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Peter: Peter here. Onomatopoeia lesson #23. Baked Goods Cornucopia of Onomatopoeia.
なつこ: なつこです。こんにちはHi everyone, this is Natsuko.
Peter: Welcome to japanesepod101.com’s onomatopoeia series. In this series, we are exploring the world of Japanese onomatopoeia.
なつこ: There are two types of Japanese onomatopoeia擬音語 and擬態語.
Peter: 擬音語are the true onomatopoeia that mimic sounds like our English onomatopoeia.
なつこ: Such as ゴロゴロas in雷がゴロゴロなる
Peter: The rumbling sound of thunder
なつこ: Orドーン
Peter: Bang!擬態語 on the other hand describe a situation, feeling or state using sound.
なつこ: For example, ぴかっas in空がぴかっと光る
Peter: The sky lights up. 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. We will be introducing onomatopoeia in situations within upper beginner, lower intermediate level dialogue. So Natsuko san, what are we learning in this lesson?
なつこ: 食べ物の味や歯ごたえを表す擬態語と擬音語です In this lesson, you will learn how to describe the flavor and texture of food using onomatopoeia.
Peter: We are 100% sure that you will find this lesson useful when you are talking about food.
なつこ: Yes definitely.
Peter: Okay Natsuko san, the conversation is between
なつこ: 男の子と女の子です A boy and a girl. 多分高校生ですね They are probably high school students.
Peter: Now where does this conversation take place?
なつこ: 学校 At school 食べ物について話しています。and they are talking about food.それから多分この女の子はこの男の子が好きだと思いますよ
Peter: So you think the girl likes the boy.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Okay let’s listen to the conversation.
1. 速人: あおいちゃん、この前は、ケーキありがとう。
2. あおい: どうだった?
3. 速人: なんか、外はカッチカチで中はパッサパサだったよ。
4. あおい: え?本当?作ったときは、パサパサに見えなかったけど...。
5. 速人: うちのお母さん、お菓子作るの上手なんだ。
6. あおい: へー。
7. 速人: この前、作ってくれたアップルパイは、外はパリッとして、中は、
8. あおい: ...へー。
1. 速人: あおいちゃん、この前は、ケーキありがとう。
2. あおい: どうだった?
3. 速人: なんか、外はカッチカチで中はパッサパサだったよ。
4. あおい: え?本当?作ったときは、パサパサに見えなかったけど...。
5. 速人: うちのお母さん、お菓子作るの上手なんだ。
6. あおい: へー。
7. 速人: この前、作ってくれたアップルパイは、外はパリッとして、中は、
8. あおい: ...へー。
1. 速人: あおいちゃん、この前は、ケーキありがとう。
2. あおい: どうだった?
3. 速人: なんか、外はカッチカチで中はパッサパサだったよ。
4. あおい: え?本当?作ったときは、パサパサに見えなかったけど...。
5. 速人: うちのお母さん、お菓子作るの上手なんだ。
6. あおい: へー。
7. 速人: この前、作ってくれたアップルパイは、外はパリッとして、中は、
8. あおい: ...へー。
1. HAYATO: Aoi, thanks for the cake the other day.
2. AOI: How was it?
3. HAYATO: Well, it was hard on the outside, and dry and flaky on the inside.
4. AOI: What? Really? It didn't look dry and flaky when I made it. I wonder if
it got stale over time.
5. HAYATO: You know, my mom is really good at making sweets. The cakes she
makes are soft on the outside and moist on the inside; and the
cookies she makes are crunchy and delicious.
6. AOI: Wow.
7. HAYATO: The apple pie she made the other day was crispy on the outside,
and the inside was hot and thick. It was amazingly good.
8. AOI: Wow…
なつこ: So I think this girl likes the boy and so, she made a cake herself for him.
Peter: This conversation seems like it takes place around Valentine’s Day.
なつこ: Oh yes maybe but unfortunately the cake was not so good.
Peter: 何でそう思いますか Why do you think that? Why do you think the cake is not good?
Peter: So because of the onomatopoeia, which ones in particular?
なつこ: We are going to cover those in just a minute.
Peter: Now Natsuko san, there is a lot of onomatopoeia in the dialogue.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: But the phraseあつあつ, is that also an onomatopoeia?
なつこ: そうです。擬態語ですね Yes it’s an onomatopoeia expression.
Peter: Does it come from the adjective 熱いhot?
なつこ: Exactlyあつあつ comes from the adjective熱い hot. Usually onomatopoeia is written using either katakana or hiragana but熱々 can be written in kanji.
Peter: なるほど Very interesting. Now, can you think of any other onomatopoeia that originally come from an adjective?
なつこ: Hmm how aboutまるまる well rounded is one.
Peter: I see.丸い is an adjective that means round.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: And まるまるis an onomatopoeia that means very round or well rounded.
なつこ:まるまる could also mean whole or entire as in a whole week丸々1週間
