Japanese/Kana/Lessons/Katakana/Lesson 8

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Hiragana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ゐ and ゑ (ancient hiragana in disuse) ]
Katakana: [ a ] [ ka ] [ sa ] [ ta ] [ na ] [ ha ] [ ma ] [ ya ] [ ra ] [ wa, wo, n ] [ ヰ and ヱ (ancient katakana in disuse) ]

Below we'll be looking into the characters "ヤ", "ユ" and "ヨ". These are transliterated as "ya", "yu" and "yo", respectively.

Brush Stroke:


  • A black-belt yelling ' Ya!' as they jab with their elbow.
  • Looks very similar to the hiragana version of it (や).
  • ヤギ goat
  • ヤシ palm tree, Arecaceae
Brush Stroke:


  • Useless - Someone tried to draw a tilted Y and a U at the same time, but it's useless because it doesn't look like either.
  • You are going to be hung at the gallow.
  • U for U-Boat - The first stroke is the periscope and the second one is Ocean's surface
  • ユーゴスラビア Yugoslavia
  • ユーロ Euro
  • ユリ lily
Brush Stroke:


  • Yodel - The mouth and tongue of a yodeler.
  • ヨーロッパ Europe
  • ヨーグルト yoghurt
  • ヨーヨー yo-yo

Choon Katakana[edit | edit source]

Certain sounds ending with -イ(i) ( キ(ki), シ(shi), チ(chi), ニ(ni), ヒ(hi), ミ(mi), レ(re) and their variations) can be followed by small versions (ャ, ュ, and ョ) of the katakana ヤ(ya), ユ(yu), and ヨ(yo). In this case, the two katakana are not pronounced individually, but rather as one sound, taking up one mora.

In most cases, the compound sound is the consonant of the base syllable followed by the modifier (fjord may be an example of a similar compound sound in English):

  • キャ (kya)
  • キュ (kyu)
  • キョ (kyo)

In other cases the y sound disapears entirely:

  • シャ (sha)
  • シュ (shu)
  • ショ (sho)

Look at the Kana Chart for the others.