More Katakana Diphthongs

In the last lesson, you learned the baseline katakana diphthong characters. Now we’re adding even more diphthongs to bring more new sounds to the language.

More Katakana Combinations to Think About

Remember, katakana is used to cover foreign language sounds in the Japanese language. There are some additional combinations to make these sounds.

Note: notice these are not using only the “I” sound consonants like the baseline combinations.

V (Bw) = VA VI VE VO

The thing to keep in mind is bw is approximating the V sound in English. Some Japanese can get closer to V sound than others. And the one missing V sound, vu, was covered in the last lesson (it’s not a combination).

W = WI WE WO

W sounds are added because the standard kana only covers wa and wo — though you’ll notice katakana now has two wo’s (ウォ and ヲ).

F = FA FI FE FO

Fu is already a standard sound in Japanese, and you can see it’s used to make the fa, fi,fe, and fo sounds.

Additional Combinations

Study Point

The main takeaway from this lesson is there is a high probability you won’t see these very often. However, the nice thing about them is they’re for approximating foreign language sounds, such as English, that you’re already used to.

And that’s it for this course. Go through each lesson as many times as you need to begin recalling these katakana characters when you need them (out and about in Tokyo).