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Katakana is the wey that some o the wirds is written in Japanese. It is mair easier tae read nor the kanji (the seestem based on Cheenese chairacters) whilk maun be learnt wird bi wird, acause ance the 46 katakana seembols haes been learnt, the reader kens whit wey tae pronounce them.

Katakana an hiragana is baith syllabaries. In Scots we uise the letters o the alphabet. In maist wirds ilka letter staunds for a bittie soond (a phoneme). In a seelabary, ilka seembol staunds for a seelable. For example: in Scots we write “Wagamama”: ilka ane o the aicht letters staudns for a soond: “W-a-g-a-m-a-m-a”. Bit gin the wird “Wagamama” is dividit intae seelables there is anerly fower syllables (blocks o soond): Wa-ga-ma-ma. In Katakana it is written wi fower seembols: ワガママ.

Hiragana wirks in the same wey, but the seembols isna the same. Katakana is mibbes a puckle easier tae learn nor Hiragana acause the seembols is mair semple an mair “squared aff”. Katakana an Hiragana the gither is cried “Kana”.

Table o contents

Table o katakanaEedit

This is a table for the basic katakana straiks. The first chairt shaws the basic katakana (chairacters wi bricht reid letters neist them is no uised ony mair ).

vouels yōon
a i u e o ya yu yo
ka ki ku ke ko キャ kya キュ kyu キョ kyo
sa shi su se so シャ sha シュ shu ショ sho
ta chi tsu te to チャ cha チュ chu チョ cho
na ni nu ne no ニャ nya ニュ nyu ニョ nyo
ha hi hu, fu he ho ヒャ hya ヒュ hyu ヒョ hyo
ma mi mu me mo ミャ mya ミュ myu ミョ myo
ya yu yo
ra ri ru re ro リャ rya リュ ryu リョ ryo
wa (ヰ) wi (ヱ) we wo
ga gi gu ge go ギャ gya ギュ gyu ギョ gyo
za ji zu ze zo ジャ ja ジュ ju ジョ jo
da ヂ (dji) ヅ (dzu) de do ヂャ (ja) ヂュ (ju) ヂョ (jo)
ba bi bu be bo ビャ bya ビュ byu ビョ byo
pa pi pu pe po ピャ pya ピュ pyu ピョ pyo

Acause Japanese the day borraes sae mony fremmit wirds, they hae cleckit several extra katakana seembols for tae help write soonds that the Japanese language disna hae:

イェ ye
ウィ wi ウェ we ウォ wo
(ヷ) va (ヸ) vi vu (ヹ) ve (ヺ) vo
ヴァ va ヴィ vi ヴェ ve ヴォ vo ヴャ vya ヴュ vyu ヴョ vyo
シェ she
ジェ je
チェ che
ティ ti トゥ tu テュ tyu
ディ di ドゥ du デュ dyu
ツァ tsa ツィ tsi ツェ tse ツォ tso
ファ fa フィ fi フェ fe フォ fo フュ fyu

Fae the first table it can be seen that there's 46 basic chairacters (tap left, first five columns, fae "a" tae "wa"). Diphthongs (vouels that slides fae ae soond tae the ither) maun be written wi an extra seembol in smaw prent. For example: the soond “mu” in oor wird “muisic” soonds like “myu” so it is writ ミュ (mi+yu). Sae the wird “muisical” (as in a stage muisical) is written: ミュージカル. A lang vouel is shawn in katakana bi a kynd o dash cried a “choon” (ー).

Whit Wey Katakana is uisedEedit

Katakana is uised for tae write wirds that haes been borraed fae ither languages, or tae write fremmit names an names o kintras. For example Americae is written アメリカ.

It's no aye easy for us tae recogneese thae wirds acause the Japanese leid disna hae some o the soonds that we hae in Scots. This means that the Japanese maun find ither weys tae pronoonce an write the wird. For example: the wird “coffee” is written コーヒー (koo-hii). The wird is whiles shortent an aw: “televeesion” is written テレビ (pronoonced “te-re-bi”).

It is whiles no possible tae shaw the differ atween twa fremmit wirds, e.g. ラーラー coud spell baith “Lara” an “Lala” (as in the Teletubbie). The Japanese hae juist ae siclike soond whilk is atween oor “r” an “l”.

In the Japanese leid a consonant is aye follaed bi a vouel. Wirds or seellables canna end in a consonant (cept n or m), sae the Japanese whiles pit in an extra vouel. “Ski” (as in skiin) becomes “suki” (スキ), an a “muisical”, as we hae seen, becomes “myuujikaru” (ミュージカル).

Forby thon, Katakana is uised for onomatopoeic wirds like “ding”, or for makkin wirds leuk important, or for scientific names like the names o birds. Whiles sentences in beuks or cartoons micht be written in katakana for tae shaw that a body is mibbes spickin wi a fremmit accent. It is aft uised tae write the names o Japanese companies, i.e. Suzuki is written スズキ, an Toyota is written トヨタ.

A smaw “tsu” ッ cried a “sokuon” shaws whit we wad write as a dooble consonant, e.g. the English wird “bed” is uised in Japanese for a wastren-style bed. It is pronoonced “beddo” an written ベッド. The ッ maks the “e” vouel short.

Learnin tae read the katakana chairacters is uissfu for readin some o the signs in Japan, or items on the restaurant menus.

Japanese sentences is aften written in a mixtur-maxtur o katakana, hiragana an kanji, e.g.: スコットランド人です (sukottorando jin desu: Ahm a Scot). Here “sukottorando” is written in katakana, the endin “jin”(人) is kanji, an “desu” (Ah am) is in hiragana.

See an awEedit

Fremmit airtinsEedit