Speakers and learners of the Japanese language will no doubt be familiar with giongo and gitaigo, onomatopoeic words that are used to imitate or describe real-world sounds or sensations, respectively.

For many English speakers, sentences like “And the rain was falling like ‘tccccchhhh’, and my heart was going ‘boom boom boom,'” might come across as informal at best, or perhaps even suggest that the speaker is not especially articulate. In Japanese, though, onomatopoeia is employed far more frequently in both spoken and written communication, and this new commercial from Sony announcing a price cut for its Vita portable games console has it in droves.

Admittedly, many of the words used in this ad are a little on the strange side, and few adults would regularly throw them around in conversation at their place of work, but it’s fascinating to see how an ad can be composed almost entirely of phrases that, ultimately, amount to little more than “boom!” and “smash!”

In fact, some of the words used in this ad are almost impossible to describe in a single English word; something that serves to illustrate how diverse and useful Japanese onomatopoeia is. I mean, the last time we checked, there weren’t any one-word phrases in English to describe brooding over something (kuyokuyo), to be running out of patience (jirijiri) or having a throbbing pain somewhere (zukizuki), let alone the “sound” of snow falling silently (shinshin).

But one word we can all relate to, of course, is the Japanese word for “boom!”: do~n!


Have a nikoniko (smiley) day, everyone!

Source: (Japanese)

Video via Playstationjp

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