Sunday Soundcheck 52

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This week’s sound is pi, pronounced kind of like ‘pea’ and written with hiragana as ぴ and katakana as ピ.

Here’s one we use in photo society a lot. Pinto (ピント) refers to focus, usually ‘in focus’. Oddly enough, this word is taken from the Dutch ‘brandpunt’, even though the pronunciation is very different.

Piripiri (ぴりぴり) is the biting sensation of something spicy.

Let’s throw in an extra here for humor’s sake. When I first came to Japan, someone was asking me about using a piipii ketoru (ピーピーケトル). Well, ketoru is just ‘kettle’ and the sound is pretty easy to pick up, but piipii sounds like ‘pee-pee’, which really got me wondering what kind of kettle they wanted me to use: my guess was chamber pot. As it turns out, piipii is the sound of a baby chick, like ‘peep’, but it also is used for the whistling sound of a tea kettle. I was greatly relieved, er, no pun intended.

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