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And The Evolution Continues…

Because the range of syllables (spoken and written) in Japanese is limited, we cannot properly render many foreign sounds in Japanese. And as many more foreign words are used daily in Japanese, the solution was the addition of “new” katakana characters.

Here are a few of the more common ones:

FA

FI

FE

FO

example words:
ファイル fairu (”file” ) ; フィンランド Finrando (”Finland” ) ;  サンタフェ Santa fe (”Santa Fe” ) ;  アイフォン aifon (”iPhone” )

VA

VI

VU

VE

VO

example words:
ヴァイオリン vaiorin  ( “violin” ) ;  ヴィクトリア Vikutoria  (”Victoria” (name)) ;  デジャヴ deja vu (”déjà vu” ) ;  ラスヴェガス Rasu Vegasu (”Las Vegas” )

TI

TU

Pronounced in English as “tee” and “too.”

example word:
パーティー paatee ( “party” )

DI

DU

TYU

DYU

example word:
デュエット dyuetto (”duet” )
コメディー comedee (”comedy” )

Sometimes people find their own names to acquire a “funny” translation into Japanese sounds as a result of these similar, but not quite the same, approximations. However, it is awesome to see how the Japanese language finds a way to evolve and adapt despite its ancient origins.

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