There are many hurdles to overcome in learning to speak Japanese naturally, but the biggest is learning to use onomatopoeia in the way that the Japanese do: to give nuance or shades of meaning. This text is divided into two parts. The first is an introduction to the subject for beginners. It defines onomatopoeia as it is used in both English and Japanese, explains its role in Japanese language and culture, and gives examples of usage. The second part shows onomatopoeia in action through 11 dialogues. These dialogues represent ordinary situations in which onomatopoeia would typically be used. Each dialogue is given in Japanese script, romanization, and English translation. Each of the onomatopoeic words is then taken up in a short commentary in which more examples are given and cultural background explained. The book concludes with an index of both English and Japanese words.