カタカナ. That form of the Japanese kana syllabary which is not cursive and is most commonly used for (but not restricted to) writing words borrowed from other languages.

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303 views

Why do some loanword sounds get “contracted” when katakanized, but not others?

Not sure the best way to word this. Why is it that some sounds from a loanword get combined down to a shorter or different sound while other do not? Here are some examples: Shortened, but sound ...
4
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1answer
91 views

Hikaru no Go Manga - dialogue question

So this is a sentence I picked from Hikaru no Go, Vol. 1, that I am reading. どれもこれもパツとしないなあ What does パツ mean in this sentence and how do you usually find those kind words? When I searched on ...
4
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1answer
83 views

What does モンロス mean?

It seems to be used as a na-adjective, but I couldn't find the meaning anywhere.
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1answer
197 views

Meaning of トッツケ on a house plan

Same as with my question about a Kanji I tried to identify on a bad image source, I have a katakana word I need to understand / translate. The word reads トッツケ, as marked in this image: I tried to ...
16
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2answers
630 views

Why did の disappear from 山手, but in 御茶ノ水 it's in katakana?

I realize that very likely the answer to this question is likely to be something along the lines of "that's just the way it is", but I thought it worth asking to see if there were some insights that ...
1
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1answer
76 views

Learning Japanese alphabet [closed]

Konbanwa, I just started learning about Japanese alphabets, and I started with Hiragana, so is it right to start with Hiragana then Katana? and if I learned about the both writing systems which one ...
4
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0answers
113 views

Why is there a ツ in 四ツ谷?

When I stopped at Yotsuya (四ツ谷) Station this summer, I noticed a katakana tsu (ツ) in the station name. Is there a reason why the katakana character is used (instead of a hiragana one)?
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1answer
165 views

What is the katakana of STAR WARS?

スター・ワーズ? Sutaa Waazu? スター・ウォーズ? Sutaa uoozu?
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1answer
128 views

What would be the best katakana for this book title?

I'm trying to write about a Spanish book in Japanese. I'm a beginner at Japanese so have patience. The English title is 'Chronicle of a Death Foretold'. クロニックル・オ・エー・デス・フォートールド I'm not sure on the ...
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3answers
280 views

Why the random katakana in 「すみっコぐらし」?

Some of you may be familiar with the San-X line of characters called すみっコぐらし. The shtick is that they're timid and like "living (ぐらし) in the corner (すみっこ)" I know katakana is frequently used for ...
3
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0answers
100 views

How has Japanese kanji and kana usage changed since 1945

How has the percentage of writing using each script changed since 1945? With script reform, increasing influx of loanwords, and stylistic choices, several factors affect how much certain parts of the ...
3
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0answers
188 views

How to translate historical names which don't necessarily have an equivalent in Japanese?

What is the acceptable procedure for writing proper names in Japanese academic papers when you don't know the official Japanese translation or the katakana for it? Is there an expectation that all ...
6
votes
4answers
831 views

Correct kana for foreign name

I am Portuguese, and my name is João, which has a peculiar pronunciation that is very difficult for foreign people. It is the Portuguese equivalent to the English John, but the pronunciations are very ...
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3answers
1k views

How would one emulate capitalized letters in Japanese?

Capitalized letters look like I'M SHOUTING AT YOU. How would you reproduce this effect in Japanese? I don't think any of the obvious choices, using カタカナ instead of 漢字 or ひらがな, using punctuation, ...
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3answers
677 views

What “non-standard” katakana are commonly used?

I know about the "standard" special katakana, like ファ fa, ディ di, ヴ vu, etc. However, I keep running into others I can't find on any list, including the ones in What special kana are used to write ...
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6answers
7k views

Why are katakana preferred over hiragana or kanji sometimes?

I noticed that "dame", which means "not good" or "don't do that", is sometimes written in manga as katakana. I was wondering, is it because katakana is used to express a strong feeling? Sometimes, ...
6
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1answer
237 views

What does it mean to write wasei-eigo and gairaigo in Romaji?

Wasei-eigo and most Gairaigo (especially in a text or sentence as opposed to being by itself) is usually written in Katakana (イメージ, ジュース, スマート,パンツ,アベック). However, there are times that have seen some ...
0
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1answer
118 views

What does “fūtsu” mean?

