Weird Katakana Rant

I’m finally starting to get phrases containing katakana in the vocab mix, I’m not sure why but my brain is somehow very adverse to katakana, my eyes naturally wander away from the characters cause they’re such a headache. Some of them are fine and I like, but most of them don’t resemble their hiragana counterparts or give vibes that are way off from the sound they make. aesthetic in the complex but i feel like they do not want to be my friend.

Here’s a couple reviews of the words I learned and its katakana components:

フランス

I don’t see it. where’s all the fun and personality of ふ gone? ふ is a recorder girl, she likes pastries and her favorite Disney movie is definitely Aladdin. on the other hand フ isn’t related, she’s not her sister, and she’s not even the lamp the genie lives in, she’s just the shell of it, empty and devoid of all joy. but ok, maybe she is the lamp after all, maybe she will get a rub and some happy ふ is gonna come out of it. She needs some encouragment and let herself free. come on フ, I believe in you.

even though it’s close enough to ら but I feel like it gives more う, it’s just simply not agressive enough. ら is a decisive woman, she knows what she wants. ラ is more ambivalent at best, but really freezes in front of a choice and definitely orders the same food as you but tries to act like she meant to order that all along. just a shadow of what ら truly is.

What a magnetic charming woman, straightforward, cutesy, you really think you know her for who he is, and you think she’s special and unique. but wait until you meet her friends. She’s quite more shallow than it seems: aaaall her personality was completely stolen from her friend ソ, which is quite the avantgarde type, but definitely lives more in her own head and ン being more popular so she takes credit for it, now all her friends are getting on the trend of this fake snowflake vibe.

Now this is one i can get behind. ス is a true delight, she’s slighly shy and very soft but you know you can count on her whenever you see her. Her sister す is definitely off her rocker, she’s not even close to the ground level. But ス appreciates す’s imagination and childlikeness. ス is definitely the older sister and she prob has a kid or two.

Overall: フランス is a word that i perceive more round and consistent than it sound actually is. It almost feels like I’m reading a piece of jelly. I’ll rate it NotEnoughFrance/10

アメリカ:

: She’s fast and aerodynamic, definitely the tomboy sister of あ. if あ is like aaahh~ :cherry_blossom: then アis more like AAAAAAA!!! :face_with_symbols_over_mouth:
She definitely cusses a lot.

Cool. everyone wants to be like メ, or at least that’s what he thinks. He’s much more cooler than his boooring older sister め, he even has a REAL katana that he walks around with. め could probably take him down in a fight, but he will never admit it.

She IS adorable, her twin sister りis the more refined one, she started calligraphy classes and loves doing embroidery リ is more into videogames and stuffed toys, is quieter than her sister and not as independent, she really looks up to her and both have a lot of synergy and love each other very much.

is rough and ready, very practical, soap and water, doesn’t do manuicure, they are content observing little bugs and building stuff out of legos. Defenitely doesn’t experience strong emotions, balance is key. His brother か is very similar but more on the sensitive side, has long eyelashes and he likes wearing perfume and staring at his fishtank while doing homework and listening to rain ambiance music.

Overall: アメリカ is a pretty sharp and feisty word with some chill undertones. I think it gets the point across even though the sound is a bit softer and than its sharp edges tend to show, but it has personality and is very recognizable. I give it an Adventurous&Stylish/10

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I feel like I’ve just read something I wasn’t supposed to

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This is so totally weird. :crazy_face:

I don’t have a link, but you should observe the historical kanji that the katakana, and the hiragana, are based opon. It would be a entire other trip from the one that you just took.

I will look for my link for that.

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You should make a personality quiz! After reading this, I’m dying to know what katakana character I am.

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If you’re serious by the way, this sounds a lot like some form of synesthesia. Specifically Ordinal linguistic personification

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Katakana weren’t derived from hiragana, but rather independently evolved from kanji. Kanji that make the same sounds. Sometimes they happened to come from the same kanji.

Meanwhile, hiragana was derived like this:

Source: Wikipedia. Be nicer if those had been oriented the same, for easier comparisons…

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This website has some charts showing the origin kanji (there’s probably better ones out there).

I think the big thing that makes hiragana and katakana feel so different is that hiragana are simplifications of entire kanji written cursively, so there’s a lot of round curving strokes; katakana on the other hand are small parts of the originating kanji, so they retain an angular and abbreviated feel.

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Well, it’s got matching orientations, so it’s at least better than the ones I filched from Wikipedia. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Yes, ラ is known for always ordering 拉麺.

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I honestly never gave much thought to where the two kana systems came from. When I was a complete newcomer starting Japanese by learning kana, I just simply learned each symbol for what it was, not trying to compare hiragana and katakana. From my perspective, あ and ア had the same sound and that’s just the way it was. :laughing: The book I was learning from never went into that detail, I guess because that sort of information isn’t really pertinent to a beginner.

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reads title

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I don’t know why this is great, but it is!

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This post feels like an acid trip…

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Me is a treasure hunter – https://www.wanikani.com/radicals/treasure

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メ copies his sister め but tries not to show it.

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There is also the three sisters く, ノ and 一. They are rumored to be female ninja.

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Whats interesting to me about the hiragana chart is that a lot of the characters make a lot of sense, both in the character chosen and the cursive iteration that lead to the final hiragana. And then there are some that make no sense.

Like with 部 they just said screw it Im not drawing all that its a line now. How is that even supposed to be legible. Or with 左, now in さ the stem is pointed in the wrong direction. Or 武, they just turned and entire 止 radical into a loop.

But at least that makes more sense to me than taking a frankly random selection of strokes and calling it katakana. Like a yes the distinctive hat of 曽. Or the distinctive middle stroke thing of 機. Thats what I think of when I think of those characters.

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Well, hiragana, at least, derived from cursive. It’s not that someone woke up one morning, scribbled a line, and went “there! that’s hiragana now”. It was a thousand gradual changes over the course of centries. The image I posted gives the impression that it was a straight progression from A to B to C, but it’s more that B is just one intermediate form chosen from a thousand different intermediate forms to give an idea of how the change may have come about. And people didn’t even derive their hiragana from the same kanji - check out hentaigana sometime. Though there was a moment in 1900 where the government went “enough with all that, you’re writing hiragana like this now”.

As for katakana, you can apparently blame Buddhist monks transcribing sanskrit texts for that one.

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Have you seen cursive brush-written Japanese? :slight_smile: Legibility wasn’t high on the list of prized attributes…

This is a page from the 1910 diary of a Kyoto merchant wife whose calligraphy was apparently pretty good:

(with apologies for the camera induced distortion)

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I’ve never seen this before. Very interesting.

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