Many animes are named with only kanas, which offers a good practice opportunity; also, their posters have interesting fonts so reading them is a challenge. Sometimes, the English name of the anime is very different from the Japanese one, though. Give a try to the following ones:
Japanese has hundreds of onomatopoeias, and people use them all the time! They come in three flavors. Like English, we have descriptions for sounds of living beings, like dogs and cats, or people snoring; and for sounds of nature, like wind, or thunder. Unlike English, there is a third class that describes feelings and emotions, like ‘blushing’ or ‘sparkling’ [Japanese101].
Onomatopoeias are always written in kanas, sometimes in hiragana, sometimes in katakana. Some of the most common ones are:
sounds from animals and people
In English, dogs and cats go ‘woof’ and ‘meow’, while in Japanese they go ‘wan’ and ‘nyaa’. These are so common that kids call dogs ‘wan-chan’, and cats ‘nyan-ko’.
haa! nyan-ko da!
haa! It’s a kitty cat!
sounds from nature
The most popular sound effect of all romantic mangas has to be ‘doki-doki’, the sound of a heart pounding; it shows up in romantic encounters, and during suspense scenes. ‘pon’ is like the English sound effect ‘tap’: a small drum goes ‘pon-pon’, tapping someone on the shoulder is ‘pon’, and so on.
‘kira-kira’ is ‘to twinkle’, so ‘twinkle-twinkle little star’ in Japanese is ‘kira-kira boshi’.
We might be familiar with ‘pika-pika’, which means ‘to shine’ or ‘to glitter’, because it’s the sound that Pikachu makes in the Pokemon series.