korean onomatopoeia / korean mimetic
korean mimetic

Weeseongeo (의성어) is a term used for the name of Korean Onomatopoeia. “Onomatopoeia” is a very long Greek word and it means something quite simple. It means words that imitate sounds like a cat that makes a sound “Meow, meow, meow”, and it’s been turned into a word either “mew, mew, mew, mew” or “meow”, “miaow” three different spellings. I’m sure your language also have words for these sounds as well, but they may be different because of your language having different vowel sounds in it and so on. You probably have words for sounds, but they won’t be exactly the same, probably, as the English version.

Like other languages Korean language also has onomatopoeia. Korean Onomatopoeia also based on sounds of objects or animals. In fact, you don’t need to worry about using them because a lot of them are rarely used in daily life by the new generation of Korean. Korean Onomatopoeia (의성어) is made up of Korean vowels and consonants so if you don’t understand Korean letters first read those characters.

Korean onomatopoeic words help you to learn Korean because these words have Korean dialects. Korean onomatopoeic words are different from English onomatopoeic words for example when a dog bark English speaker says “woof, woof” but in Korean people say, “멍멍 (meong-meong).” This might be a confusion in the early days but if you continue to do practice you will be able to master these onomatopoeic words heeseongeo (의성어). Here is a list of Korean onomatopoeia. heeseongeo (의성어) which are divided categorically like sounds of animals, sounds of objects, sounds of humans, sounds of nature, etc.

Korean animal sounds

의성어pronunciationEnglish meaning
개굴개굴gaegulgaegulRibbit of a frog
구구guguCoo of a pigeon
까악까악kkaakkkaakCaw of a crow
깎깎ggakk-ggakkThe caw of a raven
꼬꼬댁 꼬꼬꼬꼬 kko kkoCluck of a hen
꼬끼오kkokkioCrow of a rooster.
꿀꿀kkulkkulOink of a pig
멍멍 meongmeongBark of a dog
부엉부엉bueongbueongHoot of an owl
붕붕/윙윙Bung bungBuzz of a bee
삐약삐약PPiyakChirping of a chick
야옹yaongMeow of a cat
음메eummeBaa of a sheep, moo of a cow
짹짹chek chekSound of a sparrow
찍찍chik-chikSqueak of a mouse
캉캉 멍멍 khang, khang, mung mungwoof, bowwow of a dog
히잉(hi-ing)the sound of a horse

Human sound

꽝 (ggwang) – a crashing sound (also the sound made when you lose a game)
꿀꺽꿀꺽 – gulp gulp
냠냠 / 쩝쩝 – Sound made when chewing food
냠냠 is a cute sound(yum-yum??)
쩝쩝 is a bad sound(Sound you make when you eat noisily).
우걱우걱 – Sound made when chewing food
두근두근 – Sound and feel of a throbbing heart
새근새근 – Breathing of a sleeping baby
쉿! – Shh! Hush!
쏙닥쏙닥 – Sound of whispering
아야 – Ouch!
앗 – Oops!
엉엉 – eongeong | Cry of a baby.(bawling)
음 – Um…
짝짝짝 – Sound of clap
쪽 – jjok | Smooch of a kiss. Sound of kiss (smack)
콜록콜록 – kollok-kollo | Sound of a cough.

