How to Memorize Onomatopoeia

I’m memorizing onomatopoeia and mimetic words from the book “Korean Vocabulary Practice for Foreigners – Advanced Level”.

Here are some tips to memorize Korean onomatopoeia.

1. Use your imagination.
Just imagine the situation in your head, and imagine the sound of it. Also, imagine the Hangul letters appear, like a scene from a comic book.

For example, let’s say I want to remember 껄껄 (kkeol-kkeol) which is the onomatopoeia for “sound of laughter”.
I imagine Yunho (from TVXQ) laughing because I really like the sound of his laughter (once you hear it, you’ll never forget it).ユンホさん

2. Search Google Image.
Google Image will give you many images related to the onomatopoeia word and will reinforce it in your mind.

3. Search Korean online bookstore.
Search for the onomatopoeia word to get some books with the word in the title.

덜컹덜컹 as book titles.

덜컹덜컹 as book titles.

I’ll retain the word because I like books and that way I find more usage of it.

4. “Do” it while saying the word.

For example to memorize 찰칵 (chal-kak) which is the sound of a camera taking a picture, I’ll pretend to take a picture with my camera and say “chal-kak, chal-kak, chal-kak”.

5. Search Twitter to see how Koreans use the word in sentences.

Usually I’ll get celebrities’ tweets as top results, and the word I searched for is highlighted in bold, make it easier to find out how it’s used in a sentence. ###

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