In the book I'm reading, the main character speaks using katanaka in suffixes, part of the words and some particles, like:





I know katakana is also used for emphasis, but I'm not sure how I should understand that: is the character stressing more that part of the word? Is it just a graphical tool to give her character? Is it meant to be a defect in how she speaks, and if so how would that sound aloud?

As context, the character is a robot: at the start of the book she is a very high-specs robot, literally better than what you can find in commerce, but at some point she ends up in an old model body, while keeping her high-specs mental circuitry. Before that change, she speaks normally; after, she starts with katakana.

  • Not sure: in my example it isn't used for a character raised abroad, so it would be to add some flavor and/or eccentricity (maybe following the huge change the character underwent?), like you say in that answer? If so, yes, it does answer; otherwise I'm still not sure about what does it add in my case. Whatever the case, thanks for the link.
    – Mauro
    Aug 13, 2021 at 16:36
  • 2
    Maybe the author needed some way to indicate the character's speech got affected, or somewhat broken, when she got into the old body?
    – aguijonazo
    Aug 13, 2021 at 23:13
  • 1
    Correct, here it indicates this robot speaks imperfect Japanese. That "flat" robot speech heard in old movies has often been rendered in all katakana.
    – naruto
    Aug 14, 2021 at 1:47
  • I'm not sure I ever heard movies like that; I guess the Japanese isn't imperfect as words / grammar, since that's fine in the book, so do you mean imperfect as intonation, or also pronunciation (like saying "jo" instead that "yo" for よ, as a Spanish-speaker I know did when studying Japanese)?
    – Mauro
    Aug 14, 2021 at 9:30


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