No35 [Language] Omoshiroi yo NIHONGO!

Welcome once again, to the fascinating world of the Japanese language. Are you ready for today’s lesson?

This time we introduce you to a segment of the colourful world of Japanese onomatopoeia.
Japanese have several words for sound of rainfall which belong to the category “giongo” 擬音語 (words that imitate sounds of objects). They are usually written with the hiragana alphabet.


“potsupotsu” ぽつぽつ

The sound of small raindrops when it begins to rain slowly, making a gentle sound. At times like this you can’t really decide whether to take umbrella or not.


“botabota” ぼたぼた

The sound of very large, heavy raindrops falling from the sky.


“shitoshito” しとしと

Drizzle, rain is falling lightly, a rain shower.


“zaazaa” ざあざあ

Heavy rainfall when you find yourself enveloped in a curtain of endlessly falling heavy rain which seems it never wants to stop.


Example sentences:

(Asa wa ame ga potsupotsu futteita keredo, ima wa dou?)
In the morning it was raining a little, how is it now?


(Mou shitoshito futteiru kara, kasa wo motteitta hou ga ii yo.)
It is drizzling now so it would be a good idea to take an umbrella.


(Soto de wa ame ga botabota futteiru ne. Ano kuroi kumo wo miru to, madamada furisou da.)
The rain is falling in big drops. Looking at those black clouds, I would guess it is going to rain evenmore.


(Zaazaa futtekisou dakara, yamu made ie de machimashou.)
It seems it is going to be a heavy rain so let’s wait at home until it stops.