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katakana

katakana

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Katakana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Katakana&printable=yes1 of 911/13/2007 09:14 AM
Katakana
   ¡¢   ¡   
TypeSyllabaryLanguagesJapanese, Okinawan and AinuTime period~800 A.D. to the presentParent systemsKanji
 
Man’y
£
gana
 
Katakana
¤¥¤¥¤¥¤
Sister systemsHiragana, HentaiganaUnicode rangeU+30A0–U+30FF(http://www.unicode.org/charts/PDF/U30A0.pdf)ISO 15924
Kana
 
Japanesewriting
Katakana
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Katakana
(
片仮名
,
カタカナ
or
かたか
?
) is a Japanese syllabary, one componentof the Japanese writing system along withhiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latinalphabet. The word
katakana
means"fragmentary kana," as they are derived fromcomponents of more complex kanji.Katakana are characterized by short straightstrokes and angular corners, and are thesimplest of the Japanese scripts.There are two main systems of orderingkatakana, the old-fashioned iroha ordering,and the more prevalent goj
¦
on ordering.
Contents
1 Usage2 Orthography3 Table of katakana4 History5 Computer encoding5.1 Unicode6 Katakana for the Ainu language7 Example transcriptions of Katakana and foreign languages7.1 Medicine7.2 Computing7.3 Names7.4 Regions7.5 Nations and cities8 See also9 External links
Usage
In modern Japanese, katakana are most often used for transcription of words fromforeign languages (called
gairaigo
). For example, "television" is written
terebi
(
テレ
?
). Similarly, katakana is usually used for country names and foreign place andpersonal names. For example America is written
§¨§¨§¨§
 
 Amerika
(America hasits own kanji (ateji)
 Amerika
(
亜米利加
?
) or for short,
 Beikoku
(
米国
?
) whichliterally means "Rice Country").
 
Katakana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Katakana&printable=yes2 of 911/13/2007 09:14 AM
KanjiKana
Hiragana
Katakana
HentaiganaMan’y
  
gana
Uses
FuriganaOkurigana
R
¡
maji
Katakana are also used for onomatopoeia, letters used to represent sounds, for example
 pinpon
(
ピンポン
?
), the "ding-dong" sound of a doorbell, would usually be written inkatakana.Technical and scientific terms, such as the names of animal and plant species andminerals are also commonly written in katakana.Katakana are also often, but not always, used for transcription of Japanese companynames. For example Suzuki is written
¢£¢£¢
, and Toyota is written
¢£¢£¢
.Katakana are also used for emphasis, especially on signs, advertisements, andhoardings. For example, it is common to see
¢£¢
 
koko
("here"),
¢£¢
 
gomi
("trash")or
¢£¢£¢
 
megane
("glasses"), and words to be emphasized in a sentence are alsosometimes written in katakana, mirroring the European usage of italics.Pre-World War II official documents mix katakana and kanji in the same way that hiragana and kanji are mixed inmodern Japanese texts, that is, katakana were used for
okurigana
and particles such as
wa
or
o
.Katakana were also used for telegrams in Japan before 1988 and before the introduction of multibyte characters incomputer systems in the 1980s. Most computers used katakana instead of kanji and/or hiragana for output.Although words borrowed from ancient Chinese are usually written in kanji, loanwords from modern Chinesedialects which are borrowed directly rather than using the Sino-Japanese
on’yomi
readings, are often written inkatakana. Examples include
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
¢£¢
 / 
¢£¢
),
m
¤
jan
(mahjong); in Mandarin
májiàng
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
¢£¢£¢
),
¥
roncha
(Oolong tea), from Mandarin
w
¥
lóng
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
¢£¢
),
ch
¤
han
, (fried rice)
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
¢£¢
),
ch
¤
sh
¥
, from Cantonese
cha siu
, roast pig
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
¢£¢
),
sh
¥
mai
, from Cantonese
siu maai
, a kind of dim sum.The very common Chinese loanword
¢£¢£¢£¢
(r
¦
men) is rarely written with its kanji
¢£¢
.There are rare cases where the opposite has occurred, with kanji forms created from words originally written inkatakana. An example of this is
¢£¢£¢£¢
(
§
hii
), "coffee", which can be alternatively written as
¢£¢
. Thiskanji usage is occasionally employed by coffee manufacturers or coffee shops for novelty.Katakana are sometimes used instead of hiragana as furigana to give the pronunciation of a word written in Romancharacters, or for a foreign word, which is written as kanji for the meaning, but intended to be pronounced as theoriginal.Katakana are also sometimes used to indicate words being spoken in a foreign or otherwise unusual accent, byforeign characters, robots etc. For example, in a manga, the speech of a foreign character or a robot may berepresented by
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
konnichiwa
) instead of the more usual hiragana
¢£¢£¢£¢£¢
(
konnichi wa
).Katakana are also used to indicate the
on’yomi
(Chinese-derived readings) of a kanji in a kanji dictionary.Some Japanese personal names are written in katakana. This was more common in the past, hence elderly womenoften have katakana names.It is very common to write words with difficult-to-read kanji in katakana. This phenomenon is often seen withmedical terminology. For example, in the word "dermatology",
¢£¢£¢
,
hifuka
, the second kanji,
¢
, is considereddifficult, and thus the word
hifuka
is commonly written as
¢£¢£¢
or
¢£¢£¢
in katakana. Similarly, difficultkanji such as
¢
 
gan
, "cancer", are often written in katakana or hiragana.
 
