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Onomatopoeia It's a word that comes from late Latin onomatopoeia, although its origin dates back to a Greek word. It's about the imitation or recreation of the sound of something in the term that is used to mean it . It can also refer to visual phenomena .

For example: "His vehicle was moving in a zigzag until it hit a tree". In this case, the onomatopoeia "zig Zag" refers to an oscillating walk that is perceived with the sense of sight.

The word click, also accepted in Spanish written without the letter "k", is another example of onomatopoeia, and its use is very common today. He click that you hear when you press the mouse (or mouse) has been transformed into a word that allows to refer to that action.

Onomatopoeia are also words or expressions that mimic the sound that animals make , and these are used by young children from many and very diverse cultures, although they are also very common in the literature.

"Wow" (dog), "Meow" (cat), "cheep" (bird), "Quack" (duck), "Kikiriki" (rooster), "Muu" (cow) and "Oink" (pig) are some of the most onomatopoeia popular. It is interesting to note that each language has its own onomatopoeia and many times the differences are considerable, despite the fact that these terms arise from the imitation of the same sounds.

"Wow", "cheep" and "Kikiriki" Castilian become "Woof", "Tweet" and “Cock-a-doodle-doo” In the English language.

Japanese is probably the language with the most onomatopoeia. This language It includes onomatopoeia in everyday speech, something that is not very common in other countries of the world.

Linguistic diversity and the creation of onomatopoeia

The differences Among the onomatopoeias of each language they are a topic that does not interest many people, since they are mainly noticed by those studying a foreign language, but they hide a phenomenon worthy of being discussed in depth.

First, it is important to highlight that not all languages ​​have the same sounds. For example, our pronunciation of the letter "r" is very different from what you receive in English or Japanese; in the latter case, the distance is even greater, given that in Japan others are used alphabet and they do not have a specific character for the "r", but they combine it with a series of vowels, also different from ours.

Having accepted and understood the sound diversity that exists in the world, it is understandable that not all of us have been able to represent the sounds of nature in the same way. But this leads us to ask something that, perhaps, also goes unnoticed: is our capacity auditory limited by the characteristics of our language? That is, does an Irish hear the same as a Spanish? The answer, again, requires a certain theoretical background.

Our brain has the ability (and perhaps, the need) to fill in the blanks with information generated by himself; In other words, it could be understood as a function that tries to make us feel at ease, even if we don't know what is happening around us. If we listen to a conversation in a language we don't understand for a few minutes, we are likely to start perceive certain words in our language, or even some onomatopoeia; brain want to understand.

For this reason, if a person who cannot pronounce the syllable "cro" hears the croaking of a frog, he is expected not to perceive it as a Spanish-speaking person either. Your brain will look for the closest option, making use of the sounds available in the language or languages ​​you know, and this will be convincing for the individual

In short, our first structure linguistics weapon of tools to understand and communicate what we see, hear and feel, but what makes sense in our mind, can be absurd or non-existent in others.

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