What does "~ kana" mean at the end of sentence in Japanese?

What is "kana" and how and why is it used in the Japanese language?

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For new students learning Japanese, you'll eventually come across sentences ending with "kana." Sometimes from the context, it's difficult to tell what "kana" means. How does it translate into a sentence? Here's the basic breakdown of this unusual Japanese sentence structure (unusual to English speakers, at least):

When you see Kana at the end of a sentence, it is essentially inferring the English equivalent of "I wonder." It's a relatively casual expression, and used quite often in conversation.

Instead of just asking the question, it's a way of couching it a bit, to encourage the listener to "wonder" as well. 

Here are some examples:

Ashita yuki ga furu kana.
明日雪が降るかな。
I wonder if it will snow tomorrow.
Ano hito wa supein-jin kana.
あの人はスペイン人かな。
I wonder if he/she is Spanish. 

"~ kashira (~かしら)" can be replaced with "~ kana", though it is used only by females.

Kore ikura kashira.
これいくらかな。
I wonder how much it is.
Dou shita no kashira.
どうしたのかしら。
I wonder what happened.

Here are some more phrases with "~ kana."

Nani o kite ikou kana.
何を着ていこうかな。
What shall I wear?
Mattete kureru kana.
待っててくれるかな。
I wonder if he/she will wait for me.
Machiawase-basho machigaeta kana.
待ち合わせ場所間違えたかな。
I wonder if I am waiting 
in the wrong place.
Okane, ato ikura nokotteru kana.
お金、後いくら残ってるかな。
I wonder how much money I have left.
.
来年はいいことあるかな。
I wonder if next year will bring 
something good. 

 

To ask the question and add an element of doubt or uncertainty "I wasn't sure whether it would snow" you would add の(no) forming "nokana."