Katakana

Katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with katakana, kanji and in some cases the Latin script (known as romaji). The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived from components of more complex kanji. Katakana and hiragana are both kana systems. With one or two minor exceptions, each syllable in the Japanese language is represented by one character, or kana, in each system.Each kana is either a vowel such as "a" (katakana ア); a consonant followed by a vowel such as "ka" (katakana カ); or "n" (katakana ン), a nasal sonorant which, depending on the context, sounds either like English m, n, or ng ([ŋ]), or like the nasal vowels of Spanish and/or Portuguese.

In contrast to the hiragana syllabary, which is used for those Japanese language words and grammatical inflections which kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary usage is quite similar to italics in English; specifically, it is used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo); for emphasis; to represent onomatopoeia; for technical and scientific terms; and for names of plants, animals, minerals, and often Japanese companies.

Katakana are characterized by short, straight strokes and sharp corners, and are the simplest of the Japanese scripts.

This table will help you study Katakana. Click on each letter to see how to write it

Monographs (gojūon)

aiueo
kakikukeko
sashisuseso
tachitsuteto
naninuneno
hahifuheho
mamimumemo
ya  yu  yo
rarirurero
wa      wo
        n

Diacritics (gojūon with dakuten)

gagigugego
zajizuzezo
da    dedo
babibubebo
papipupepo

Digraphs (yōon)

kya  kyu  kyo
sha  shu  sho
cha  chu  cho
nya  nyu  nyo
hya  hyu  hyo
mya  myu  myo
rya  ryu  ryo

Digraphs with diacritics (yōon with dakuten)

gya  gyu  gyo
ja  ju  jo
bya  byu  byo
pya  pyu  pyo

Extended Katakana

  wi  wewo
  ti      
fafi  fefo
  didu    
vavivuvevo

This page uses material from the Wikipedia article "Katakana", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.