how to read small kana?

Asked 2 years ago

i recently came across this word: あんなぁ and I tried to get some knowledge on the small kana reading, but they all just mention a few so I'm confused with regard to the small vowels or how does it work entirely, any help is good 

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

2 Answers


I have no idea what the small  ぁ is in the  あんなぁ. However, what I would assume in this word is that you extend the vowel sounds of な longer but I am not sure. For extending long vowel I would normally see them as あんなあ no small kata or あんなー.  For small kana I would normally only see them in this form when using words like 「学校、がっこう、ggakkou、 school」 When there are two romaji letter together it will always become a small っ. Also can find small kana in the additional alphebet of Japanese after the 48 basic kata syllables such as 「きゃ kya」、「きゅ kyu」、「きょ kyo」。

Answered 2 years ago

The romaji for school is 「gakkou」 it's not 「ggakkou」 Sorry whenever I switch from Japanese keyboard to English keyboard it messed up my typing.

Commented 2 years ago


Hi Mr. Hell! Casual Japanese tends to use small kana like ぁ, ぃ, ぅ, ぇ and ぉ. For example, one may say すげぇ instead of すごい。

This one is from wiktionary and it tells you when to use them;

  • Small combining kana  and  are used in the following ways.
    1. After a kana of the same vowel, representing a nonstandard lengthening of the vowel.
      はぁ () - (sound of breathing)
      うぉぉぉぉぉぉぉ (wooooooo) - (cry of excitement)
    2. After  (fu) (vu) (shi) (ji) (chi) (tsu), replacing the preceding vowel.
      じぇ (je)
      つぁ (tsa)
      Three special combinations, すぃ (si)てぃ (ti)とぅ (tu), and their voiced versions are also used in this way.
    3. After other kana ending in -i or -u, changing the preceding vowel to a semivowel.
      いぇ (ye)
      くぃ (kwi)
Answered 2 years ago