In Japanese if you speak a language fluently you can say that it is ペラペラ (perapera). This is one of the many onomatopeic or mimetic words used in Japanese, and it has come up in some of the Japanese lessons I’ve been studying on Duolingo recently, so I thought I’d write about it.

Erigeron karvinskianus  ペラペラヨメナ

ペラペラ, which is also written ぺらぺら, can also mean speaking incessantly, glibly, garrulously or volubly; flipping through pages one after the other or thin, flimsy or weak paper, cloth, etc.

For example:

  • 日本語がペラペラになりたいです。 (Nihongo ga perapera ni naritai desu) = I want to be fluent in Japanese.
  • 彼は英語がペラペラだ。(Kare wa eigo ga perapera da) = He has a good command of English / He speaks Englsh fluently.
  • ペラペラしゃべり続ける (perapera shaberi tsudzukeru) = to rattle on
  • ペラペラまくしたてる (perapera makushitateru) = to talk a mile a minute
  • ペラペラという音 (perapera to iu oto) = a fluttering sound, flip-flap
  • ペラペラとうそをつく (perapera to uso o tsuku) = to lie glibly/fluently
  • ペラペラの段ボール (perapera no dan bōru) = flimsy / corrugated cardboard

ペラペラヨメナ (perapera yomena) is a type of flower (see photo above), which is known in English as a Latin American fleabane, Karwinsky’s fleabane or Mexican daisy. In Latin it is Erigeron karvinskianus: erigeron comes from the Ancient Greek ἠριγέρων (ērigérōn “groundsel”), from ἦρι (êri, “early in the morning”) and γέρων (gérōn, “old man”), and karvinskianus is named after Wilhelm Friedrich Karwinsky von Karwin (1780-1855), who was a Bavarian naturalist who collected plants and animals in Brazil and Mexico.

Sources: Duolingo,, 英辞郎 on the WEB, Wiktionary

One thought on “Perapera

  1. I’m guessing that the Japanese don’t like fluent speakers 🔊,English language or otherwise.Or they’re comparing them to the flower 🌺. I guess door #1 is plausible, more likely in fact,
    because some far-fetched floral theory won’t make it to the
    drawing board.

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