In the last lesson you learned the syllabic N character. A super simple lesson for sure. Now we’re going to dive into modifiers that change some of the characters into new consonants: G, Z, D, B, and P.
Things are starting to pick up pace now.
Just like in hiragana, katakana has extended characters sounds too (called dakuten). I’m going to explain these exactly as I did in the hiragana course.
These extended characters are just minor cosmetic changes that you’ll recognize easily — based on the K, S, T, and H consonant sounds only, no others.
A modifier is applied to each character, changing its consonant sound. The two modifiers
The K, S, and T Consonants Extended
This is still true in katakana, but there is a special extra I’ll go over below these tables.
K > G = GA GI GU GE GO
S > Z = ZA JI ZU ZE ZO
T > D = DA JI ZU DE DO
The H Consonant Extended
H > B = BA BI BU BE BO
H > P = PA PI PU PE PO
In katakana there is a V consonant, but it sounds like B when spoken in Japanese. In the next lesson, katakana combinations, you’ll see the other V consonants– they are combinations. Vu is the only modified character in the V consonant.
- ヴ (vu) — sounds like “boo.” It’s meant to be as close to the “voo” sound as is possible for Japanese speakers.
Two ZU’s and JI’s?
Just like in hiragana, you’ll notice is that there are two “zu” and “ji” characters. ジ and ズ are used most of the time, but why have two then?
ヂ is used when the “ji” sound follows a チ character. For example, チヂ.
The same applies to the ズ character. It is used when the “zu” sound follows a ス character. For example, スズ.
The main takeaway from this lesson is that you make it very clear in your mind these extended hiragana characters make the G, Z, D, B, and P consonant sounds from K, S, T, and H consonants only.
No other consonant has modifiers.