Similar katakanas - シツ / ツツ and ノ


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The five characters 「シ」, 「ン」, 「ツ」 and 「ソ」 are devilishly similar. Basically, the difference is that the first two are more "horizontal" than the other two. The small lines are slanted more horizontally and the long line is drawn in a curve from bottom to top.

The second has two small, almost vertical lines and the long line does not curve as far as it is drawn from top to bottom. It is almost like a bar, while the first is more like an arc. These kana are difficult to classify and require some patience and practice.

There is another similar kana that can be confused that is 「ノ」 の / NO.

  • シ - し - SHI
  • ツ - つ - TSU
  • ソ - そ - SO
  • ン - ん - N
  • ノ - の - NO

The real confusion starts when we try to differentiate シ from ツ and ソ from ン. Although we talk a little about the differences between the traits, you are probably still totally lost.

The differences are few, how will we know how to differentiate quickly when reading a text? Only time and practice can help. The more words you know in the language the faster and easier it will be to read Katakana words without having to make such a fuss.

There are some tips that we can apply to prevent this from happening, it is interesting to analyze that these 5 katakana look a lot like their 5 hiragana. (How? What the hell? Where?) The last video we left at the end of the article will explain in detail how this is possible. You may also have noticed this in the image at the beginning of the article.

You can also think of these 5 katakana as follows:

  • シ - shi it's a girl looking at tsu's eyes
  • ツ - tsu it's a boy looking away
  • ソ - Blinking "only
  • ン - Thinking about it "NNNNN ... I do not think like that."
  • ノ - Eyes closed “noooooooooooooo!”


The 2 videos below show the differences between シ and ツ / ソ and ン, and give tips on how you memorize them.