Katakana Review


This part is a little different… Take it
slow and you should be able to catch on


How to make the ‘ten-ten’ letters. A ‘ten-ten’
is like a double- quote (“) It changes the
sound of the letter to a harder sound. You can
ONLY ‘ten-ten’ the ‘K‘ row, the ‘S‘ row, the ‘T‘ row and the ‘H‘ row. (look at the chart to the
right – the red ones are the ones with slightly
difficult pronunciation)

look at the chart below. You will see that

  • the ‘K’ row becomes ‘G’ (still
    the same good ole ka only with a ten-ten
    ; notice it is a harder sound)

  • the ‘S’ row becomes ‘Z’ (again
    harder sound)

  • the ‘T’ row becomes ‘D’

  • the ‘H’ row becomes ‘B’ or
    ‘P’ (‘B’ is with a ten-ten (ex. ba) and
    ‘P’ is with a circle (ex. pa))

  A I U E O
K -> G ga – ガ gi – ギ gu – グ ge – ゲ go – ゴ
S -> Z za – ザ ji – ジ zu – ズ ze – ゼ zo – ゾ
T -> D da – ダ ji – ヂ zu – ヅ de – デ do – ド
H -> B ba – バ bi – ビ bu – ブ be – ベ bo – ボ
H -> P pa – パ pi – ピ pu – プ pe – ペ po – ポ

NOTE: Actually if you allow it to sink in, the sound changes seem quite logical. You will get used to it quickly


PART TWO LAST – Some finishing touches

  • There are only 5 vowel sounds
  • All other characters (except n ) are made of a consonant sound and one of the 5 vowel sounds.
  • The not-so-logical-pronunciation letters are chi , tsu , and fu . BE CAREFUL
  • The R letters are pronounced somewhere between the R and L sounds of English – Click here for more
  • n cannot be used to start a word
  • A small tsu causes a slight pause or break between syllables. For example in English we say a slight pause after “boo k ” in “boo K C lub”
  • You cannot ‘ten-ten’ vowels
  • Combinations are formed using only ya, yu, and yo ‘helpers’ and the i column (ki, shi, chi, ni, hi, mi, ri)
ki shi chi ni hi mi ri
ya キャ シャ チャ ニャ ヒャ ミャ リャ
yu キュ シュ チュ ニュ ヒュ ミュ リュ
yo キョ ショ チョ ニョ ヒョ ミョ リョ


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