Each language has specific onomatopoeias. I have not yet learned English words of that kind well.

In Japanese the sound of a wood kindling is described like ぼっ/bɔ/. I’d like to know how the sound is described in English.

And if you know some way which is a better way to find onomatopoeias, would you tell me, please?

  • "a wood" = a forest. So perhaps you mean "wood" (uncountable)
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2021 at 8:38
  • Is this the kind of sound you mean? freesound.org/people/CountryRoadFilms/sounds/449049
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2021 at 8:38
  • I can't think of a word for the sound of wood starting to burn (kindling). You can say that a fire crackles, and the sound of flames springing up suddenly (for example, if the wood is soaked in paraffin) could be described as a whoosh. Aug 19, 2021 at 8:39
  • Oh, I forgot about “a wood”! Thank you, James. I saw a sentence: “ The wood is damp and won’t kindle.”, and thought “the” is not appropriate and used “a” instead of “the”. This kind of mistake makes me embarrassed because it happens when I am just not careful!
    – Sota
    Aug 19, 2021 at 9:06
  • And I’m afraid the sound I mean is not that shown in the link, thank you, James.
    – Sota
    Aug 19, 2021 at 9:15

1 Answer 1


Japanese is famous for onomatopoeia. It has a far wider range of both literal and psycho-acoustic onomatopoeia than English.

Wood, as it burns, may crackle, it can pop.

Sound of popping or crackling wood, log, or kindling burning in a fire.

A fire might suddenly start with a "whoosh" or perhaps "whump" sound. The "whump" is heavier and closer to a small explosion.

Learn such words as part of your normal vocabulary. But be aware that whereas in Japanese one may say "It did gorogoro down the hill", in English you'd probably just say "It rolled down the hill".

  • I regret not learning such words as you advise me to. When I read PEANUTS or Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I tend to think about the content of conversations and ignore such words. And I’m aware about the difference of the two languages , thank you. I’m very happy to learn the words “crackle” and “ pop”. Thank you very much for answering!
    – Sota
    Aug 19, 2021 at 9:29
  • I've added some examples of whoosh and whump
    – James K
    Aug 19, 2021 at 10:11
  • James, thank you so much! The /bɔ/ sound is “whump”! The “whoosh” sound I often hear in some games. I can’t thank you too much!
    – Sota
    Aug 19, 2021 at 10:29

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