Peter: Now some onomatopoeia originate from verbs right?
なつこ: Yes that’s correct such as のびのびfreely or unconstrained.のびのび  is from the verb伸びる to grow, to increase in length or to stretch.
Peter: See, that’s interesting because in the previous lesson, we mentioned that there are some onomatopoeia that can become verbs.
なつこ: Right and the opposite can also happen逆もあります
Peter: Very interesting勉強になりました. Now we are going to take a detailed look into the onomatopoeia we covered in this lesson. The first one has to do with texture.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Natsuko san, can you introduce us the first onomatopoeia we are going to cover?
なつこ: Sure.外はカッチカチで中はパッサパサだったよ
Peter: The outside was hard and the inside was dry and flaky.
なつこ: カッチカチand パッサパサare onomatopoeia. The original form should beカチカチ andパサパサ
Peter:カチカチdescribes hardness right?
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: And パサパサmeans dry or dried out or hard to touch. Now in the dialogue, a smallつ a stop sound was inserted in between the first syllable and the second syllable to give it more emphasis.
なつこ: Right カチカチbecomes カッチカチ andパサパサ  becomesパッサパサ
Peter: It’s interesting. If you listen to it, you could hear the emphasis.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Natsuko san, is it common to insert a small つa stop sound between the first and second syllable?
なつこ: Well for repetitive onomatopoeia, I think people sometimes put a 小さいつ for emphasis.
Peter: Again this is stop sound.
なつこ: Yes 熱々 becomesアッツアツ extremely hot andにこにこ becomes ニッコニコsmile from ear to ear.
Peter: And if you just listen to it, you hear the stop sound and you could really feel the emphasis.
なつこ: Yes but please be careful because they may sound a little casual.
Peter: Okay. Let’s check the opposite onomatopoeiaパサパサ. パサパサの反対は何ですかWhat’s the opposite onomatopoeia of the phrase パサパサ meaning dry?
なつこ: I guess it would beしっとり
Peter: Moist or softer to touch. And how about the opposite onomatopoeia ofカチカチ カチカチの反対は何ですか
なつこ: Probably ふんわりorふわふわ
Peter: Ah fluffy or soft.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Or kind of light.
なつこ: Uhoo for example,綿あめ Cotton candy はふんわり orふわふわしていますね。
Peter: So you describe cotton candy asふんわり orふわふわ
なつこ: Yes. The opposite word of かちかちcould beとろっ
Peter: Melt smoothly. I heard the wordとろ used when talking about Tuna fish, comes from this onomatopoeia.
なつこ: Oh I see.
Peter: Now とろ usually means the fat belly meat of Tuna.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Since the fat content is really high, you putとろ in your mouth and it instantly melts away. That’s why it’s calledとろ
なつこ: Yes that must be right.とろ is one of the most popular sushi toppings in Japan.
Peter: So Natsuko, before we go on, I have a question.
Peter: In this lesson’s dialogue, we hadパリっ andさくさく
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: But these both mean crispy or crunchy right?
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: So what’s difference?
なつこ: Ah that’s a good question. I’d say the パリっand サクッare pretty much interchangeable but I feel like we tend to use パリっfor something thin. For example,フランスパンの皮はパリパリしている
Peter: The crust of a Baguette French loaf is crispy.
なつこ: Whereasこのショートブレッドはサクサクして美味しい
Peter: This short bread cookie is crunchy and good and so when we are talking about the French bread, we are just talking about the kind of burnt part on the outside right?
なつこ: Yes the crust.
Peter: And that’s really thin. That makes perfect sense. And that’s why in the dialogue, he used ぱりぱりfor pie crust and さくさくfor cookies.
なつこ: Right but again they are very similar.
Peter: Because the pie crust is kind of thick.
なつこ: Sometimes.
Peter: So in this lesson, we introduced onomatopoeia that describes food.
なつこ: Right. Such as 熱々 very hot, カチカチ hard, パサパサ dry and so on.
Peter: So Natsuko san, how do you describe the cheesecake you were eating before the recording?
なつこ: Oh the cheese cake, しっとりしていましたit was very moist but the bottom part was サクサクでした 美味しかったですよ it was delicious.


