How to Count

How to Count to One Million in Japanese

数え方
KAZOE
KATA

HOW TO COUNT (to 1,000,000!)


Simply put, the counting
system in Japanese is not simple. However if you learn this page
well, then you can count anything! Perhaps it won’t be the most
natural, but it will be understandable and that is our goal
right?!


This page concentrates on the 2 main
ways of counting to 10; the ‘Chinese’ and the ‘Japanese’
pronunciations. From 11 onward they both use the ‘Chinese’ way of
counting. <don’t panic yet, save it for later>

First, let’s look at how to count to 10
both ways. Learn these by heart–especially the ‘Chinese’ way.
They are the ‘main’ numbers. Notice the same kanji has different
pronunciations:

The ‘Chinese’ Numbers
The ‘Japanese’ Numbers

ichi

3.8 kb MP3
Sounds like ‘itchy’
hitotsu
These are not nearly as useful (at first) as
the counting system to the left

ni


2.3 kb MP3

2 & 3 are easy as it sounds like the car
company ‘NI SAN’

futatsu
But still they should be learned well.

san

4 kb MP3

mittsu
If you want to understand Japanese counting!

shi


3.5 kb MP3

This is also pronounced as YON as SHI can
also mean ‘death’

yottsu
But then again, if you are lazy or want to
learn useful stuff ASAP then…

go

3 kb MP3
In Japanese, Speed Racer’s car’s name is
“mahha go” (Mach 5)

itsutsu

Mainly concentrate on the numbers to the
left (ichi, ni, san…)

roku

3.5 kb MP3


muttsu

shichi

4 kb MP3
Also pronounced as NANA
nanatsu

hachi

3.2 kb MP3

yattsu

kyuu

2.8 kb MP3

Also pronounced as KU
kokonotsu

juu

3.7 kb MP3

to

COUNTING
TO 1,000,000 IS EASY IF YOU KNOW THESE 10 ABOVE:

11 is 10+1 JUU ICHI
12 is 10+2 JUU NI
13 is 10+3 JUU SAN

14 is 10+4 JUU YON (JUU shi is possible by JUU YON is used
more)
15 is 10+5 JUU GO
16 is 10+6 JUU ROKU

17 is 10+7 JUU SHICHI (or JUU NANA)
18 is 10+8 JUU HACHI
19 is 10+9 JUU KU (or JUU KYUU)

GOT
IT? Now for 20, 30, 40…

20 is 2+10 NI JUU [note that it is the opposite of 12 (JUU
NI)]
21 is 2+10+1 NI JUU ICHI

22 is 2+10+2 NI JUU NI

30 is 3+10 SAN JUU

40 is 4+10 YON JUU (rarely SHI JUU)
50 is 5+10 GO JUU
60 is 6+10 ROKU JUU

70 is 7+10 NANA JUU (rarely SHICHI JUU)
80 is 8+10 HACHI JUU
90 is 9+10 KYUU JUU (not KU JUU)

100 is HYAKU – the first
special word

105 is 100+5 HYAKU GO
158 is 100+50+8 HYAKU GO JUU HACHI

200 is 2+100 NI HYAKU
799 is 7+100+90+9 NANA HYAKU KYUU JUU KYUU

DO YOU FOLLOW? Once
you get it in your head, it really isn’t that hard.

NOTE: there are some sound changes that occur with some numbers.
I am just telling you that now. Don’t worry about that too much
now. Learn first the regular way to count.

1000 is SEN – the second special
word

1001 is 1000 + 1 SEN ICHI
9999 is 9+1000+9+100+9+10+9 KYUU SEN KYUU HYAKU KYUU JUU KYUU

10,000 is (ICHI) MAN – the third
special word

10,003 is 10,000+3 ICHI MAN SAN
90,090 is 9+10,000+9+10 KYUU MAN KYUU JUU

SO NOW CAN YOU GUESS WHAT
1,000,000 is? HINT it isn’t a special word. HINT HINT it is
100+10,000. The answer is written below in WHITE so drag your
mouse over it to highlight the answer:

HYAKU
MAN

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