The more angular form of kana (syllabic writing) used in Japanese, primarily used for words of foreign origin. Compare with hiragana.
- Some writing systems (such as Japanese katakana and hiragana) are syllable based.
- Historically, there is no association at all between katakana and foreign words.
- Japanese features three reading systems: hiragana, katakana and kanji.
Early 18th century: Japanese, literally 'side kana'.
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