Definition of kana in English:



  • The system of syllabic writing used for Japanese, having two forms, hiragana and katakana.

    Compare with kanji

    ‘Japanese writing uses Chinese characters and two native syllabic scripts (the kana: hiragana and katakana) derived from them.’
    • ‘Most texts incorporate both kana and kanji systems.’
    • ‘Japanese children with reading disabilities often have disproportionately more difficulty reading and writing kanji than kana.’
    • ‘Buddhist temple coins here in Japan are inscribed with kana syllables, not kanji ideograms.’
    • ‘Thus, the systematic combination of kanji and kana, and to a limited extent, of romaji in the Japanese orthography, provides rich sources for research and pedagogy.’
    • ‘As you can see, most of the page is in the usual Japanese mixture of Chinese characters and kana.’
    • ‘Each kana, as these two systems are called, is a separate phonetic syllabary and each hiragana character has a corresponding katakana character.’
    • ‘It isn't instructions, from what kana I can make out.’
    • ‘As it is not multiple choice, it really tests your knowledge of the kana!’
    • ‘We were required either to give her another name or use the kana phonetic form.’



/ˈkänə/ /ˈkɑnə/