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Counting in Japanese

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1 Counting in Japanese on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:33 am

The numbers 1-10 are as follows
-Emphasis is place heavily on the first syllable
- "i" is pronounced as "ee"
- "a" is prounonced as "ah"
- "o" is pronounced as a short "oh"
- "u" is ponounced as a short "oo"

1 = ichi
2 = ni
3 = san
4 = shi
5 = go
6 = roku
7 = shichi
8 = hachi
9 = qu
10 = ju

Alternatively "yon" can be used to mean "4"
"shi" is in more common use however
it is a homonym of the Japanese word for "death"

for numbers 11-19 the word corresponding to a number 1-9 is added to the word for the number ten

11 = ju-ichi
12 = ju-ni
13 = ju-san
14 = ju-shi
15 = ju-go
16 = ju-roku
17 = ju-shichi
18 = ju-hachi
19 = ju-qu

for multiples of 10 the word for 10 is added to the word corresponding to a number 1-9

20 = ni-ju
30 = san-ju
40 = shi-ju
50 = go-ju
60 = roku-ju
70 = shichi-ju
80 = hachi-ju
90 = qu-ju

all other numbers up to 99 use the rules above

for example

11 = ichi-ju-ichi
21 = ni-ju-ichi
54 = go-ju-shi
69 = roku-ju-qu
99 = qu-ju-qu

The word for 100 is "hyaku"

You may have noticed that Japanese numbers are spoken as though listing units of 10, 100, 1000, 10000 etc
for example the word for 234 would be ni-hyaku-san-ju-shi
literally 2 hundreds (ni-hyaku), 3 tens (san-ju), and 4 (shi)

The japanese did not have a number for "0" until the concept was introduced by western nations so both the symbol and word are the same as in English except that the "e" is pronounced a "eh" so it sounds like "zeh-ro"

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2 Re: Counting in Japanese on Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:44 am

for additional help with pronunciation . . . .

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3 Re: Counting in Japanese on Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:31 am

also of note is that the word "Rei"(Ray) can be used for zero.
nine is actually pronounced kyu formally. ku is used in less formal situations like when counting or when the "kyu" pronunciation makes the word awkward.

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