Katakana - カタカナ

Follow the links from the column headings to study that whole column, or each individual kana character. 

Note: the "n" and "w-" columns are included in "r"; and the "y-" column is included in "m".

Katakana Worksheets are available to print out.


Katakana stroke order is available at http://www.umich.edu/~umichjlp/Katakanapro/.

How to write foreign words in Japanese

    Hiragana and Katakana developed almost simultaneously, but independently and for different purposes. This took place a little over a thousand years ago. In modern usage, Katakana is used to represent words that come from foreign languages other than Chinese.

    Unlike Hiragana, Katakana symbols are not so cursive. They have sharp angles and more straight lines. The rules for Katakana are basically the same as those for Hiragana, except those for double (or long) vowels. Examine the following:
おかあさん SUPOON

    As shown above, double (or long) vowels in Katakana are written with a straight line, instead of writing the kana for the vowel.

    Rules for double consonants, consonants + y + vowels are the same as those for Hiragana.

    Note that Katakana has more combinations of symbols than Hiragana. Some additional syllables are listed below. These are devices employed to represent foreign pronunciations that do not exist in the traditional Japanese sound system.
ti ティ tea ティー va ヴァ violin ヴァイオリン
di ディ disk ディスク vi ヴィ Venus ヴィーナス
du デュ deuce デュース ve ヴェ Venice ヴェニス
tsa ツァ pizza ピッツァ vo ヴォ vocal ヴォーカル
fa ファ fight ファイト wi ウィ Wisconsin ウィスコンシン
fi フィ feet フィート we ウェ western ウェスタン
fe フェ fence フェンス wo ウォ water ウォーター
fo フォ fork フォーク qui クィ queen クィーン
que クェ Quaker クェーカー
quo クォ quarter クォーター

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