In the last lesson, we went over カキクケコ and here we’ll add the S consonant characters to your repertoire.
As was true in hiragana, this series in katakana also has an odd character to think about: シ (shi).
SA SHI SU SE SO-サシスセソ
Notice シ sounds like “she” not “see.” You will sometimes see it written in romaji as “si.”
And Now the Challenge Begins
It sucks… you’re only on lesson 3 of katakana and you’ve already run into what I consider the craziest part of katakana.
シ (shi) and ソ (so) are two of five characters that all look extremely similar to each other — especially difficult on signs/menus. Exceptionally difficult sometimes.
I know… every time I see this I freak out too. What the heck were they thinking when they did this?
Look Out For シ-ソ
There are three more characters that look very similar to these two, but I’m going to wait until later in this course before I drop them on you.
シ (shi) and ソ (so) are very similar as you can tell. But it’s rather easy to tell them apart (especially when you don’t know what’s in store later).
シ (shi) looks like a weird sort of sideways smiley — like it’s in a hurry to run to the right.
ソ (so) is maybe a winking smiley? Don’t rely on the single “apostrophe looking thing” to remember this. A future lesson has another one.
Maybe that doesn’t work for you. Do whatever it takes for you to remember the differences between these two.