Wo (kana)

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wo
transliteration (w)o
hiragana origin
katakana origin

, in hiragana, or in katakana, is one of the Japanese kana, each of which represent one mora.

Modern usage[edit]

In Japanese, this kana is used almost exclusively for a particle; therefore, the katakana form (ヲ) is fairly uncommon in everyday language — mostly used as a stand-in for its hiragana counterpart in texts that need to be written entirely in katakana.

Despite originally representing [wo], the syllable is pronounced [o] by almost all modern speakers. Singers may pronounce it with the [w], as may those attempting to emphasize the syllable for clarity. But apart from some literate speakers who have revived [wo] as a spelling pronunciation, the onglide is extinct in the modern spoken language.

In Romaji, the kana is transliterated variably as ⟨o⟩ or ⟨wo⟩, with the former being faithful to standard pronunciation but the latter avoiding confusion with お and オ. Katakana ヲ can sometimes be combined with a dakuten, ヺ, to represent a /vo/ sound in foreign words; however, most IMEs lack a convenient way to do this. The combination ヴォ is used far more frequently to represent the /vo/ sound.

A "wo" sound is usually represented in katakana as ウォ instead. For example, ウォークマン (Wōkuman, "Walkman") and ウォッカ (Wokka, "Vodka")

Form Rōmaji Hiragana Katakana
Normal w-
(わ行 wa-gyō)
Wo

Hiragana を is still used in several Okinawan orthographies for the syllable /o~wo/; in the Ryukyu University system it is /o/, whereas お is /ʔo/. Katakana ヲ is used in Ainu for /wo/.

Stroke order[edit]

Stroke order in writing を
Stroke order in writing を
Stroke order in writing ヲ
Stroke order in writing ヲ
Stroke order in writing を
Stroke order in writing ヲ

Other representations[edit]

Character
Unicode name HIRAGANA LETTER WO KATAKANA LETTER WO HALFWIDTH KATAKANA LETTER WO
Encodings decimal hex decimal hex decimal hex
Unicode 12434 U+3092 12530 U+30F2 65382 U+FF66
UTF-8 227 130 146 E3 82 92 227 131 178 E3 83 B2 239 189 166 EF BD A6
Numeric character reference を を ヲ ヲ ヲ ヲ
Shift JIS 130 240 82 F0 131 146 83 92 166 A6
  • Braille
を / ヲ in Japanese Braille
を / ヲ
wo
をう / ヲー
wō

vo
ヺー
⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5) ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25) ⠐ (braille pattern dots-5) ⠔ (braille pattern dots-35) ⠒ (braille pattern dots-25)

Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 1.svg Japanese Semaphore Basic Stroke 9.svg