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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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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199 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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194 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

What loan words have a Hepburn romanization that matches the spelling of the original language?

For example, the word サッカー is "soccer" in English, but the romanization "sakkā" bears little resemblance to the original word. Are there any loan words in Japanese that preserve the spelling of the ...
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56 views

Why is it that Neptune's name is written as ネプテューヌ and not ネプチュヌ?

The title of Hyperdimension Neptunia game in Japanese is written as 超次元ゲイム ネプテューヌ. My question is, why Neptune is written as such? Shouldn't the "tu" in Neptune be be written as "tyu" (チュ)since it is ...
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Is なんとか なる さ meant to be written in Hiragana and not Katakana?

Good day, I have tattooed the words "nantoka naru sa" in Kana on my right arm and a while ago I was reading some Japanese lessons where it explains that Katakana is used only when you're translating a ...
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196 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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90 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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127 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 hiragana,...
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91 views

Use of ン in place of の

家ン中でさか立ちやって障子ブッこわして... I was doing headstands in the house and wrecked the door and... Presumably ン is a contraction of の. Why is it written in katakana? I guess it's adding some kind of emphasis; ...
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115 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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750 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 ...
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436 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. I'...
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127 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 ...
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142 views

Japanese for “Dami Im”

How would I translate Dami Im's name into Japanese? Im was born in South Korea (her name in Korean is 임다미), but moved to Australia when she was nine. "Dami" is her given name, and "Im" is her surname,...
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300 views

How often will a katakana term have an equivalent kanji spelling?

There's a similar question here: Katakana words with Kanji. How did that happen? Question Some words are written with katakana, but also have kanji. For example: コーヒー 珈琲 ページ 頁 How did ...
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2k views

What's better to start with first, hiragana or katakana? [closed]

I'm a beginner in learning Japanese and would like to know what's better to start with first, hiragana or katakana, and why?
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117 views

Katakana ダメ to end a sentence - emphasis?

In the following sentence (from the Legend of Zelda guidebook I am translating) this sentence appears when talking about fighting enemies. My question is about the purpose of ダメ at the end. ...
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171 views

Is there any difference between the two “エ” in 「エフェクト」?

Is there any difference between the two "エ" in 「エフェクト」? The first is bigger and the latter seems smaller.
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91 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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51 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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154 views

Recognizing a Kanji?

One of my friends is translating some stuff, and he told me he needs "a second opinion for this one since he's having troubles to identify the first one". I know the second one is だ, but I really can'...
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703 views

Kana to kanji mapping for a rōmaji keyboard [closed]

I've been tasked with implementing a rōmaji keyboard in a medical device. As I understand the problem, the user is to be permitted to enter katakana, hiragana, and/or kanji via the rōmaji keyboard. ...
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370 views

Should I start with Hiragana, Katakana or Kanji? [closed]

I want to start learning to read Japanese (I already know romaji) and I was wondering which writing system would be better to start with. Or should I start all at the same time?
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105 views

Why is the name Tokiya written in katakana?

The name Tokiya is written トキヤ which would imply it's of foreign origin but I'm not having any luck uncovering the origin or meaning of the name. It seems to be somewhat traditional. Ideas?
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385 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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185 views

こおれえぐす, こーれーぐす, こおれえぐうす, or こーれーぐーす to get the word 高麗胡椒? [closed]

高麗胡椒 is a condiment originating in Okinawa that consists of chilis immersed in awamori. I don't know how to type it, especially the long vowels. I can get neither the katakana nor the kanji spelling ...
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254 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, ...