We are now ready to move on to katakana, which is used mainly for foreign words and names, and loanwords. For every hiragana character, there is an equivalent katakana character that is pronounced the same way. Therefore, anything can technically be written in either kana and be understood. Katakana is used much less than hiragana; and unlike hiragana, katakana is not combined with kanji to make words.
In this first lesson, you will learn to recognize the katakana characters listed in the table below.
There is one difference in katakana, which is using the ー dash to lengthen vowel sounds. For example, ヒー is transliterated to hii.