‚¾‚­‚¨‚ñ y‘÷‰¹z
‚Í‚ñ‚¾‚­‚¨‚ñ@y”¼‘÷‰¹z


¡ dakuon and handakuon, voiced sounds represented by kana with diacritical marks.

‘÷‰¹FEach kana in the ŒÜ\‰¹} (‚²‚¶‚イ‚¨‚ñ‚¸) is made up of a consonant plus a vowel (except ‚ñEƒ“). ‚Ä‚ñ‚Ä‚ñ tenten (a diacritcal mark like a double quotation) can be added to kana with unvoiced consonants, making voiced kana. Examples follow.

In the ‚©s, ‚© /ka/ ¨ ‚ª /ga/

In the ‚³s (s-column), ‚³ /sa/ ¨ ‚´ /za/ (Note also: ‚µ /shi/ ¨ ‚¶ /ji/)

In the ‚½s (t-column), ‚½ /ta/ ¨ ‚¾ /da/ (Note also: ‚¿ /chi/ ¨ ‚À /ji/, ‚ /tsu/ ¨ ‚à /zu/)

In the ‚͍s (h-column), ‚Í /ha/ ¨ ‚Î /ba/


”¼‘÷‰¹FA ‚Ü‚é maru (circle) can be added to the ‚͍s for ‚Í /ha/ ¨ ‚Ï /pa/.



(1) ‘÷‰¹E”¼‘÷‰¹

By adding ‚Ä‚ñ‚Ä‚ñ (two marks) or ‚Ü‚é (a circle) to the upper right of certain kana, additional sounds can be made.

The hiragana
p b d z g @
‚Ï ‚Î ‚¾ ‚´ ‚ª a
‚Ò ‚Ñ ‚À ‚¶ ‚¬ i
‚Õ ‚Ô ‚à ‚¸ ‚® u
‚Ø ‚× ‚Å ‚º ‚° e
‚Û ‚Ú ‚Ç ‚¼ ‚² o

The katakana
p b d z g @
ƒp ƒo ƒ_ ƒU ƒK a
ƒs ƒr ƒa ƒW ƒM i
ƒv ƒu ƒd ƒY ƒO u
ƒy ƒx ƒf ƒ[ ƒQ e
ƒ| ƒ{ ƒh ƒ] ƒS o

The column on the left is ”¼‘÷‰¹BThe rest are called ‘÷‰¹B

In the z-column, ‚¶EƒW are pronounced /ji/.

In the d-column, ‚ÀEƒa are pronounced /ji/ just like ‚¶EƒWBAlso, ‚ÁEƒd (z-column) are pronounced /zu/ just like ‚¸EƒY in the z-column. The ‚¶EƒW and ‚¸EƒY are normally used in spelling, except in certain cases (see ‰¼–¼Œ­‚¢).

‚ÀEƒa are pronounced as /di/ and ‚ÁEƒd as /du/ sound in some dialects.


(2) ‘÷‰¹E”¼‘÷‰¹ plus X‰¹

By combining the ‘÷‰¹E”¼‘÷‰¹ with X‰¹, more sounds can be made.

The hiragana
p b j (d) j (z) g @
‚Ò‚á ‚Ñ‚á ‚À‚á ‚¶‚á ‚¬‚á ya
‚Ò‚ã ‚Ñ‚ã ‚À‚ã ‚¶‚ã ‚¬‚ã yu
‚Ò‚å ‚Ñ‚å ‚À‚å ‚¶‚å ‚¬‚å yo

The katakana
p b j (d) j (z) g @
ƒsƒƒ ƒrƒƒ ƒaƒƒ ƒWƒƒ ƒMƒƒ ya
ƒsƒ… ƒrƒ… ƒaƒ… ƒWƒ… ƒMƒ… yu
ƒsƒ‡ ƒrƒ‡ ƒaƒ‡ ƒWƒ‡ ƒMƒ‡ yo

You may notice that the ‚Ü‚é in the first column and the ‚Ä‚ñ‚Ä‚ñ in the second column look almost identical. This is because of computer resolution and can be confusing.

The kana in both the j (d) and j (z) columns should be pronounced /ja/, /ju/, /jo/. As above, ‚À‚áEƒaƒƒA‚À‚ãEƒaƒ…A‚À‚åEƒaƒ‡ are not used except in certain cases.


To learn more about Japanese writing, see •¶ŽšB

Vocabulary notes

ŒÜ\‰¹} gojuuonzu, the basic kana table. See ŒÜ\‰¹}


This entry was created by Benjamin Barrett with contributions from Brian Chandler.



Revised by BB 2000-06-25.

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