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カタカナ - Katakana

Basic Katakana Characters

Katakana mostly covers the same sounds as hiragana but with different characters the main use of katakana is for foreign words used in Japanese. The character for wo ヲ isn’t really used anymore and there is another character ヴ vu. Katakana is more difficult than hiragana for a few reasons; the characters aren’t a distinct シ & ツand ソ & ン are very similar, It isn’t used as much and because the words are similar to English but not the same English speakers tend to mispronounce katakana words

Katakana Combinations

A small version of ヤャ、ユュ & ヨョ can be merged with some characters (キ、シ、チ、ニ、ヒ、ミ、 and リ) to create another 21 syllables.

Voiced Katakana Characters

As with hiragana there are the same set of voiced characters created by adding functional marks.

Small ッ

A small ッ can be added before certain characters (K,S,Z,T,D and M) to create a hard consonant sound it is usually written with a double consonant when converted to Latin character. Examples:

  • ッコ (kko)
  • ッザ (zza)
  • ッチヤ (ccya)
  • ッツ (ttsu)
  • ッデ (dde)
  • ッモ (mmo)

Longer Vowel Sound ー

Some katakana words have a single line in them ー this represents a longer vowel sound. Examples:

  • コンピューター (Computer)
  • アパート (Apartment)
  • テーブル (Table)
  • ベール (Beer)
  • タクシー (Taxi)
  • コーヒー (Coffee)

Small ァ、ィ、ゥ、ェ & ォ

Small vowel characters can be placed after characters to create some sounds for foreign words that aren't used in Japanese.

  • ヴァ(va) - ファ(fa)
  • ヴィ(vi) - フィ(fi) - ティ(ti) - ディ(di)
  • トゥ(tu) - ドゥ(du)
  • ヴェ(ve) - ウェ(we) - フェ(fe) - ジェ(je) - シェ(she) - チェ(che)
  • ヴォ(vo) - フォ(fo) - ウォ(wo)