What does Japanese word “Zaa Zaa“ mean?

Onomatopoeia and mimetic words

"Zaa Zaa" must sound like such a strange word. There are in fact a ton of funny "onomatopoeia" (words that imitate sounds) and "mimetic words"(words created by imitating the way things are) in Japanese! Since they are easy to remember, let's integrate some of them in to your vocabulary so you can start to use them too. Your Japanese friends will be sure to get a kick out of hearing you use them!  


So, what does "Zaa zaa" mean? The answer is ③ - The sound of hard rain (or water). Grammatically speaking, "zaa zaa" is an « adverb » (words that modify a verb etc.) and comes from the sound of intense flowing water. Doesn't it sound like heavy rain ? Zaa zaa zaa...? The word can be translated to English as 'hard' or 'heavy' (rain or water).

How is it written?

Usually, this word is written in katakana "ザーザー". Katakana is often used to emphasize unusual or funny pronunciations. To transcribe double vowels such as "Zaa Zaa" in Katakana, you put a straight line for the second vowel

                              za  a   za  a


How  is it used ? 

You can use it like this :

きのうは、あめがザーザーふりました。(Kinō wa, ame ga zaa zaa furi-mashita)

Yesterday, it rained hard.

In Japanese sentences, a verb always comes at the end. So, the verb of this sentence is « furi-mashita ».

« mashita » express « past tense ». « Adverbs » are generally placed right before the verb.

あめがザーザーふっていますね。(Ame ga zaa zaa  futte i-masu ne!)

It is raining heavily, isn't it?

« futte i-masu » is composed of the TE form of the verb « furi-masu » (means rain or fall) + the verb « i-masu ».

« TE form + i-masu » describes an action in progress. Like verbs that end in 'ing' in English.

You can learn more about TE form, in the premium version of the « noriko » App.

Next time it rains hard, call your Japanese friend and say...

                               « あめがザーザーふっていますよ! » Ame ga zaa zaa futte i-masu yo!





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