The Dangerously Trilingual Thaïs may have posted the funniest straight-faced geeky post ever (in French).
Or how a serious warning about Linux installs compatibility starts sounding like the latest Beatrix Botter volume (translation mine):

Whatever you do, do not launch an apt-get dist-upgrade to the new version (still under development) “Breezy Badger” at this time. […] My install, essentially “Hoary Hedgehog” on a base of “Warty Warthog“, worked very well until that fateful moment […]

Thaïs, Dangereuse Trilingue s’il en est, expose ses malheurs informatiques. Je crois que je n’ai jamais autant ri à la lecture d’un compte-rendu de compatibilité entre installations de logiciels:

Quoi que vous fassiez, ne lancez pas un apt-get dist-upgrade vers la version (encore sous développement) « Blaireau Jovial » (« Breezy Badger ») en ce moment. […] Mon install, principalement « Hérisson Chenâtre » sur une base de « Phacochère Verruqueux », marchait parfaitement bien jusqu’à ce moment fatal […]

Mais où se cache donc Lapin Soyeux?

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Among the many items of goodness sold by the pound at Hanamasa (who would have ever thought I would actually *miss* bulk-supply food stores, one day), the giant (for Japan) Tiramisu Ice Cream pot is about as close to food orgasm as one can get with his clothes on.

擬音語 are the Japanese version of Western onomatopeia. They are often used in comics, to add intensity to a scene, describe a noise or even a texture (though technically these would be 擬態語, and not onomatopoeia). But they have a much wider use, often replacing bona fide words or full sentences, in everyday conversations. They nearly all follow the same specific pattern: a group of two syllables repeated twice (pika-pika, pera-pera etc)… which makes them very easy to spot and remember… Using them in your daily conversation will simultaneously propel you to the ranks of l33t native speakers, and make you sound like one of these 13 year-old Japanese schoolgirl with 5 pounds of plushies dangling from her keitai.

I have compiled below a short list of all those I could remember, off the top of my head, along with a few friends’ contributions. I have made arbitrary use of katakana and hiragana, more or less dictated by what I’ve seen more often in writing. Rule of thumb is that most of these can be found in either form, depending on the mood of the author and the type of material it is used with. Mouse-over the kanas to get the romaji pronunciation….

The ubiquitous (all the time, provided you ever watch TV or speak to a Japanese teenager):

  • ピカピカ glittering!
  • ソラソラ sparkling!
  • ギリギリ quick (chop chop!)
  • ぺらぺら fluent (in a language)
  • ぺこぺこ starving
  • モシモシ [when answering the phone]


The commmon

  • ドロドロ messy/dirty (a room, a floor) or muddled (a relationship)
  • チャキチャキ efficient
  • ツルツル smooth, slippery
  • プンプン intense smell or furious anger
  • ポツポツ bit by bit
  • ベタベタ clingy (overeager lovers) or sticky (sweaty gaijin pig)
  • じめじめ humid, damp
  • ゆらゆら flickering

The uncommon (friends use them, dunno how universal they are):

  • バラバラ scattered, all over the place
  • エロエロ [will let you guess that one…]

The rare (those you likely won’t find in a dictionary, as they are total slang):

  • ブリブリ high
  • パキパキ fucked-up (much stronger than the slightly ‘cute’ ブリブリ)

The manga-style (those that sound like a comic strip description all by themselves):

  • キョロキョロ looking around restlessly
  • イライラ getting nervous (also as kanji: 苛々)
  • うろうろ walking aimlessly
  • カチカチ scared motionless

The real deal (actual onomatopeia, such as used in comics):

  • ワンワン bow-wow (dog)
  • ザアザア water sound (rain, river etc), white noise
  • ケラケラ cackle (hen)… [not quite certain]

The fake (not really 擬音語, but still close):

  • 色々 miscellaneous
  • 時々 sometimes
  • 中々 quite, considerably

Now your turn: send me your favorite 擬音語!

So it’s 1am on a Sunday night, not much more has happened in term of exciting stuff ever since my latest week-end update (no more earthquake, no tsunami, no godzilla…), I am busy debugging code written by a maniac who apparently thinks that picking random combinations of three to six letters is a perfectly acceptable naming convention for all functions and variables in a multi-thousand lines program (and yea, I’m aware that this last bit means absolutely nothing to a rough 90% of my beloved readers: please color me equally stumped, albeit not for the same reasons)… It’s time for…

Techie Update of the Month

I have been putting in a bit of long-overdue work into wp-plugins.net, the ultimate WP plugins repository.

Namely: