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Thread: What does Waiwai mean ?

  1. #1
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    Question What does Waiwai mean ?


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    According to an E-dictionary, waiwai (わいわい) means "be noisy; make a lot of noise."
    OneLang.com says, waiwai is a reduplicated word of wai; "wai - Often used as 'wai-wai,' sound of excitement like 'woohoo;' this is a childish word in Japan sometimes used by women in a self-parodying 'cute' manner."
    Wikipedia says it is a South East Asian pre-cooked noodle eaten out of the packaging.

    There is a radio station called something-Waiwai that gave disaster relief for the tsunami victims.
    Manichi shimbun has a Waiwai column for controversial stories by outside reports.
    So I think waiwai is used to call interesting, exciting, and a little strange or unusual things that make people go "really ? wow !"

    The E-dictionary definition has a ready connection to the other slangish definitions of "tabloid gossip, exciting story, scandalous story, sexually-oriented story."

    What is the real meaning of waiwai; is it really an Otaku word borrowed into English, or is it simply an Otaku word that has spread within Japan with an extended meaning ?
    [B][SIZE=1] [COLOR=Blue] Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay. [/COLOR]
    --[url=http://www.newsjourney.com/modules.php?name=News&file=print&sid=8]Zhuangzi[/url] [/SIZE][/B]
  2. #2
    Chuunin Level Shinobi
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    doesnt wai-wai mean "hello hello" in cantonese?
  3. #3
    Hullu Male
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    Wai! - This is an exclamation we use a lot in Japanese. It's like saying "Yeah!" or "Yay!". We use it a lot when we're really happy.
    ワイワイ wai-wai the sound of children playing in Japanese

    The Polynesian word for prosperity, "wai wai" , also refers to a great outflow of sweet water from a spring
    In Hawaii this is
    ~ Parempi hullu kuin tylsä - Better crazy than boring ~
    http://www.fin-style.be/blog -> My Blog about Finland and other random thingies.
  4. #4
    相変わらず不束者です Female
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    Hi!

    "Wai-wai" is onomatopoeia for noise of people talking all at once, like at a party, festival, classroom, etc. It suggests people coming together in lively discussion or festive celebration. That's the reason why it is used very often in names of things to suggest gathering of people.

    "Wai-wai" is also used to express the sound of a person crying but is used this way less frequently.

    As for "waiwai" noodles, I don't know... It's probably not Japanese.
  5. #5
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    Originally Posted by eastsidefunksta
    doesnt wai-wai mean "hello hello" in cantonese?
    I don't speak Cantonese, but in Mandarin telephone greeting is "wei2" or "wei1wei2," I think. Perhaps this is related to your Cantonese hello ?
  6. #6
    Join Date Sep 28, 2003
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    Originally Posted by lexico
    I don't speak Cantonese, but in Mandarin telephone greeting is "wei2" or "wei1wei2," I think. Perhaps this is related to your Cantonese hello ?
    You're right. But I never heard it (doesn't mean very much, though) doubled as waiwai, only in the single version. Cantonese normally use it when they take up the phone (as do other Chinese with Mandarin wei)
  7. #7
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    "Wai-wai" is onomatopoeia for noise of people talking all at once, like at a party, festival, classroom, etc. It suggests people coming together in lively discussion or festive celebration. That's the reason why it is used very often in names of things to suggest gathering of people.
    What about ワウワウ (Wowwow) ? Are there similar roots in natural, spoken Japanese ? Or is it only as the name of a broadcast company ?

    The strongest association in English of course is to "bow wow" but for some reason that doesn't seem to make much sense to the Japanese people I've asked.
    たとえ辛くても、永遠に続く苦しみなどないでしょう。
  8. #8
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    hum...
    When I phone to my cousin in Hong kong it's usually "Wei?" but hardly "WeiWei?" which is sometimes (rarely in fact) used by people who talk to chidlren or by people who act like kids (usually teen girls).
    As for Wai it's more like "hey" like in "Hey you there" or "Hey, you! that's enough". However I don't recall someone saying "waiwai"
    One of the most adventurous things left for us is to go to bed. For no one can lay a hand on our dreams....
  9. #9
    Join Date Sep 28, 2003
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    Originally Posted by dreamer
    As for Wai it's more like "hey" like in "Hey you there" or "Hey, you! that's enough". However I don't recall someone saying "waiwai"
    Asked my girlfriend about it: Wai is the standard if you pick up the phone, waiwai is only used if you didn't get a response or couldn't understand it.
  10. #10
    Join Date Mar 6, 2005
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    ya, if i say waiwai, when the noodles are ready-

    this equals well-well in english, or u-oh if *something* happens on television.

    u-oh is an apish vocal showing excitement or surprise.

    now, the immediate eating of the noodles is "wai-wai"?

    wai-wai make the noodles
    wai-wai, the ingredients
    wai-wai now ready wai wai now eating waiwai.

    you tell me that's all false?
    it is true to me
  11. #11
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    Talking PC Brigade Marches On !

    Mandarin /wei2/ 'haloo ?' in the rising tone definitely sounds soft and comforting.
    Mandarin /wei4/ '(what) for !' in the falling tone definitely sounds stiff, pushy, or demanding.
    This /wei4/ can also be an ejection of surprise or disppointment as when you dropped an egg on the floor.

    I just realized that this thread is in Leraning English forum.
    I've also noticed that /wai/ or /hwai/ is 'why' in English.
    But English is like a black hole, or the Sea of Wild Sargasso.
    It would sound rather dumb to say 'why ? why ?' twice in a row.
    Unless an 'ask' was omitted in 'why ask why ?'
    But that would also make perfect sense in colloquial writing.

    Korean 왜 /wae/ is also 'why.'
    A reduplicated 왜왜 /waewae/ would mean extreme excitement, more like an emergency situation.
    Also 왜 倭 is the Ancient name for Japan proper used before 日本.
    To reduplicate it could be taken as an insult, and should be avoided at all costs.
    Maybe that's why we were discouraged from asking why.
    It can also sound confrontational, too.
    'Don't ask too many questions, or you'll burn !'
    Is that a Yakuza saying, by the way ?
    How about saying how-how in play of why-why ?

    If poeple knew this, I think they might reconsider using /waiwai/ in everyday speech.
    In order to be politically correct, not even women, girls, or children should to given priviledge to use this cute term.
    But that's my opinion. For noodles, I guess it's okay.

    btw, have you watched Wild Sargasso ? Excellent movie ! Why ? Because.
  12. #12
    先輩 Male
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    Originally Posted by lexico
    Mandarin /wei2/ 'haloo ?' in the rising tone definitely sounds soft and comforting.
    Mandarin /wei4/ '(what) for !' in the falling tone definitely sounds stiff, pushy, or demanding.
    This /wei4/ can also be an ejection of surprise or disppointment as when you dropped an egg on the floor.
    Actually, the correct pronounciation of 喂 is wei4.

    The second tone, wei2, don't exist in official mandarin. Therefore, one can never find this pronounciation in the dictionary.

    However, wei2, is commonly used, it is most commonly used when one pick up a phone. If one were to use wei4 when one pick up a phone, it is generally considered rude.

    wei2:
    1. Used most commonly when one pick up a phone. The tone is soft and rising.

    Example:
    wei2, who are you? (once you pick up the phone)

    wei4:
    1. Used to call people.
    2. It is used when you want to surprise people.
    3. It is used when you want to get attention.
    4. to feed

    Example:
    1. wei4, where you want to go?
    In this situation it is not rude to used wei4, and it is very common for people to use it.

    2. wei4, your pen drop on the floor.
    It is used to get attention of the listener, so it is not rude too.

    3. wei4, shut the door.
    In this case, some people might perceive it as rude, as it is like ordering a person to do something for you.
  13. #13
    Join Date Sep 28, 2003
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    Originally Posted by seasurfer
    Actually, the correct pronounciation of 喂 is wei4.

    The second tone, wei2, don't exist in official mandarin. Therefore, one can never find this pronounciation in the dictionary.
    Actually, I looked it up in my green dictionary (by Commercial Press, Beijing) & it really isn't there. This is a rather small dictionary, though.

    It's interesting nevertheless. Are you saying that even in more elaborate dictionaries it's not included (because it's not officially approved)? Then the approach to dictionaries in China is different from where I live.
    Dictionaries should be descriptive, not prescriptive!
  14. #14
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    Originally Posted by bossel
    Actually, I looked it up in my green dictionary (by Commercial Press, Beijing) & it really isn't there. This is a rather small dictionary, though.

    It's interesting nevertheless. Are you saying that even in more elaborate dictionaries it's not included (because it's not officially approved)? Then the approach to dictionaries in China is different from where I live.
    Dictionaries should be descriptive, not prescriptive!
    Hi,

    When we talk about chinese dictionary, I think one should also approach dictionaries published by Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore. As these are the places where there are solid amount of chinese speakers.

    Going back to the question. I actually didn't realize this problem until I saw the thread 3 days ago. I wanted to reply immediately, to make sure whatever I say is right, I decided to check dictionaries, to my surprise, I can't find the 2nd tone in any existing dictionaries I know and have access to. I couldn't believe it myself, am I pronouncing it wrongly for more than 20 years? Is everyone around me wrong as well? I asked my friends in Taiwan and China, how do they pronounce it. They, like me, pronounce the 2nd tone too. But when asked why is it not included in the dictionary, no one that I know could answer it. I have been doing research on it for these 2 days, only to no avail.

    Yes, this is really an interesting question. Why is it not included? Why even authoritative dictionary like 辭海 don't include it?

    This question suddenly make me thought of Maciamo's Chinese tones topic. In that topic we discussed about the variation of tones in different circumtances, I was saying that mandarin tones are fixed, but could this word be an exception? Keeping in mind that the second tone wei2, is used when one pick up a phone call, if one were to use wei4 in this case, it will be considered rude or no manner. So chinese tone do change too???? To make it sound more comfortable??? I never thought of this question before. It is something worth looking into.
  15. #15
    Join Date Mar 18, 2005
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    back to the japanese wai wai

    a very common way "wai wai" is used in japanese is as a sarcastic hooray. For example if your friend is a big fan of the pink ladies and he says to you all excited. "The pink ladies are haveing a reunion tour this summer we HAVE to go." You would reply in a very monotone voice "waiwai". Essentially a sarcastic ooo how fun"
  16. #16
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    i enjoyed this topic!!!
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