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Anyone who has spent any length of time in Japan will tell you that onomatopoeia is not just common, but an integral part of the Japanese language. While English speakers might find sentences peppered with additional ‘sound effects’ somewhat inelegant, in Japanese onomatopoeic words are not only considered perfectly normal, but there are mimicking sounds for every possible occasion – including states of being where there is no sound to mimic – and most people know exactly how to write them.

We’d wager than few native Japanese have ever come across an instruction manual that uses mimicking words to explain potential problems with a washing machine, though…

It might not seem unusual for the troubleshooting section of your washer’s manual to refer to certain sounds the machine might make during operation, but can you imagine finding the sentence, “If you hear ‘shaaaaaa‘ or ‘kiiiiiin‘ sounds emanating from your Hitashi 580, you may need to replace the filter,” written in there?

Shared by Twitter user eto9 last weekend, this photo of a page from a washing machine manual lists every possible sound the washer might make, and offers up explanations for each of them. Listing zuzuzu, shaa, uooon, buuun, kiiin, and pokopoko, the manual explains what it is that the washer is doing at any one time.

▼ Keep hearing “uooon” while washing a load of underpants? Not to worry, that’s just the pump kicking in, apparently…

Are your Japanese onomatopoeia skills up to the task of discerning what’s wrong with your washer? If you were standing with this manual in hand, listening to the machine’s various creaks, shrieks and groans, could you easily separate a buuun from a pokopoko? If there any words on this little list that you’d struggle to identify, maybe one of our fellow readers can help you out, so be sure to leave a comment below.

Source: Twitter via Hachimakikou