♪Ton, Ton, Ton♪
Welcome to the third edition of “Japanese language fun time!” Today’s sound is ”Ton(とん/トン)!“
First of all, it has nothing to do with a big amount of something. I’m going to introduce some situations where this sound is used in Japan. Imagine each situation and bend your ear!
Situation1: Cutting green onions
In my book, green onions are a must when it comes to traditional Japanese breakfast. I believe many Japanese people slice them thinly and put them into miso soup or natto. We describe this cutting sound as “ton, ton, ton.” It reminds me of my childhood when I heard my mom making breakfast in the kitchen. The rhythmical sound she created added color to the ordinary peaceful morning and made me feel relieved.
Situation 2: Knocking on a door
”How do you describe the sound of knocking on a door?” I asked some of my foreign friends. They said, “Nothing.” Japanese people might be big fans of using onomatopoeia. We could say, “He knocked on the door” without using the words “ton ton,” but adding “ton, ton” and saying, “He knocked on the door, ton, ton” helps us imagine the person knocking calmly. If the person is upset or angry, we say “don don” instead of “ton ton.” In this situation, saying ton twice or three times is common.
Situation 3: When everything went well so smoothly
When everything went smoothly and quickly, we say, “Ton ton byoshi ni susunda.” It is said that “ton ton” is from the stepping sound of dancers on the stage when they tapped the floor to the clapping of their coach. “Byoshi” is the voiced sound of “hyoshi,” and it means beats per measure. Can you imagine the situation in which you feel like skipping up the steps to the rhythmical sound? That’s ton ton!
Bonus Time :
Lastly, let me add more locations where you can find tons. When something has a sharp tip, we call it “tongatteiru.” Pencils are good examples. Also, some mountains are called “tongari yama” from the triangular shape of the top.
Like this, you’ll see tons of tons in Japan!
Thank you for joining today’s Japanese language fun time! Are you feeling peckish? Why don’t we snack on Tongari Corn?
Don’t miss checking out the first and second editions of “Japanese language fun time” too!
★First edition→ Huuuuu!!
★Second edition→ Jyan!!
Working for an English language school. My source of energy is our students’ smiles full of curiosity. I love visiting my friends in and outside of Japan.