This is from Yuki-onna: Mosaku no kao ni iki wo fu-tsu to fukikaketa. The "fuutsu/fu-tsu" is written in katakana and is most likely an onomatopoeic word, related to breathing. It's not essential ...
3
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3answers
228 views

Why is Eden written as エデン in Japanese?

I just started watching "Eden of the East" and noticed that the Katakana used for Eden was エデン. I'm wondering why isn't it instead イデン which would be pronounced the same way as in English (which I was ...
4
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2answers
166 views

Is マラソン always 42.195 km?

ALC translate the Japanese マラソン into the English "marathon", which the English Wikipedia says has an official distance of 42.195 kilometres. Is マラソン always 42.195 km? Or has the Japanese word a ...
2
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1answer
103 views

Why would the Japanese transliteration from Greek Χριστος be spelled as ハリストス instead of キリストス?

Although it's not as common as キリスト, ハリストス is seen in the name of Japan's Orthodox Church. But why ハリストス if the pronounce of the Greek Χριστος is khristós (with a clear kri sound)? There is キリストス too, ...
4
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1answer
551 views

Cheering Japanese (volleyball) team (ゴーリゴーリ)

Watching Volleyball World Cup on TV now, I started to wonder where does the cheering 「ゴーリゴーリ」 come from? Seems to be independent of which team serves, but is more loud when Japanese hold the ball. Is ...
3
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0answers
180 views

Meaning of トルネル is actually misspelling of トンネル? [closed]

I need to know what トルネル means in the following sentence from a manga I'm reading (slashes are where the line-breaks are): このトルネルから / 出る! The katakana is throwing me off. Is it one or two words? Is ...
17
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1answer
1k views

= sign in a katakana name

I was surprised when I came across this Wikipedia page: アーシュラ・K・ル=グウィン Does someone knows what that = sign is? I can see it works as a separator like 「・」 Is it simply an alternative?
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1answer
147 views

Confusion regarding writing a word in Kanji and Katakana

In the One Piece manga, it's quite common to see the names of character's attacks written in both Kanji and Katakana. Take as examples: Gekko Moriah's Doppelman (影法師(ドッペルマン) Dopperuman, literally ...
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1answer
183 views

What does the word 「いいんスよ」 mean?

Here is the conversation that includes the word. A: そんな つめてえこといわないで...   ひと目{め}でいいんスよ ほんのちょいとあうだけでいいんだから B: だめっていったら だめーっ And I'm curious why the syllable 「ス」 in the word has to be ...
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0answers
84 views

What is the frequency of katakana in writing? [closed]

I'd like to know how frequently each katakana character is used in writing, but I've been unable to find anything through googling, except this table which lists the frequency of hiragana characters. ...
0
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1answer
90 views

Katakana that I can't get right

"渡辺さんってサブラの?" - what could this mean? Just can't catch the meaning of "サブラ". Help please.
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1answer
174 views

Learning, where to start? [closed]

No, i'm not gonna ask you for tutorials, websites, books. I've already started learning Japanese, i know a few words and can type them (well, the Japanese driver just puts the Japanese characters ...
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1answer
48 views

Where can I find full katakana combinations list?

Katakana have some combinations beyond low ャ, ュ and ョ that uses low ァ, ィ, ゥ, ェ, and ォ. But I can't find complete list of such combinations. Where are lists like http://goo.gl/Lai88W available, but ...
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6answers
869 views

learning order for kana?

I'm trying to use some flash cards to learn the kana (hirigana first, but both in time), and there's simply too much for me to learn at once. Is there a recommended or practiced learning "order" or ...
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1answer
876 views

Legal characters for first names include: hiragana, katakana, jinmeiyo and joyo kanji. What about latin letters?

Is it legal for parents to give to their child a first name with latin letters (romaji, I guess), instead of using katakana, hiragana, or kanji? For example, if Japanese parents want to give their ...
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0answers
49 views

Distinguishing handwritten シ, ツ, ソ, ン? [duplicate]

How to distinguish (non-calligraphical) handwritten forms of シ, ツ, ソ, ン?
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3answers
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Why doesn't Japanese have a special Katakana form for “hu”?

