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Peter: Peter here. Onomatopoeia Lesson 16. How Did You Sleep Last Night in Japan?
さくら: さくらです。 Hi everybody, this is Sakura.
Peter: Welcome to japanesepod101.com’s onomatopoeia series. In this series, we are going to explore the world of Japanese onomatopoeia.
さくら: JapanesePod101.com擬態語擬音語レッスンへようこそ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.
さくら: Such as コケコッコー
Peter: Cock a doodle do.
さくら: And チクタク
Peter: Tick tock, tick tock as the sound the clock makes. 擬態語on the other hand describe the situation, feeling or state using sound.
さくら: にこにこ
Peter: Grinning from ear to ear. We hope you will join us for this enjoyable ride into the wonderful world of Japanese onomatopoeia. Without further adieu, Sakura san, shall we?
さくら: はい。
Peter: Let’s get on with this lesson. So far, we’ve been introducing onomatopoeia related to various emotions. From this lesson, starting in this lesson, you will learn some onomatopoeia that explain how an action is done. Sakura san, what action are we going to cover in this lesson?
さくら: 眠るor 寝るto sleep.
Peter: And the onomatopoeia associated with this verb are
さくら: ぐっすり うとうと ぐーぐーand すやすや
Peter: They are a little difficult to translate without context. So Sakura san, can we hear them in context?
さくら: 夕べはぐっすり眠れましたか
Peter: Did you sleep well last night? The first onomatopoeia we are looking at is
さくら: ぐっすり
Peter: ぐっすりindicates sleeping soundly. It’s usually followed by the verb to sleep 眠るor 寝る
さくら: ぐっすり眠るor ぐっすり寝る
Peter: To sleep like a log, to sleep soundly, to sleep tight, to sleep fast.
さくら: So when you are really tired ぐっすり眠る you don’t wake up easily ね
Peter: Okay on to the next onomatopoeia. Sakura san, what’s the second one?
さくら: うとうと
Peter: In context please
さくら: 祖父はテレビを見ながらうとうとしている
Peter: Grandpa is nodding off while watching TV. うとうと refers to the inability to resist drowsiness such as like kind of dozing off or nodding off. Now it refers to sleep that takes place outside of one’s regular sleeping hours.
さくら: It’s used together with the verb するto do like うとうとする
Peter: To doze off, to fall into a light sleep, drowsy or nod off. Now before we introduce the next onomatopoeia, Sakura san, can we use うとうとするwhen you have like a lunch coma?
さくら: なにlunch comaって
Peter: Kind of like when you eat a big lunch and you come back.
さくら: Yes.
Peter: And you are trying to concentrate but your head is falling down.
さくら: そうで、But うとうとis actually you are sleeping. You are not trying hard to you know resist the sleepiness but you give in っていうかな. だからたくさんお昼ご飯を食べてYou ate big lunch ちょっとだけうとうとしちゃった
Peter: A little knap, doze off after lunch.
さくら: そうそうそう。
Peter: After a big lunch. うとうとする is to doze off, to fall into a light sleep, drowsy, to nod off. Now before we introduce the next onomatopoeia, Sakura san, please listen to this sound and say it in Japanese.
さくら: はい。
Peter: snoring sound
さくら: グーグー グーグー寝ていますねHow do you say this sound in English
Peter: Snore. Can we have a sample sentence?
さくら: 父はいびきをかいてグーグー眠っている
Peter: Dad is fast asleep and snoring. グーグー originally describes an actual snoring sound. It also describes the state of sleeping well often associated with snoring.
さくら: グーグー寝る or グーグー眠る
Peter: Fast asleep and snoring. Finally we have
さくら: すやすや 赤ちゃんはすやすや眠っている
Peter: The baby is sleeping peacefully. すやすやdescribes the state of someone sleeping comfortably and quietly accompanied by the sound of light breathing.
さくら: すやすや寝る or すやすや眠る
Peter: So all the onomatopoeia we covered ぐっすり うとうと グーグーand すやすやcan be used with the verb to sleep 眠る or 寝るright?
