New answers tagged transliteration
There should be a list somewhere, as I imagine some linguist would have done research about it. It would be very long though. I don't believe there is an official one. Some characters that are commonly used in transliterations, off the top of my head: 布, 斯, 爾, 尼, 拉, 克, 阿, 格, 雷, 卡, 達.
Yes, there are preferred characters used in transliteration. But in Chinese the case is a little bit complicated than in Japanese. In Japanese, Katakana is part of the phonetic system of the language (although in written, those characters can be used with Kenji). In Chinese the phonetic system and the writing system are completely separated except in rare ...
Pretty much what @songyuanyao said, though, you will find some words in the dictionary that are marked (or defined I guess I should say) as "used in transliteration" like:哌、吖、叭...etc etc
There're no such character set like Japanese katakana. kana is a kind of phonography, but in Chinese only select similarly pronounced Hanzi(汉字) to transliterate loanword. Such as 沙发(sofa). Of course there're some commonly used idiom for special English pronunciation.
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