Today I Learned about Mimetic Words & Onomatopoeia (의태어 & 의성어)

I’m reading Korean Vocabulary Practice for Foreigners – Intermediate – Japanese version.
The English version is also available at

Chapter 11

The last chapter, where the fun begins.

I started reading from the last chapter, which explains about proverbs, 4-letter idioms, and onomatopoeia for TOPIK intermediate level.

Today I finished the part about onomatopoeia and mimetic words (20 words in total), which must be familiar for you if you enjoy online Korean comic strip on Naver and Daum.

The explanation is concise and clear. But I wonder why the book doesn’t give the exact Japanese onomatopoeic words, and instead, just inserts the original Korean word in the Japanese sentence. As always, Naver dictionary solves my problem.

의성어. Onomatopoeia.

의태어. Mimetic words.

The exercise part gives more sample situation where the words can be used.


Exercise on 의성어.

So next, I’ve got proverbs (속담) and idiomatic phrases (관용어) left but that’s for tomorrow. ###


3 thoughts on “Today I Learned about Mimetic Words & Onomatopoeia (의태어 & 의성어)

  1. Yay, that looks fun! Whenever I read webtoons or manhwas, I always see those “sound effects” which feels weird when I read, because I’m not really familiar with all of them. And I always wonder if that’s how a particular action or movement really sounds so I end up trying to make the same movement to confirm. XD

    I envy you~ I think your memory is really good to remember a lot of things in a short period of time. I want to be like you too, so I’ll study harder. ^^


    • “Sound effect”, that’s a good term. Why didn’t I think of that? My memory is just average. It just happens that I’m interested in memorizing these words right now. I can’t memorize things I’m not interested in. Let’s study harder!


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