Friday, March 2, 2018

Sounds Animals Make in Japanese

For reference, a vocabulary list of sounds animals make in Japanese containing the onomatopoeia commonly used in manga, games, etc. Note that some of these words don't really sound like the sounds animals make in reality, but they're the ones that are written anyway.

See the "cry" section for the word for "crying" in Japanese.

The following words do not have kanji, they're only written with hiragana or with katakana. The katakana version is in the parentheses, by the way.

nya にゃ (ニャ)
nyaa にゃー (ニャー)
nyan にゃん (ニャン)
Sound made by "cats," neko 猫.

wan わん (ワン)
wanwan わんわん (ワンワン)
Sound made by "dogs," inu 犬.

kon こん (コン)
konkon こんこん (コンコン)
Sound made by "foxes," kitsune 狐.
(as demonstrated in Flying Witch, this is totally wrong, foxes don't make these sounds.)

buu ぶー (ブー)
buhi ぶひ (ブヒ)
buubuu ぶーぶー (ブーブー)
buhibuhi ぶひぶひ (ブヒブヒ)
Sound made by "pigs," buta 豚.
(note: buhiru ブヒる, literally "to buhi," is an anime slang referring to the squeal of a "moe pig")

Buhi buhi says pig Napoleon, ナポレオン・豚「ブヒブヒ」 transcript from manga School Rumble スクールランブル
Manga: School Rumble

meee めぇー (メェー)
meeemeee めぇーめぇー (メェーメェー)
meemeee めーめー (メーメー)
meemee メェメェ (メェメェ)
Sound made by "sheep," hitsuji 羊.

kokekokkou こけこっこう
kokekokkoo コケコッコー
kokko こっこ (コッコ)
Sound made by "chickens," roosters, niwatori ニワトリ.

piyo ぴよ (ピヨ)
piyopiyo ぴよぴよ (ピヨピヨ)
piipii ぴーぴー (ピーピー)
Sound made by "chicks," hiyoko ヒヨコ.

pipipipi ぴぴぴぴ (ピピピピ)
chichichichi ちちちち (チチチチ)
Sound made by "birds," tori 鳥.
*chirping.* Tweet.

gaagaa がぁがぁ (ガーガー)
Sounds made by "ducks," ahiru アヒル.

hoo ほー (ホー)
hoohoo ほーほー (ホーホー)
Sound made by "owls," fukurou フクロウ.

hihiin ひひーん (ヒヒーン)
Sound made by "horses," uma 馬.

moo もー (モー)
Sound made by "cows," ushi 牛.

ukii うきー (ウキー)
kya'kya' キャッキャッ
Sound made by "monkeys," saru 猿.

gaoo がおー (ガオー)
Sounds made by "lions," raion ライオン.

chuuchuu ちゅーちゅー (チューチュー)
Sound made by "rats," nezumi ネズミ.

kerokero けろけろ (ケロケロ)
kuwa'kuwa' くわっくわっ (クワックワッ)
gekogeko げこげこ (ゲコゲコ)
Sound made by "frogs," kaeru 蛙.

shuu しゅー (シュー)
Sound made by "snakes," hebi 蛇.

paoon ぱおーん (パオーン)
Sound made by "elephants," zou 象.


The words about the "cry" of an animal and some notes.

naru 鳴る
To make its sound. (for example, for a bell to chime.)

naku 鳴く
To cry. (animal.)
To meow. (cat.)
To bark. (dog.)
To sing. (bird.)
To oink. (pig.)

naku 泣く
To cry. (tears. Homonym with the above but totally different.)

naku 無く
Without. (another homonym that has nothing to do with the above.)

saezuru 囀る
To chirp. To twitter.

tsubuyaku 呟く
To murmur.
To tweet. (on Twitter! Not of birds twittering!)

naki 鳴き
Crying. (of an animal.)

nakigoe 鳴き声
Crying voice. (of an animal.)
The sound an animal makes.

doubutsu no nakigoe 動物の鳴き声
Crying voice of animals.
The sound animals make.

nakigoe 泣き声
Crying voice. (in tears.)
Sobbing voice, etc.

Screencap of Charmander, hitokage ヒトカゲ entry on pokemon firered pokédex showing the word nakigoe for the cry of the pokemon.

What Does The Fox Say?

According to the onomatopoeia above, a fox says konkon こんこん in Japanese. Just like the title of that manga and anime, Inari, Konkon, Koi Iroha いなり、こんこん、恋いろは. But do foxes really say konkon?

Well, not exactly. Because the exact sound an animal makes at a time varies. But then what's the point of these onomatopoeia?! Well, regardless of whether foxes do say konkon or not, the fact is when you see konkon in manga, it's about foxes. Because Japan has memed it to death been saying it's konkon for ages so if you ask anyone they'll probably say that.

キツネって なんて鳴くの? キツネはコンコンって鳴くんですよ へー コンコンかー 聞いてみたいなー ワンッ! transcript from manga Flying Witch ふらいんぐうぃっち
Manga: Flying Witch / Furaingu Wicchi ふらいんぐうぃっち

  • kitsune tte
    nante naku no?

    キツネって なんて鳴くの?
    Foxes, what [do they] cry?
  • nyaa nyaa
    Meow meow?
  • kitsune wa
    konkon tte
    naku-n-desu yo

    キツネは コンコンって 鳴くんですよ
    Foxes cry konkon.
  • he~ へー
  • konkon ka~ コンコンかー
    Konkon, huh?
  • kiite
    mitai na~

    聞いて みたいなー
    [I'd like to] hear it~
  • wan'! ワンッ!

If you want to know what sound a fox really makes, don't check Japanese onomatopoeia, check a video with foxes in them.


Animal Words

1 comment:

Leave your komento コメント in this posuto ポスト of this burogu ブログ with your questions about Japanese, doubts or whatever!

All comments are moderated and won't show up until approved. Spam, links to illegal websites, and inappropriate content won't be published.

  1. This was very helpful for my amateur manga.Thank you!