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Small form of the katakana character (i).

Combining formEdit

  1. Small combining form of katakana (i) used to explicitly specify the vowel part of the previous katakana character, or to show a speaker's pronunciation or extension of that vowel.
    - the sound [ɸi] rather than [ɸu] () or [çi] ()
    フィギュア - transliteration of English figure

Usage notesEdit

Unlike the hiragana system, used for Japanese language words that kanji does not cover, the katakana syllabary is used primarily for transcription of foreign language words into Japanese and the writing of loan words (collectively gairaigo), as well as to represent onomatopoeias, technical and scientific terms, and the names of plants, animals, and minerals. Names of Japanese companies, as well as certain Japanese language words, are also sometimes written in katakana rather than the other systems. Formerly, female given names were written in katakana. [edit]

Related termsEdit

  • (hiragana small i)
  • (full-size i)
  • (hallfwidth katakana small i)

See alsoEdit