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Lesson 2: Numbers and Counting

Konnichiwa minna-san. This lesson is on numbers and counting ^_^. We will go over the numbers used for counting in Japanese, as well as those used for denoting quantity. The .phpick is same as before, so if you have any questions, comments, or just want to thank me(or scream at me) ^_^, you know how to reach me

Also in this lesson I'm including the Japanese characters for the numbers, so you can see how they look. If you have the latest version of Netscape(4.6, or higher), go to the View -Character Set-Japanese(auto select), and you'll see them. In Explorer, if you've allready installed the Japanese font set (here), go to View-Fonts-Japanese(Auto-Select). If you still can't see them, just click here.

There are two number systems in use in Japan, one goes only from one to ten, and is used for denoting quantity (for some items at least). While the other is Chinese in origin, and is used primarily for counting, mathematics, or rank/order( i.e number one(ichiban), 50 (gojuu) yen ). This system goes to infinity ^_^.

Cardinal Numbers

The following chart will show both systems, from 1 to 10, as well as the Kanji used for these numbers. I suggest you first learn the ones that are Chinese in origin, as they are the ones used for all counting, (money included ^_^).

Number
Chinese Originated (Counting)
Japanese (Quantity)
Kanji
0
rei (no not the same as Reichan =p)
1
ichi
hitotsu
2
ni
futatsu
3
san
mittsu
4
shi / yon
yottsu
5
go
itsutsu
6
roku
muttsu
ϻ
7
shichi / nana
nanatsu
8
hachi
yattsu
Ȭ
9
ku / kyuu
kokonotsu
10
juu
tou

11 to 19

Now we can go on to numbers from 11 to 19 ^_^. To form these numbers, first put juu(10), and then add to it the corresponding number from the second column. So 11 would be juuichi, 12 juuni, 14 juusan, and so on: 15 is juugo 16 is juuroku, and 18 is ______ (you tell me ^_^)

Are you all still with me on this? Good ^_^, because now it gets even easier. Twenty is two tens, or nijuu, twenty one is nijuuichi, and 34 is sanjuushi.(Only for 40, 70, and 90 we use yonjuu, nanjuu, and kyuujuu respectively )

100 and Up

With 100(hyaku) and 1,000(sen) the pattern is pretty much the same, but there are some changes as you'll see below.

100
hyaku
1,000
sen
200
niyaku
2,000
nisen
300
sanbyaku
3,000
sanzen
400
yonhyaku
4,000
yonsen
500
gohyaku
5,000
gosen
600
roppyaku
6,000
roksen
700
happyaku
7,000
nansen
800
happyaku
8,000
hassen
900
kyuuhyaku
9,000
kyuusen

Japanese uses 10,000 as a counting unit. Each unit of 10,000 is called a man.

Therefore 10,000 is ichiman, 20,000 is niman(etc..), 100,000 is juman (10 units of 10,000), 200,000 is nijuuman. this continues untill 100,000,000 which is ichioku. (I don't think we need to go any further with this, eh? ^_^) Now on to:

Ordinal Numbers

The ordinal numbers (first, second etc) are formed by adding -banme to the cardinal number. So first is ichibanme, second nibanme, third is sanbanme and so on. (as before, use the alternate numbers for 4, 7, and 9)

This is the end of lesson two ^_^. I hope that you liked it. Next week, when I put up the new lesson, it will have a quiz on this one, so you better study hard ^_^. The next lesson will be on reading Japanese, which will be done in three parts. The Katakana alphabet will be next week.

See you then!!!

Ja ne

 
 
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