Drip! Splash! BANG! These words convey sounds every English-speaker can identify. But how to communicate those sounds in Arabic? As if learning this language wasn’t enough of a challenge, turns out that describing how cats purr or balloons burst is a lexicon onto itself. It’s not just Arabic - sounds are said differently across languages. How will we ever achieve world peace when we can’t even agree on the sound of hiccups?
British physicist James Chapman is pursuing his doctoral degree and, in his down time, he draws adorable cartoons that show how different languages convey the common sounds that things make. Said differently, he illustrates onomatopoeia, issuing new comics every week on his tumblr site (chapmangamo) and his Facebook page (Soundimals). He’s now fundraising on Kickstarter hoping to publish a new book of illustrations titled How to Sneeze in Japanese. Al Bawaba brings you a sampling of his work for the lingo of this region. Did he get it right? BAM!