Monday, July 8, 2013

Reading katakana


Like hiraganakatakana is an alphabet used to represent the sounds of Japanese words. But why are two alphabets necessary for this?!? The simple answer is that while hiragana is used to write most Japanese, katakana is used when writing foreign loan words, often words taken directly from English.

Katakana Table
Just as with hiragana, by adding two small vertical dashes or a small circle, the pronunciation of the katakana for "ha" becomes "ba" or "pa". The chart below contains the complete list of possible combinations:
Basic Hiragana with ba-pa modifiers
Similarly, when a ya, yu, or yo sound follows certain characters, the sound is shortened and so instead of two separate characters, the sound is written as the combination of the first character and a small, subscripted version of the ya, yu, or yo sound that follows:
Basic Hiragana with ya-yu-yo modifiers

  1. All the sounds are identical to what they were for Hiragana.
  2. As we will learn later, 「を」 is only ever used as a particle and all particles are in Hiragana. Therefore, you will almost never need to use 「ヲ」 and it can be safely ignored. (Unless you are reading very old telegrams or something.)
  3. The four characters 「シ」、「ン」、「ツ」、and 「ソ」 are fiendishly similar to each other. Basically, the difference is that the first two are more "horizontal" than the second two. The little lines are slanted more horizontally and the long line is drawn in a curve from bottom to top. The second two have almost vertical little lines and the long line doesn't curve as much as it is drawn from top to bottom. It is almost like a slash while the former is more like an arc. These characters are hard to sort out and require some patience and practice.
  4. The characters 「ノ」、「メ」、and 「ヌ」 are also something to pay careful attention to, as well as, 「フ」、「ワ」、 and 「ウ」. Yes, they all look very similar. No, I can't do anything about it.
  5. You must learn the correct stroke order and direction! Use the following pdf practice sheets to practice.
  6. Sometimes 「・」 is used to denote what would be spaces in English.
tsu-a - tour
me-ru- Email
ke-ki - cake

cute -キュート
chess - chiisu
sofa - sofua
パ―テイ―  ==> party
karifuorinia - California

Sample Katakana Words
cheatingカンニング (cunning)
company employeeサラリーマン (salary man)
car hornクラクション (klaxon)
sofaソファ or ソファー
French friesフライドポテト (fried potato)
kontorii myuujikku - country music
doramu -drums
gitaa- guitar
mikurofone= microphone
baiorin - violin

bouringu - Bowling
badominton - badminton
yakyuu -baseball
kuriketto - cricket
futto booru - foot ball
gorufu - golf
hokkee - hockey
juudou - Judo
karate - Karate
sukii - skiing
sunooboodo - snowboarding
sakkaa - sakka
sumou - Sumo
kyouei - swimming
tenisu - tennis
bareebooru - Volley ball

movies in katakan:
Alice in wonderlandarisu in wondaarandoアリスインワンダーランド
Harry potterhariipottaaハリーポッター
Iron manaian manアイアンマン
Jurassic parkjurashikku paakuジュラシックパーク
Lord of the ringsroodo obu za ringuロードオブザリング
Star warssutaa woozuスターウォーズ
The lion kingraion kinguライオンキング
The ringza ringuザリング

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