Katakana - Wikipedia, the free encyclopediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Katakana&printable=yes3 of 911/13/2007 09:14 AM
Katakana is also used for traditional musical notations, as in the
Tozan-ry
¥
of 
shakuhachi
, and in
sankyoku
ensembles with
koto
,
shamisen
, and
shakuhachi
.
Orthography
Foreign phrases are sometimes transliterated with a middle dot called
nakaguro
(
中黒
?
) or a space separating thewords. However, in cases where it is assumed that the reader knows the separate gairaigo words in the phrase, themiddle dot is not used. For example, the phrase
¡ ¡¡ ¡¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ 
(konpy
¦
ta g
¢
mu)(computer game),containing two very well-known gairaigo, is not written with a middle dot.Katakana spelling differs slightly from hiragana. While hiragana spells long vowels with the addition of a secondvowel kana, katakana usually uses a
vowel extender mark
called a ch
£
on. This mark is a short line following thedirection of the text, horizontal in yokogaki, or horizontal text, and vertical in tategaki, or vertical text. However, itis more often used when writing foreign loanwords; long vowels in Japanese words written in katakana are usuallywritten as they would be in hiragana. There are exceptions such as
¡ ¡¡ 
(
 ¡ 
)(
¤
soku
)(candle) or
 ¡¡  
(
 ¡ 
)(
¥
tai
)(mobile phone).A small
tsu
 
 
called a
sokuon
indicates a geminate consonant, which is represented in r
£
maji by doubling thefollowing consonant. For example,
bed 
is written in katakana as
¡ ¡ 
(
beddo
).The
sokuon
is sometimes used in places which have no equivalent in native sounds. For example, double-h inplace of ch is common in German names. Bach, for example, comes out as
 ¡ ¡ 
(Bahha); Mach is
 ¡ ¡ 
(Mahha). The doubling of the "h" in Bach and Mach (or the underlying small tsu) is probably the kana that best fitsthose German names.Related sounds in various languages are hard to express in Japanese, so Khrushchev becomes
 ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ 
(Furushichofu). Ali Khamenei is
 ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡¡ 
(Arii H
¦
meneii). The Japanese Wikipedia hasreferences to
¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ 
(Itsuhaku P
¦
ruman) and
¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡ ¡¡ 
(Its
¦
kuP
¦
ruman), Itzhak Perlman.
Table of katakana
This is a table of katakana together with their Hepburn romanization. The first chart sets out the standard katakana(characters inredare obsolete, and characters ingreenare modern additions to the katakana, used mainly to represent sounds from other languages.) Learning to read katakana is often complicated by the similarities betweendifferent characters. For example,
shi
 
 
and
tsu
 
 
, as well as
so
 
 
and
n
 
 
, look very similar in print exceptfor the slant and stroke shape. (These differences are more prominent when written with an ink brush, due to thedirections of the strokes.)vowelsy
£
on
 
 
 a
 
 
i
 
 
u
 
 
e
 
 
 o ya yu yo
 
 
ka
 
 
ki
 
 
ku
 
 
ke
 
 
ko
¡ 
 
kya
 ¡ 
 
kyu
 ¡ 
 
kyo
 
 
sa
 
 
shi
 
 
su
 
 
se
 
 
so
¡ 
 
sha
 ¡ 
 
shu
 ¡ 
 
sho
 
 
ta
 
 
chi
 
 
tsu
 
 
te
 
 
to
¡ 
 
cha
 ¡ 
 
chu
 ¡ 
 
cho
 
 
na
 
 
ni
 
 
nu
 
 
ne
 
 
no
¡ 
 
nya
 ¡ 
 
nyu
 ¡ 
 
nyo
 
 
ha
 
 
hi
 
 
 fu
 
 
he
 
 
ho
¡ 
 
hya
 ¡ 
 
hyu
 ¡ 
 
hyo
 
 
ma
 
 
mi
 
 
mu
 
 
me
 
 
mo
 ¡ 
 
mya
 ¡ 
 
myu
¡ 
 
myo
 
 
 ya
 
 
 yu
 
 
 yo
 
 
ra
 
 
ri
 
 
ru
 
 
re
 
 
ro
 ¡ 
 
rya
 ¡ 
 
ryu
 ¡ 
 
ryo

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