
なおみ: 夜なのでドタバタ歩かないでください。
Peter: It’s night time. So don’t walk so noisily.
なおみ: If you are living in an apartment in Tokyo or staying at a hotel, 夜ドタバタ歩かない方が良いですね。you shouldn’t walk like ドタバタ
Peter: Yeah. Some of them can – you can hear it pretty well yeah.
なおみ: そう、東京はね、聞こえますよね。
Peter: So Naomi Sensei, have you used any of the onomatopoeia we introduced in this lesson recently?
なおみ: 覚えていないです I don’t remember.
Peter: フラフラしないで働け Like…
なおみ: 言われてない
Peter: No one said to you like work! Stop hanging around.
なおみ: No. No one was brave enough to tell me that.
Peter: 言ってあげましょうか
なおみ: いいです
Peter: Should I help you out with that?
なおみ: いいです。結構です。ピーターさんは?ありますか。
Peter: こないだ  Recently 風邪をひいてちょっと熱が出て、ちょっとだけフラフラしました. So recently, I caught a cold and I had a little fever and I was kind of dizzy.
なおみ: 私も昨日お酒を飲み過ぎて、ちょっとフラフラしました。
Peter: So yesterday, you drank a little too much and you were kind of dizzy.
なおみ: はい。


Peter: Okay that’s all for today. Remember, learning onomatopoeia is essential for greater fluency and for taking your Japanese to the next level. Be sure to stop by the website and pick up the lesson notes. There, you will find a detailed write up of the lesson. Also, with a basic or premium subscription, you can access all of the audio and lesson notes from this and other series. You can get more information at japanesepod101.com
なおみ: じゃあまた


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