Peter: Okay. In the next lesson, you learn how to describe a person’s appearance.
Peter: Please look forward to it.


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Please to leave a comment.
😄 😞 😳 😁 😒 😎 😠 😆 😅 😜 😉 😭 😇 😴 😮 😈 ❤️️ 👍

JapanesePod101.com Verified
November 18th, 2009 at 06:30 PM
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みなさん、 How would you describe your favorite food? さくさく?ふんわり?Or maybe even あつあつ?:D

JapanesePod101.com Verified
June 30th, 2018 at 03:33 PM
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Liam さん


I'm sorry for the late reply.

I'd say さくさく is an onomatopoeia, and it can be used like a noun, and also as verb by attaching する to it.

Sometimes na-adjective and noun can be very confusing and similar because they take a very similar forms,

but さくさく isn't considered as na-adjective because さくさくな is incorrect.

Hope this helps!

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

May 25th, 2018 at 10:15 PM
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In the dialogue sentence 「クッキーはさくさくでおいしいんだ。」、さくさく is being used as a な-adjective in the て-form. In the example sentence 「このショートブレッドはさくさくしておいしい。」、さくさく is being used as a する verb to express the same thing.

Is there any difference between these uses? When should you use onomatopoeia in either form?


- Liam

JapanesePod101.com Verified
February 12th, 2018 at 03:11 PM
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I'm sorry for the late reply!

Thank you for sharing your opinion and information!

What's called onomatopoeia in linguistics might not be always the same thing as we think they are.

Japanese language has a lot and there's even a book only about them.

Natsuko (奈津子),

Team JapanesePod101.com

December 5th, 2017 at 01:14 AM
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Ahh it's going to drive me crazy if I don't say something about it:

In every lesson the speakers imply Japanese has two sets of onomatopoeia and English has one. English does in fact use onomatopoeia for both sound and description/action - just like Japanese. We just don't have words for either category like Japanese does.

For example:


May be used for the noise one makes while chewing/eating

In a sentence:

'Stop chomping your food so loudly.'

'He's really chomping at the bit.' (referring to a horse)


The sound of a door closing loudly, something exploding, someone hitting an object etc.

In a sentence:

'Stop banging at the door, I'm coming!'


The sound of things breaking or hitting one another (usually implies a shattering noise)

'The shelf was loose and my mugs crashed to the ground!'

'He has a cast because of the car crash he was in last month.'

There are many other onomatopoeia that can be used for both sound as well as a noun/action/description such as chatter, boom, bark, slurp, and so on.

December 5th, 2009 at 10:50 PM
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The male voice actor is very bad at doing the "slow" version. It's t-o-o-o s-l-o-o-o-o-w. Slowing down each word slightly and leaving gaps after particles is the way to do a slower than normal speed prsentation. This one syllable at a time really slow version isn't useful, i don't think.

It's not a dictionary, but if you're interested in another way to learn ぎおんご and ぎたいご (in addition to JapanesePod101.com's excellent onomatopoeia lessons :-) ) then I've found this book fun and useful:


Sorry for the long URL - Amazon.co.jp's nihongo URLs don't copy well :-(. That book uses cartoons to aid your memorisation of the meaning of the words by giving a visual cue to add to the audio cue.

December 4th, 2009 at 01:10 AM
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There indeed is a dictionary about giongo and gitaigo:


I haven't seen it myself, so don't know what it's like.

November 24th, 2009 at 02:57 PM
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GeeSlimmy -san


November 23rd, 2009 at 04:08 PM
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November 22nd, 2009 at 08:30 PM
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November 20th, 2009 at 05:40 PM
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About ふわふわ - you would think so (I would have said the same thing!), but a quick search on Google reveals that ふっわふわ does indeed exist!! (I was curious myself :lol: )