Saturday, November 11, 2006

The Way of Saying Falling Snow

I got a question from alex about onomatopoeia of falling snow. Here are my answers.

1, Hira-hira (ひらひら)= fluttering: like a falling petals

Ex) Yuki ga "Hira-hira" maiolilu. (雪がひらひら舞い降りる)

2, Shin-shin to (しんしんと/深深と)= falling thick and fast

Ex) Yuki ga "Shin-shin" to furu. (雪がしんしんと降る)

3, Doka-doka to (ドカドカと) = heavily: like things appears in large quantities at one time.

Ex) Yiki ga “Doka-doka to” furu. (雪がドカドカと降る)

4, Bota-bota to (ボタボタと) = dropping: similar to Doka-doka. Bota-bota is each thing is big and they drop.

Ex) Yuki ga “Bota-bota to” Ochiru. (雪がボタボタと落ちる)

5, Kon-kon to (こんこんと)=repeatedly

Ex) Yuki ga “Kon-kon to” furu. (雪がこんこんと降る)

6, Sala-sala (さらさら) = smoothly

Ex) Yuki ga “Sara-sara“ furu. (雪がさらさらと降る)

I use No, 1 to 4 commonly. No, 5 and 6 are found in my dictionary I hardly use. These are more like adverbs used when people express how snow is falling. In fact, I am amazed that Japanese language has lots of way for expressing things in sounds. Moreover, most of them are repeated like “Shin-shin”.

It’s time for enjoying winter in Japan! I just hope snow causes accidents or disasters like last year.


Anonymous said...

Ah! Its interesting to know these words, I think, I will try to use them, when we get snow this year!

Pierre-Yann said...

What is the meaning of the verbs maiolilu and Ochiru?
Why not furu?

Anonymous said...

Thankyou...more new words to learn! Did you say that these words are written in Hiragana?

kayanon said...

Hi fabi!

do you have snow there? Use them when you find good chance!

kayanon said...


maiolilu is falling slowly like petals. Ochiru means falling rapidly like apple from a tree. I don't know the reason why, but we use different verbs depending on adverbs like the examples.

kayanon said...


Yes, these words are normally written in Hiragana or Katakana.

Pierre-Yann said...


You writed maiolilu with "lu" and Ochiru with "ru". If I'm correct, it's the same "ru" syllable. I have learned to pronounce the Japaneses r more like a French l than a r (I think it's the same for English). So, apparently, you use both pronunciation. Is it some rule for choosing the good one?

kayanon said...


we don't use lu and ru differently. However, i think words sometimes similar to lu or ru, so i just wrote like that. maybe most of る sound is written as ru.

Anonymous said...

Wow, you got more for it than we do :-)
But still along way to go when it comes to the eskimos that have around twenty I think.

Wish you a nice weekend!

kayanon said...


Are there eskimos in Norway? They live in snow dome or something. I learned about them at school, but less knowledge abou them...