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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How to know when I should use katakana form words referring to animals, lesser creatures, or other organisms?

I know many words for animals are usually written in katakana in contemporary Japanese, even though kanji exist: イルカ クマ And it seems some very common domestic animals I don't seem to notice ...
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1k views

Why is katakana /va/ normally written ヴァ rather than ヷ?

Even though there is a katakana character ヷ, most of the time when I see something that is transcribed into Japanese as /va/, it is in the form ヴァ (say, for example, in the title of the anime series ...
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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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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 ...
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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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330 views

Katakana changes

The katakana changes with time, and so recently they introduced the "v" "ヴ", and I'd like to know if there's a possibility they'll add letters like "si" "セィ" or something similar in the future? Do the ...
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451 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 ...
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215 views

What do ジャンルくじイラスト and デリケートなジャンル mean?

My circle (student club) at a Japanese university is preparing for the school festival. One option for participating is to draw and submit a 「ジャンルくじイラスト」. Does this translate to "genre lottery ...
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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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464 views

Is しゃぶしゃぶ typically written in hiragana rather than katakana?

Is しゃぶしゃぶ typically written in hiragana rather than katakana? If so, why is it written in hiragana? Wikipedia says that it is onomatopoeia: The term is an onomatopoeia, derived from the sound ...
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82 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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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 ...
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286 views

What does ホイっと mean?

in a manga I was reading this expression appeared. It was about a lazy girl, who was thinking about getting herself a boyfriend (so that he can do the house chores for her), and then her friend ...
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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 ...
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112 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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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 ...
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678 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 ...
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210 views

Specific differences to consider between any individual katakana and hiragana?

I already know hiragana and I am teaching myself katakana now. Both are essentially two different versions of each sound, but I am wondering if there are actually any functional differences between ...
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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 ...
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264 views

Is one transcription of “Andrew” more standard than another?

I recently looked at the disambiguation page for Andrew on the Japanese Wikipedia, and found that there were several "アンドルー"s, and several "アンドリュー"s. I couldn't discern any trend that one form ...
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1k views

Does the ー represent a double vowel or a long vowel sound?

For words like パーティー (party), I know ー is doubling the ア and イ. But for a word like センセイ (and let's assume for the sake of argument that it is regularly spelled in katakana), would it be センセイ or センセー ...
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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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488 views

In the japanese The legend of Zelda (e.g. Ocarina of Time), why is navi spelled ナビィ and not just ナビ?

I started playing the Japanese version of Ocarina of time and noticed that navi is spelled as ナビィ instead of just ナビ. I know that you can combine e.g. フ and イ for フィ, but the one in ナビィ seems ...
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152 views

Did the modern usage of katakana predate the Americans?

How long has katakana been used as today, to represent non-Japanese words, onomatopoeia et al.? But specifically, has this usage been around since before U.S. Commodore Matthew Perry arrived in Japan ...
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287 views

Do people write ありがとう in katakana?

Since サヨウナラ, when written in katakana it gives a more cool/deep nuance. How about ありがとう? Do Japanese people choose to write it in katakana if they want the nuance of the word to look cooler? It's ...
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99 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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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483 views

Why does katakana even exist?/ Why not use hiragana and kanji for everything? [duplicate]

From what I know, katakana is used for writing foreign words, scientific words, onomatopoeia, emphasis, and food on some menus in Japan. Also the sounds in the hiragana and in the katakana ...
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324 views

Can someone help me determine what this SFX/onomatopoeia is?

Here's an image of it: It looks kind of like ダダ (da da) to me, but then I'm not sure what to make of the last mark. Can someone offer their insight, please? Thanks!
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569 views

Does an international OR standardized phonetic alphabet/notation system exist to depict all the Hiragana/Katakana sounds?

Are there written systems (preferably international & standardized) that you can use to depict how to pronounce any word from Japanese and any language. Something similar to Romaji but one that ...
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4answers
2k views

How to write “yi” in katakana

I'm trying to write the name of a Chinese friend, Ying. I know that the sounds "yi" and "ye" don't exist any more except for the deprecated hiragana characters, and katakana doesn't have either of ...
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191 views

How would you write the name Anibal in Japanese?

So my name is written Anibal, I'm from Brazil, just so you know. I'd like to know how would you write it in japanese, I'm in doubt between A-ni-ba-ru and A-ni-ba-e-ru. Any further explanation would be ...
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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, ...
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1answer
3k views

How to write the name !xobile in Katakana?

So I have been wondering from this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XiWiYjW1Xrc How would one write the Katakana for this name that has an exclamation mark? And how would we pronounce it? ...
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1answer
367 views

Why is Danny written & pronounced ダニー and not ダニ?

In Japanese, using Katakana, why is the name Danny written and pronounced ダニー. Why not just ダニ? I'm not sure why the i is being extended when this doesn't really happen in english. Thx.
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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, ...
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239 views

Why is Austin spelled with an オ?

Based on the pronunciations here, what I hear in Anime, and the way I hear kana pronounced in Japanese class, it seems to me that Austin should start with ア rather than オ, but it is clearly spelled ...
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173 views

Compound words with 漢字 and カタカナ? (例えば:新メニュー)

Today, a magazine about restaurants in my area arrived in my mailbox. It proudly proclaimed : 10月の新メニュー! I am quite curious as to the following points: How is this pronounced ? I would have ...
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1answer
176 views

Improved romanisation of Katakana

I'm in the planning stages of programming my own Katakana => Romaji converter. However, I've noticed that every other converter already out there just converts literally. I want to try and employ a ...
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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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182 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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214 views

Intentional hiragana transcription for foreign names

Is it possible and acceptable to transcript foreign names into hiragana instead of katakana for aesthetic or other personal purposes? How would Japanese people judge this choice? Would they perceive ...
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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?
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188 views

Question about mixed kana in おススメ

I read this line in a blog today: 料理に使えるおススメ品や、ご飯屋さんを紹介しています。 and I have two questions: 1) I know that the writer can use katakana for emphasis or for some other reason, but why is it mixed ...
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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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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 ...
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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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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. ...
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709 views

Beginner: book/ website for reading comprehension and vocabulary [closed]

I'm looking for a book/website that helps me to increase my reading skills and vocabulary. The only "problem" is, that it should be only written with hiragana and katakana. At the very best there ...