Memorizing the Katakana/Print version
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The K line
The S line
The T line
The N line
The H line
The M line
The Y line
The R line
The W line
Several katakana look similar and may cause confusion. These are:
シ and ン[edit | edit source]
シ and ン can be thought of as smiley faces looking towards the right. The character with both eyes is a shi (she), while the character with one eye has a nice eyepatch. The short strokes on the top slant towards the right, while the same strokes for ツ and ソ slant downwards.
ツ and ソ[edit | edit source]
ツ and ソ can be thought of as rating systems for waves at a beach. The short lines represent the rating (or people on the beach) and the long line is the coast. A rating of 2 short stokes means tsunami, and two people are running away. A rating of 1 short stroke means soft or so-so waves, with a single person relaxing on the beach.
ウ and ワ[edit | edit source]
ウ, the umbrella, has a ferrule on its top while ワ, the flipped over wagon, does not.
ヲ and ヨ[edit | edit source]
ヲ, the (World Wor Won), is rounded like a hand-written 3. ヨ, the gangster YO! is angular and has a small line extending on the bottom.
ケ and ク[edit | edit source]
In ケ, the cane (ke), the second stroke (representing the arm) extends over the cane. In ク, the cup (ku) handle is smooth.
Dakuten ( ﾞ ) and Handakuten ( ﾟ ) are marks placed after certain katakana that modify the way the consonant is pronounced. These marks indicate that the consonant of the syllable should be voiced.
|normal||with dakuten ( ﾞ )||with handakuten ( ﾟ )|
|カ = ka||ガ = ga|
|サ = sa||ザ = za|
|タ = ta||ダ = da|
|ハ = ha||バ = ba||パ = pa|
Exceptions[edit | edit source]
"Shi" (シ) turns into "Ji" (ジ)
"Chi" (チ) also turns into "Ji" (ヂ)
"Tsu" (ツ) turns into "Zu" (ヅ)
"U" (ウ) turns into "Vu" (ヴ)
Sokuon[edit | edit source]
Sokuon (ッ) is a symbol consisting of a small Tsu (compare with normal Tsu: ツッ). It is used to insert a slight pause.
Chōonpu[edit | edit source]
Chōonpu (ー) is a symbol used to indicate a long vowel sound. Long vowels can also be written by using the corresponding vowel katakana.
|normal||with chōonpu ( ー )||is the same as|
|プ = pu||プー = puu||プウ = puu|