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  • Writer's pictureJason Khoh

Eleven cats by Noboru Baba

One of my favourite picture books to read to my daughters is 「11ぴきのねこ」(Eleven Cats) by Noboru Baba.

It’s a humorous tale about a clowder of half-starved cats who go on a wild adventure to capture a giant fish who supposedly lurks in a far-away lake.

But I just love the onomatopoeia they use for the cats’ cries. It’s not the oft-seen 「ニャー」、「ニャオ」or 「ニャッ」(nyaa, nyao or nya) - instead the author uses 「ニャゴ」 and 「ゴロニャーン」(nyago & goro nyaaan). Too cute, right?!?

What’s your favourite Japanese onomatopoeia for animal sounds?

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