Definitions for katakanaˌkɑ təˈkɑ nə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word katakana
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
ka•ta•ka•naˌkɑ təˈkɑ nə(n.)
the more angular, less commonly used of the two Japanese syllabaries.
Ref: Compare hiragana.
Origin of katakana:
A Japanese syllabary used when writing words borrowed from foreign languages other than Chinese, specific names of plants and animals and other jargon, or to emphasize a word or phrase.
A letter thereof
Origin: From 片仮名.
Katakana is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin script. The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana characters are derived from components of more complex kanji. Katakana and hiragana are both kana systems; they have corresponding character sets in which each kana, or character, represents one mora. Each kana is either a vowel such as "a"; a consonant followed by a vowel such as "ka"; or "n", a nasal sonorant which, depending on the context, sounds either like English m, n, or ng, or like the nasal vowels of Portuguese or French. 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.
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