What kana do not have romanized forms?

There is no romanized form in the main romanization systems for the smaller versions of the vowel kana, ぁ, ぃ, ぅ, ぇ and ぉ, the combinations of these with other kana, such as フォ, ティ, or チェ, used in loan words (see Words from other languages), the smaller versions of the "y" kana, ゃ, ゅ, and ょ (see What is ?), or for the small tsu kana っ (see What is the small kana "tsu" used for?).

Because there is no standard way of romanizing the combination トゥ of katakana to () and small u (), used to represent sounds like "too" or "today", some people write this pair as "tu", but that may be confused with the tu Nippon-shiki and Kunrei-shiki romanizations of the kana ツ, romanized as tsu in Hepburn romanization. (See What are the systems of romanization of Japanese? for more on the different ways of romanizing Japanese.) A computer input method will produce ツ when t and u are typed, not トゥ.

Small kana may be typed in various ways on a computer. An x or an l preceding the romanization of the full-sized kana usually produces a small version, thus xtu gives 'っ'. (See How can I input small kana like ぃ, っ and ょ, or づ on a computer? for how to type unusual kana and other Japanese symbols.) However, these forms are input methods (see How is Japanese input on a computer?); they are not used to represent the smaller kana in romanized Japanese.

99-Shiki (Kyūkyū-Shiki) is an extended romaji system from The Society for the Romanization of the Japanese Alphabet, the originators of the "Hepburn" system of romanization, that is intended to formalize solutions to many of the above shortcomings.[1]


  1. The Society for the Romanization of the Japanese Alphabet: 99式ローマ字つづり (in Japanese)

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