Japanese Katakana Origin The katakana syllabary was derived from abbreviated Chinese characters used by Buddhist monks to indicate the correct pronunciations of Chinese texts in the 9th century. At first there were many different symbols to represent one syllable of spoken Japanese, but over the years the system was streamlined. By the 14th century, there was a more or less one-to-one correspondence between spoken and written syllables. The word katakana “part (of kanji) syllabic script”. The “part” refers to the fact that katakana characters represent parts of kanji. Characteristics and usage of katakana The katakana syllabary consists of 48 syllables and was originally considered “men’s writing”. Since the 20th century, katakana have been used mainly to write non-Chinese loan words, onomatopoeic words, foreign names, in telegrams and for emphasis (the equivalent of bold, italic or upper case text in English). Before the 20th century all foreign loanwords were written with kanji. Katakana are also used to write Ainu, a language spoken on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido. Katakana and the kanji from which they developed In each column the rōmaji appears on the left, the katakana symbols in the middle and the kanji from which the symbols were derived on the right. katakana syllabary and the Chinese characters from which the syllables are derived The symbols for ‘wi’ and ‘we’ were made obsolete by the Japanese Minsitry of Education in 1946 as part of its language reforms. Katakana syllabary (片仮名 / カタカナ) The symbols on the right are the basic katakana syllabary in the order they appear in dictionaries and indices (reading from left to right and top to bottom). Additional sounds (the symbols on the right) are represented by diacritics and combinations of symbols. Katakana syllabary Long vowels How long vowels are written in katakana Download this chart in Word, or PDF format (also includes hiragana). Pronunciation Japanese pronunciation Sample text in Katakana Sample text in Katakana This text in standard Japanese すべての人間は、生まれながらにして自由であり、かつ、尊厳と権利とについて平等である。人間は、理性と 良心とを授けられており、互いに同 990;の精神をもって行動しなければならない。 (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) Transliteration (rōmaji) Subete no ningen wa, umare nagara ni shite jiyū de ari, katsu, songen to kenri to ni tsuite byōdō de aru. Ningen wa, risei to ryōshin o sazukerareteari, tagai ni dōhō no seishin o motte kōdōshinakerebanaranai. Hear a recording of this text Translation All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood. (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights) Japanese Symbol, Japanese Name, Kanji Translation Learn to speak Japanese confidently and naturally with Rocket Japanese Master Japanese: Self-Guided Immersion for the Passionate Language Learner books Japanese language learning materials Rocket Japanese | Interactive Japanese Video Lessons Learn to speak Japanese confidently and naturally with Rocket Japanese Master Japanese: Self-Guided Immersion for the Passionate Language Learner Other sections Origin of writing in Japan, Hiragana, Katakana, Kanji, Rōmaji, Japanese language, Useful Japanese phrases, Links Syllabaries Bamum, Blackfoot, Caroline Island Script, Carrier, Celtiberian, Cherokee, Cree, Cypriot, Hiragana, Iberian, Inuktitut, Katakana, Kpelle, Loma, Mende, Ndjuká, Nüshu, Ojibwe, Vai, Yi Get latest VCP-410 dumps including latest 350-001 dumps and 640-802 dumps to successfully pass certification exams.