4 In Korean Lessons

Mimetic Words and Onomaetopoeia in Korean: Part 1

한국어는 소릿글이다

Korean is a language that is highly based on ‘sound’ and is also rich and expressive. One thing I love about Korean is it’s intonation. I always marvel at how their tones rise and fall in every sentence. (I have never heard koreans speaking motonously in everyday life)

But as I progress to learn more, I realise that much of their adverbs (부사) are mimetic words (의태어) and onomaetopoeia is also featured prominently in their speech. Let’s look at some adverbs related to WALKING.

저벅저벅: with heavy footsteps and taking big strikes ( 발을 크고 묵직하게 내디디며 잇따라 걷는 소리. 또는 그 모양)

 성큼성큼: taking big strides (다리를 잇따라 높이 들어 크게 떼어 놓는 모양)

 So if you want to add on the property of SOUND, use 저벅저벅.

So what are some other ways to walk?

느릿느릿: slowly, sluggishly

사뿐사뿐: with soft, muffled steps (lightly)

살금살금: stealthily, walk on tip toes

가만가만: walk with soft steps

여러분은 어떻게 걸어요?

So how do you walk?

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    JL
    28 May, 2009 at 4:21 PM

    Hmmm, yeah I noticed a lot of Korean verbs are also mimetic. Like 똑똑하다, 쌀쌀하다. Not too sure about how i walk XD

    • Reply
      hangukdrama
      29 May, 2009 at 1:34 PM

      haha 😀 Korean really sounds beautiful with the mimetic words ^^

  • Reply
    alodia
    5 February, 2011 at 8:34 AM

    I love Korean onomaetopoeia. I even had my Korean friend use this topic as the subject for her speech on her english class in our university. It was a success. ^^

  • Reply
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