How to sneeze, slurp and burp in different languages

Ellen Stewart
Thursday 03 September 2015 16:50

Achoo, hat xi, achee, hatschi, apchkhi, hapsu, are just some of the ways to make your sneeze multilingual.

We know this thanks to Manchester-based illustrator James Chapman, who is kick starting a Kickstarter to fund the publication of his latest book on onomatopoeia, How to Sneeze in Japanese.

While his previous works, Soundimals, taught us that "woof" in Mandarin is "wong", the new book spells out how to say all those everyday human noises - burping, sneezing, slurping - in a whole bunch of languages.

Chapman told

My love of onomatopoeia comes from how arbitrary it all is, they're all just words chosen that are especially fun to say.

He added:

Dogs don't really go 'woof' or 'ham' (Romanian) or 'meong' (Korean), they're just such nice words to say that might invoke an image in your head.

I love how varied they can be from language to language.

In case you were wondering, his favourite onomatopoeia is the French for "splash", "plouf!"


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