Japanese Language Part 2 – Katakana

After learning the first part of the written language I began with the second part which is Katakana that is used to write foreign names such as country names and words that the Japanese language does not have words for. Similar to the Hiragana section there are example words after each character and a grid placed at the end of the lesson.

In contrast to the hiragana syllabary, which is used for those Japanese language words and grammatical inflections which kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary is primarily used for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words. It is also used for emphasis, to represent onomatopoeia, and to write certain Japanese language words, such as technical and scientific terms, and the names of plants, animals, and minerals. Names of Japanese companies are also often written in katakana rather than the other systems.

Katakana are characterised by short, straight strokes and angular corners, and are the simplest of the Japanese scripts. There are two main systems of ordering katakana: the old-fashioned iroha ordering, and the more prevalent gojūon ordering.

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When learning to write in Katakana I found out that when a letter is repeated a is placed within the characters such as the word for Mood which is Muudo (See bottom of page 2 for Katakana characters).  

Looking at Katakana the foreign words are written closely to how they are pronounced when spoken with some exceptions i.e. Pronounced Rubii is Ruby in English but Riigu in Japanese is League in English, so there are some differences.

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