, colloquially ten-ten
("dot dot"), is a diacritic
A diacritic is a glyph added to a letter, or basic glyph. The term derives from the Greek διακριτικός . Diacritic is both an adjective and a noun, whereas diacritical is only an adjective. Some diacritical marks, such as the acute and grave are often called accents...
sign most often used in the Japanese
is a language spoken by over 130 million people in Japan and in Japanese emigrant communities. It is a member of the Japonic language family, which has a number of proposed relationships with other languages, none of which has gained wide acceptance among historical linguists .Japanese is an...
Kana are the syllabic Japanese scripts, as opposed to the logographic Chinese characters known in Japan as kanji and the Roman alphabet known as rōmaji...
syllabaries to indicate that the consonant
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are , pronounced with the lips; , pronounced with the front of the tongue; , pronounced with the back of the tongue; , pronounced in the throat; and ,...
of a syllable
A syllable is a unit of organization for a sequence of speech sounds. For example, the word water is composed of two syllables: wa and ter. A syllable is typically made up of a syllable nucleus with optional initial and final margins .Syllables are often considered the phonological "building...
should be pronounced voiced. Handakuten
(半濁点), colloquially maru
("circle"), is a diacritic used with the kana
for syllables starting with h
to indicate that they should instead be pronounced with [p]. The kun-yomi
pronunciation of the character 濁 is nigori
; hence the daku-ten
may also be called the nigori-ten
. The meaning of this character—muddy
—is a hint that the theory behind this kind of spelling device originally came from China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...
, where consonant sounds were traditionally described by terms such as clear
, and so on.
In informal writing it is occasionally used on vowels to indicate a shocked or strangled articulation.
became standard practice in the Tokugawa era; previously, written Japanese did not distinguish between voiceless and voiced consonants.
resembles a quotation mark, while the handakuten
is a small circle, similar to a degree sign, both placed at the top right corner of a kana
- ◌゛ dakuten, in Unicode
- ◌゜ handakuten, in Unicode
Both the dakuten
glyphs are drawn identically in hiragana
is a Japanese syllabary, one basic component of the Japanese writing system, along with katakana, kanji, and the Latin alphabet . Hiragana and katakana are both kana systems, in which each character represents one mora...
is a Japanese syllabary, one component of the Japanese writing system along with hiragana, kanji, and in some cases the Latin alphabet . The word katakana means "fragmentary kana", as the katakana scripts are derived from components of more complex kanji. Each kana represents one mora...
scripts. The combining characters are rarely used in full-width Japanese characters, as Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...
and all common multibyte Japanese encodings
A character encoding system consists of a code that pairs each character from a given repertoire with something else, such as a sequence of natural numbers, octets or electrical pulses, in order to facilitate the transmission of data through telecommunication networks or storage of text in...
provide precomposed glyphs for all possible dakuten
character combinations in the standard hiragana
ranges. However, combining characters are required in half-width katakana, which does not provide any precomposed characters in order to fit within a single byte.
The similarity between the dakuten
and quotation marks
Quotation marks or inverted commas are punctuation marks at the beginning and end of a quotation, direct speech, literal title or name. Quotation marks can also be used to indicate a different meaning of a word or phrase than the one typically associated with it and are often used to express irony...
(") is not a problem, as written Japanese uses corner brackets
Quotation marks, also called quotes, speech marks or inverted commas, are punctuation marks used in pairs to set off speech, a quotation, or a phrase...
The following table summarizes the phonetic
This article deals with the phonology of the Japanese language.-Consonants:The Japanese vowels are pronounced as monophthongs, unlike in English; except for , they are similar to their Spanish or Italian counterparts....
shifts indicated by the dakuten
. Literally, syllables with dakuten
are "muddy sounds" (濁音 dakuon
), while those without are "clear sounds" (清音 seion
), but the handakuten
(lit. "half-muddy mark") does not follow this pattern.
Handakuten on ka, ki, ku, ke, ko
(rendered as か゚, き゚, く゚, け゚, こ゚) are not used in normal Japanese writing, but may be used by linguists and in dictionaries to represent the sound of ng
(ŋ), which is an allophone
In phonology, an allophone is one of a set of multiple possible spoken sounds used to pronounce a single phoneme. For example, and are allophones for the phoneme in the English language...
of /ɡ/ in many dialects of Japanese. This is called bidakuon
(鼻濁音), "nasal muddy sound".
In katakana only, the dakuten
may also be added to the character ウ u
and a small vowel character to create a [v] sound, as in ヴァ va
. As /v/ does not exist in Japanese, this usage applies only to some modern loanwords and remains relatively uncommon, and e.g. Venus
Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. The planet is named after Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. After the Moon, it is the brightest natural object in the night sky, reaching an apparent magnitude of −4.6, bright enough to cast shadows...
is typically transliterated as ビーナス (bīnasu
) instead of ヴィーナス (vīnasu
). Many Japanese, however, would pronounce both the same, with a /b/ sound, and may or may not recognize them as representing the same word.
An even less common method is to add dakuten
to the w- series, reviving the mostly obsolete characters for /wi/ (ヰ) and /we/ (ヱ). /vu/ is represented by using /u/, as above; /wo/ becomes /vo/ despite its /w/ normally being silent. Precomposed characters exist for this method as well (/va/ ヷ /vi/ ヸ /vu/ ヴ /ve/ ヹ /vo/ ヺ), although most IME
An input method is an operating system component or program that allows any data, such as keyboard strokes or mouse movements, to be received as input. In this way users can enter characters and symbols not found on their input devices...
s do not have a convenient way to enter them.
In Ainu language writing, handakuten can be used with the katakana セ to make it a /ts/ sound, セ゚ ce [tse] (which is interchangeable with チェ) , and is used with small pu
to represent a final p, ㇷ゚. In addition, handakuten can be combined with either katakana ツ or ト (tsu
) to make a [tu̜] sound, ツ゚ or ト゚.
Kana iteration marks
can also be added to hiragana and katakana iteration mark
Iteration marks are characters or punctuation marks that represent a duplicated character or word.-Chinese:In Chinese, 二 or 々 is used in casual writing to represent a doubled character, but it is never used in formal writing or printed matter...
s, indicating that the previous kana is repeated with voicing:
Both signs are relatively rare, but can occasionally be found in personal names such as Misuzu
(みすゞ). In these cases the pronunciation is identical to writing the kana out in full. There is also a longer multi-character iteration mark called kunojiten
, which is only used in vertical writing, and this also can have a dakuten