How do you write the sound "wu"?


If wi is ウィ and we is ウェ, would wu be ウゥ? Or something else? Is it possible to express the English “w” sound here?

Related to this, is there a reason ゑ and ゐ became obsolete?


What are you trying to write. Your best bet is looking up words and names in their existing katakana forms, because there is often a lack of consistency.

Also just saying ウゥ should give a hint that it’s not wu, since it’s just uu. The others mimic a w by slurring an u with another vowel.


You might as well learn special Katakana combinations in the IME, for the sake of typing Katakana words and transliterating foreign words.

wi and we is the two (ウィ、ウェ)

Some others are thi (ティ), fa (ファ)…

I can’t remember where I can find a more complete list.


Wait… are you a Wu-Tang Clan fan?


this is a chart from the ‘learn katakana to survive’ game, thought it might be helpful


If I could hazard a guess, I would say there is no way to write “wu” using modern katakana. Perhaps something like ワゥ to try to emphasize the “w” sound at the beginning. This would only be to try to show a Japanese person the difference between “oo” and “woo/wu” and would never be used in actual Japanese transliteration.

The two kana you are asking about (ゑ and ゐ) fell out of usage because many parts of Japan started simply pronouncing them as “え” and “い”. ゑびす (Ebisu) is sometimes written with classical kana, but you would just pronounce it えびす.


Wu-Tang Clan = ウータン・クラン


You mean all parts of Japan. They appear to be used in some spellings in the Ryukyuan languages, but it’s not clear if the pronunciation is related. ゐ basically merged with い before the end of the Kamakura period. I’m fairly certain it’s the same for the other two.

So both Kana were used for nearly 500 years before being made officially obsolete.



You can find almost all of different combinations for katakana at

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