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Table of Katakana Characters (Kaisho)

Table 5. The Representation of Foreign Sounds with Katakana

This is a simple list of katakana combinations used for representing foreign words. It is not exhaustive but includes most of the common combinations.

(Theoretically, these sounds can all be shown in hiragana and sometimes are, but I've omitted hiragana alternatives from this table).

  ti tu    
Since is chi and is tsu, these combinations were created to represent foreign 'ti' and 'tu'
  di du    
Since is ji and is zu, these were created to represent 'di' and 'du' (e.g., the English verb 'to do').
    tyu     Represents English 'tu' (as in 'tune')
    dyu     Represents English 'du' (as in 'duke')
toa       Used for French 'toi'.
moa       Used for French 'moi'.
  wi we wo Used in English and German syllables starting with 'w'.
fa fi fe fo Used for English and other syllables starting in 'f' or 'ph'.
va vi vu ve vo Used for syllables starting in 'v'. ( vu can be found in words like ravu ('love').
    vyu     Used in words like English 'view'. Vya and vyo are possible but seldom encountered.
qua qui que quo Found in words like 'quark', 'quizz', 'quest', 'quartz', etc.
swa swi swe swo Not common, but swi is found in 'switch' and swe in 'Sweden'.
tsa tsi tse tso Found in words like 'Tsar', 'Konzern' (German) and 'canzone' (Italian).

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