さくら: But I think it’s more natural to say うとうとするthan うとうと眠る or うとうと寝る. I think it’s because うとうと is half awake and half asleep.
Peter: Sakura san, speaking of うとうとI know the similar expression こっくりこっくり
さくら: こっくりこっくりね
Peter: It’s a little pause in there?
さくら: Yes こっくりこっくり
Peter: So there is a small つafter こand this is to doze off or to nod off. こっくり describes the action of someone nodding.
さくら: こっくりis not a slow nod, it’s kind of fast and maybe sudden nod.
Peter: So is that the nod we are talking about when your head kind of goes down and you pull back.
さくら: そうそうそう、かくーんってね
Peter: And the motion Sakura san was making when she said かくーんwas, her head was in a upright position and then it kind of went forward.
さくら: So it’s hard to describing sound right?
Peter: Okay. Now this is a repetitive onomatopoeia. So it means that こっくりnod continues. So こっくりこっくりdescribes the state of someone sitting on the chair and nodding off. This is a lunch coma.
さくら: そうですよね
Peter: And maybe うとうとis kind of have this image of grandpa on the couch after thanksgiving.
さくら: そうですね。
Peter: Watching TV but kind of just asleep with the remote in his hand. Okay can we have a sample sentence with こっくり
さくら: 国会では議員がこっくりこっくりしている
Peter: The members of the diet are nodding off during the diet meeting. It’s funny and I kind of remember my ゼミ, the Japanese university system is kind of modeled after the German one where there is something called seminar. So you have a teacher who is kind of your mentor and you get together with other students once a week with the same mentor. So there will be like six people and you take turns giving a presentation and there is always someone nodding off.
さくら: こっくりこっくりしていた
Peter: Usually the professor.
さくら: またー During presentation.
Peter: Okay let’s recap the usage of words we looked at in this lesson and we are going to do this with sample sentences. はい Sakura san お願いします。
さくら: The first phrase is ぐっすり眠る
Peter: To sleep like a log, to sleep soundly, to sleep tight, to sleep fast.
さくら: 夕べ地震があったの。ぐっすり眠っていたからわからなかった
Peter: There was an earthquake last night, I didn’t notice it because I was sleeping like a log. That’s a really good sample sentence because a lot of times people sleep right through the earthquakes.
さくら: あとやっぱり、昨日はぐっすり眠れましたかThat’s quite popular isn’t it when you are like staying at somebody’s home or…
Peter: Yeah did you sleep well?
さくら: そうそうそうそう、はい、よく眠れました おかげさまで
Peter: Okay. What’s the second word?
さくら: うとうとする
Peter: To doze off, fall into a light sleep, drowsy, nod off.
さくら: 仕事中についうとうとしてしまった
Peter: I couldn’t help nodding off during work.
さくら: これはLunch coma みたいな感じね
Peter: Umm this is just I think you actually go out here. You are actually out called.
さくら: そうね
Peter: Next phrase
さくら: ぐーぐ眠る
Peter: Fast asleep and snoring.
さくら: けんはお酒を飲んでグーグーと眠っている
Peter: Ken drank alcohol and he is fast asleep and snoring.
さくら: グーグー眠るis often associated with after drink. いびきが大きいですよね。お酒を飲んだあとは After you drink, snoring is bigger usually.
Peter: Yeah I think it’s to do with sleeping on your back. I think most people, if you sleep on your back, you snore.
さくら: はあー
Peter: Like if you push them on their side, so they stop. Lastly we have
さくら: すやすや眠る
Peter: To sleep peacefully.
さくら: すやすやと眠っている顔は天使なのになあ。
Peter: He looks like an angel when he is fast asleep but….
さくら: But そう、すやすやと眠っている顔は天使のようですit would be just like an angel but なのになあ
Peter: なのになあ。
さくら: butね。すやすや is usually associated with baby とか angel とかね


Peter: 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 the basic or premium subscription, you can access all the audio and lesson notes from this and other series. You can find out more information by visiting japanesepod101.com
さくら: またね


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