They have created many new Katakana words such as ファ フィ ヴァ ヴィ ティ テゥ to write foreign sounds. But why didn't they create a new combination for "hu" such as ハゥ or ホゥ? Instead they use the same kana for ...
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2answers
227 views

Is it hard to write Japanese? [closed]

I see the Japanese symbols, but never asked myself how hard is to write using these symbols. It seems very inviable. How do you guys do when writing at Japanese? Is it really harder than, for example, ...
4
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1answer
452 views

Why is “Yamata no Orochi” written in katakana?

In the game Okami, the demon Yamata no Orochi is written here, and also in a separate game here as ヤマタノオロチ, not やまたのおろち. Even the particle の is in katakana. I'm curious as to why this is. I know that ...
3
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4answers
222 views

Are ミツバチ and イルカ more frequently written in katakana?

I was looking through a list of words that normally are written in kana, instead of their kanji. Two caught my attention because the list has them written in katakana, instead of hiragana. But, as ...
4
votes
2answers
6k views

Can Hiragana or Katakana stand alone?

Writing Japanese requires a mix of Kanji and Hiragana, usually some Katakana as well. I have read that some Kanji characters can be replaced with Hiragana characters for easier writing. My question ...
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3answers
1k views

How do you write the sound “wu”?

As in "Wu Tang" or something similar. Would it be something like ウゥ? I know that "wool" is written as ウール, but 1) the "woo" sound is pronounced slightly differently than "wu", and 2) ウール doesn't ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Do Japanese actually pronounce the “v” sound?

Do Japanese actually pronounce the "v" sound? They do have a kana character (ヴ) dedicated to transcribing foreign "v" sounds, but do they actually pronounce them like the English phoneme /v/ (using ...
1
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1answer
120 views

Was katakana used in the teaching of Japanese as a foreign language?

The Wikipedia article Japanese language education in Vietnam, says that during the 1940s, Japanese was taught in Vietnam using either romaji or katakana. Is it true that katakana, rather than ...
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2answers
286 views

Why are there multiple katakana readings for a single kanji?

When I look at a kanji word I see one, or multiple Hiragana pronunciations (or should I call it translation?) - sometimes the pronunciations are for different kanjis, but that's not the question. ...
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1answer
161 views

Why is イチゴ written in katakana?

From which language did it come to Japanese? And why does it have its own kanji?
12
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1answer
2k views

Why is カラオケ (karaoke) written in katakana?

I noticed カラオケ (karaoke) is always written in katakana on signs/buildings in Japan, despite it being a Japanese word. Why is it not written in Kanji or Hiragana? As I understand it, the usual reasons ...
2
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2answers
216 views

For furigana, can katakana be used instead of hiragana?

From the first day I started to learn Japanese, I saw people use hiragana to help read kanji, they are usually written on the top of those kanjis. But recently I also saw some Japanese use katakana, ...
12
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4answers
889 views

Is the “wa-particle” in katakana ワ or ハ?

Is the "wa-particle" in katakana ワ or ハ? (Just a quick question - I think I have seen both used, but if ワ is correct then I have just seen the results of a computer o/p automatically using ハ)
4
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1answer
150 views

レアチーズケーキ: Does 「レア」 originally come from “rare” or from “layer”?

レアチーズケーキ is a kind of cheesecake which is not baked. What is the etymology of the レア part of this word? Academic references needed, as this is a controversial topic: The top Google result claims ...
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7answers
5k views

Why are there 3 ways of writing in Japanese?

Why are there kanji, hiragana and katakana? Is there a logical reason behind this or just tradition?
6
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1answer
243 views

What does パー mean by itself?

In the anime "Fairy Tail", I came across the line 「ってか お色気代 1000ジュエル パーだわ これ」 which the translator subtitled as "By the way, I spent the 1000 jewels I saved by using my sexual appeal for this..." I ...
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3answers
680 views

Why are the names of plants and animals often written in katakana?

I was wondering why fruits, vegetables, animals and plants, are written in katakana? Often, there exist kanjis for those, so why aren't they written with those kanjis instead? For example: カマキリ ...