Korean onomatopoeia sounds

개골개골 ribbit ribbit
꼬끼오 cock-a- doodle-do
달그락 달그락 – clattering sound of horse hoofs, a typewriter or cutlery, clack of doing the dishes or anything
뒹굴뒹굴 a rolling object, or a lazy man shifting his body on the floor
드르렁드르렁 (duh-ruh-reong-duh-ruh-reong) – snoring
딩동 – dingdong | Ring of a doorbell.
따끈따끈 (ttaggeun-ttaggeun) – a feeling of warmth
따르릉 – ttareureung | the sound that a phone makes when it rings
딸랑딸랑 – Jingle Jingle
땡땡땡 – Clang Clang
똑똑 – ttokttok | Knock on a door.
똑똑똑 – Knock knock!
뚜벅뚜벅 – tip tap tip tap
뚬바뚬바 acapella sound
미끌매끌 (mikkeul-maekkeul) – to be slippery, taken from 미끄럽다 (mikkeuropda, to be slippery)
반짝반짝 (banjjak-banjjak) – to be glittering or sparkling
방글방글 (banggeul-banggeul) – to smile beamingly
보들보들 (bodeul-bodeul) – soft and cuddly
부글부글/보글보글 the bubbling of boiling water
부릉부릉 (bu-reung-bu-reung) – car engine revving
부릉부릉 vroom of a car
빵 (bbang) – the bang of a gun (and, coincidentally enough, the word for bread)
빵빵 – ppangppang – Sound of a horn (car)
뽀글뽀글 (bogeul-bogeul) – the bubbling of boiling water
뿅 – poof (sound of one suddenly appearing/disappearing)
삐걱삐걱 – Squeak Squeak
삐뽀삐뽀 (bbibbo-bbibbo) – police or firetruck siren
새근새근 breathing of a sleeping baby
솔솔 (sol-sol) – leaves on a gentle breeze
쉿 (shwit) – shhhh, “Be quiet please,” or “Shut up!” if used more forcefully
아야 (a-ya) – Ouch!
엉엉 (eong-eong) – crying, boo-hoo of a weeping man
에취 (eh-chwi) – Achoo!
올긋볼긋 (olgeut-bolgeut) – to be many colors / picturesque
왁자지껄/와글와글/시끌벅적 hubbub
우르릉 (oo-ruh-rung) – the rumbling of an earthquake or landslide
윙윙 buzz of a bee
잉잉 (ing-ing) – whimpering
지글지글 sizzle
짝짝짝 (jjakjjakjjak) – clapping sound (often used in chants at sports events)
째깍째깍 – Sound of a clock
쨍그랑 – jjaenggeurang | Clink of wine glasses.
쨍쨍 (jjaeng-jjaeng) – a blazing sun
철썩철썩 (cholssok-cholssok) – splashing
첨벙 splash of something falling into the water
추록추록 (chu-rok-chu-rok) – falling raindrops
치카치카 (chika-chika) – the sound of someone brushing their teeth
칙칙폭폭 – chikchikpokpok | Choo Choo of a train, Sound of a train
콸콸 (kwal-kwal) – bubbling stream water
쾅 – kwang | Thump of something dropping, Crashing sound, a door clam
쿨쿨 snoring
쿵 (kung) – the sound of a thud
탕,쾅 – Bang!
톡톡 tap tap
투덜투덜 mutter, mumble of person
하하하 (hahaha) – laughing
헐레벌떡 hurly-burly of a hurrying, confused person
활활 (hwal-hwal) – a burning fire
후두두 pitter-patter of rain
휭휭 (hwing-hwing) – sound of the wind

korean mimetic words

의태어 is a term used for korean mimetic.

반짝반짝 – (banjjakbanjjak) – describes sparkling things such as jewelry or stars
두근두근 – (dugeundugeun) – heart throbbing
주룩주룩 – (jurukjuruk) – sound of rain pouring down
쿵쿵 – (kungkung) – sound of footsteps pounding
쨍쨍 – (jjaengjjaeng) – sound to describe a blazing hot sun
솔솔 – (solsol) – describes a gentle, soft breeze
말랑말랑 – (mallangmallang) – describes specific soft and chewy food
성큼성큼 – sungkhum sungkhum – stride
두근두근 – dugun dugun – throb, beat (fast)
살랑살랑 – sallang sallang(바람이 부는 모양) gently
설렁설렁 – seollong seollong (blow) gently, softly
우물쭈물 – umul chumul – hesitantly, hesitatingly, indecisively
다닥다닥 – tadak tadak – back to back

korean onomatopoeia / korean mimetic