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Peter: Peter here. Onomatopoeia Lesson 7. This Japanese Lesson Will Put A Grin on Your Face!
なつこ: [*]こんにちは、なつこです。 Hi everyone, this is Natsuko.
Peter: Welcome to japanesepod101.com’s onomatopoeia series. In this series, we are exploring the wonderful world of Japanese onomatopoeia.
なつこ: そうですね。That’s right. We are studying Japanese onomatopoeia. [*]擬音語 and [*]擬態語
Peter: Now onomatopoeia is the formation of a word from a sound associated with what it is named. Examples in English include words like
なつこ: Crash and splash.
Peter: The sounds of the word imitate the meaning. Also many animal sounds are onomatopoeia. For example,
なつこ: ばうわうand [*]ねー
Peter: Now Natsuko san, Japanese has tons of onomatopoeia.
なつこ: Right.
Peter: So if you are going to take your Japanese to the next level, you need to become familiar with as many of them as you can.
なつこ: Japanese onomatopoeia is not only useful, it’s also fun.
Peter: So we hope you will enjoy this enjoyable ride into the wonderful world of Japanese onomatopoeia. In the previous lesson, we learned about the onomatopoeia that describes laughter.
なつこ: Oh yes. [*]クスクス and ゲラゲラas in [*]ゲラゲラ笑う
Peter: To laugh loudly
なつこ: And [*]クスクス笑う
Peter: To chuckle. So when you are watching a comedy show at your home, you would probably
なつこ: [*]ゲラゲラ笑います
Peter: Laugh out loud but when you are watching a comedy show on iTunes on the train, you would
なつこ: [*]多分、クスクス笑います
Peter: Maybe chuckle. Now in this lesson, we are going to learn about the onomatopoeia that describes grin or smile. Today’s’ onomatopoeia expression is
なつこ: にこにこand [*]にやにや
Peter: Now we can’t translate them without context.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: So Natsuko san, can we hear them in context?
なつこ: Sure [*]なんでにこにこ笑ってるの。なんか良いことあったの。
Peter: Why are you smiling? Something good happened.
なつこ: [*]なんで にやにや笑っているの?何か企んでいるの?
Peter: Why are you smirking? Are you plotting something or are you up to something. Now [*]にこにこ refers to a broad grin accompanied by happiness and of course it contains positive connotation where as にやにやrefers to a sinister smile or grin and is inferring that the person is hiding un-seemingly pleasure or a scheme.
なつこ: ずいぶん違いますよねSo the nuance is really different.
Peter: Very different but both にこにこand にやにやare usually used with
なつこ: [*]笑う
Peter: To laugh or
なつこ: [*]する
Peter: To do. For example,
なつこ: [*]にこにこ笑う or [*]にこにこする
Peter: And they both mean to smile. Now I just kind of want to point out here quick. When you look in the dictionary, 笑うmeans to laugh but it also means
なつこ: To smile.
Peter: So sometimes someone will say to you え、なんで笑っているwhich could mean depending on the context why are you laughing or why are you smiling.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: So let’s take a look at the other onomatopoeia we covered.
なつこ: [*]にやにや笑う。にやにやする
Peter: And they both mean to smirk.
なつこ: We sometimes use this shorter version which is にこっとor [*]にやっと
Peter: When you say [*]にこっと or [*]にやっと it means someone smiles or smirks only once for a short moment whereas repetitive onomatopoeia such as にこにor [*]にやにや indicates a continuous action or a state.
なつこ: Yes right.
Peter: Can we have a sample sentence?
なつこ: [*]警官は一瞬にこっとしたが、またすぐに怖い顔になった。
Peter: The police officer flashed a smile but he soon put on a serious face. So just for a second.
なつこ: Yes.
Peter: Very interesting. I didn’t even know about this usage.
なつこ: Oh really?
Peter: [*]にこっと
なつこ: [*]にこっと
Peter: Natsukosan,
なつこ: [*]はい。
Peter: Speaking of grin, I’ve heard にたにたand [*].へらへら
なつこ: Ah はいはいas in にたにた笑うand [*]へらへら笑う
Peter: Right. Now my question is this. What’s the difference between にこにこ にやにや にたにたand [*]へらへら
なつこ: Umm that’s a good question. [*]にこにこ is a nice smile and にやにやand [*]にたにた are pretty similar. Both mean to smirk.
Peter: Ah.
なつこ: And they don’t give people nice feelings and へらへらthat could be a grim but also it could be a laugh and it could be used to describe a vague or meaningless grin.
Peter: Umm [*]へらへら could mean the grin or a smile some people wear when they are embarrassed.
なつこ: Umm yes it can be used.
Peter: Okay so I think we can best illustrate this with an example. Natsuko san, what do you think?
なつこ: [*]例えば、ピーターは先生に怒られたが、へらへら笑っていた。
Peter: Hah translation. Although Peter was scolded by the teacher, he was grinning.
なつこ: So he is showing no remorse.
Peter: Umm pretty accurate sample sentence. So you don’t think there is anyone who likes [*]にやにや grin.
なつこ: I think so.
Peter: Okay let’s recap the words we looked at today and we are going to do this with sample sentences.
なつこ: That’s good. The first word is [*]にこにこ 佐藤さんは、いつもにこにこしていて感じがいい。
Peter: Literally Mr or Mrs [*]佐藤 always has a smile on his or her face and is so congenial. In natural English, Mr. 佐藤is always smiling and it’s nice and what’s the second word?
なつこ: [*]にやにや 鈴木さんと田中さんが私のほうを見ながらにやにやしている。感じが悪い。
Peter: Mr. Suzuki and Mrs. Tanaka are looking at me and grinning and it makes me feel uncomfortable. Okay Natsuko san, just to recap quick, in this lesson, we learned
なつこ: にこにこand [*]にやにや
Peter: なつこさんは、にこにこした人と、にやにやした人、どちらが好きですかLike Natsuko san, what did you like better? A person who has a にこにこgrin or [*]にやにや grin?
なつこ: [*]にやにやしてる人のほうが好きっていう人は、いないと思います
Peter: So you don’t think there is anyone that has にやにやgrin.
なつこ: I think so because you know the difference is whether you feel nice about that smile or not.
Peter: Hah I guess we’ve translated this. Do you like you know, happy people or do you like dark sinister people?
なつこ: Dark umm yes it’s just the [*]にやにや笑い doesn’t make people feel nice or comfortable. For example, do you know the Alice in Wonderland story?
Peter: Ah of course.
なつこ: cat with a grin?
Peter: Yeah, yeah.
なつこ: That disappears and only the grin is left.
Peter: Remains?
なつこ: Yeah remains. I remember that was translated into Japanese as [*]にやにや笑い
Peter: Ah.
なつこ: So it’s not you know really that serious like you know, something distasteful but it’s like more kind of uncomfortable or something strange, strange smile.


Peter: Okay that’s all for today. Now be sure to stop by the website and pick up the lesson notes. There you will find a detailed write up of this lesson. Also on the website, you can access some of the previous lessons. With a basic or premium membership, you can access all the audio and lesson notes from this series and every other series. You can find out more information by visiting japanesepod101.com
なつこ: [*]それではまた今度


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