The katakana form's ジ sound comes from two bases: from "sh," as in "sheep" AND from the "ch" sound in "cheese." When I am asked to identify the character, during study, that is producing the ジ sound, I never know which answer is correct or why. Is there some kind of rule for making the distinction? Thank you.

How do I know, for Katakana, whether it is シ plus ダクテン or チ plus ダクテン which is forming the ジ sound?

  • 2
    I'm not sure about katakana but for hiragana じ is much more common than ぢ. I would assume the same is true that ジ is much more common than ヂ, but I don't think there's any clever way to decide. You just have to know. – user3856370 Jul 16 '19 at 19:14
  • Also ヂ seems to be very rare, although radio is ラヂオ and Bridgestone is ブリヂストン As this site is not for speculations I refrain from speculating whether one could distinguish which one to use by sensing / thinking of how one uses the muscles of tongue / mouth when pronouncing the word (like when in English thinking of what yo do in your mouth when saying sheep vs cheeze) Another speculation I must refrain from making is if ヂ would only be used in loan words having a "D", and therefore contrasting the above Bridgestone example with "Agility", which is written as アジリティー and not アヂリチィー – Tuomo Jul 17 '19 at 2:11