In case you need to shed some tears (quite possibly when seeing you have 500 Anki reviews due today), Japanese has a wide range of crying words for you to choose from. But what really stands out is a 3-pack of tears based on changing one sound.
Do you want to cry (泣く) with:
And if these weren’t confusing enough to remember, each one is used base on your tear level.
– When you continue to cry and tears drop one at a time.
– When your crying increases and your tear droplets begin to fall faster.
– When your crying is full force and the tears pour with ferocity.
Hint on how to make a crying friend:
Next time you see a crying Japanese person on the street, you can ask them if they are currently ほろほろ、ぽろぽろ、or ぼろぼろ. Guaranteed friend for life!
Super bonus educational note (スーパー教育タイムスタート！): there are many other onomatopoeia words that fall in triplets, changing one sound, like the above. The trick: base hiragana is weakest, hiragana with the circle dakuten is stronger, and hiragana with quotation marks dakuten is strongest.
Example: Wind blowing – ひゅうひゅう、ぴゅうぴゅう、びゅうびゅう
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