How to count and use numbers and numerals in Japanese
Here are some questions for you: “今日は何月何日ですか？ (What is today’s date?)” “今何時ですか？ (What time is it right now?)” “あなたは何歳ですか？ (How old are you?)”
Can you answer any of these questions in Japanese? If not, watch our video and read our article on “数字”, Japanese numbers and numerals and dazzle everyone with your extensive knowledge on Japanese counting!
|Table of Contents|
[About Japanese “数字”]
[About Japanese “数字”]
The same number can have several different readings, so there are many mistakes to make – but also lots of ways of getting it right! However, numbers are something you will need to use every day, so here is an overview on how to count in Japanese.
The Japanese counting system works partly in an additive way. Hence, if you remember the numbers 1-10, you will be able to count to 99! But keep in mind that some numbers have several readings, which can mostly be used interchangeably:
Please note that “れい” is more commonly read as “れー”. As for the reading “よ” for “4”, it is most often used when followed by a counter for time or money, e.g. “よ時 (4 o’clock)” or “よ円 (4 Yen)”.
To continue counting after 10, you simply add the numbers on top of each other, first stating the big counter, e.g. “じゅう” and then the smaller counter, e.g. “いち”. That way, how do you read “11”? That would be “じゅういち”! Depending on which numbers you combine, this can again lead to several ways you can read these numbers.
For the numbers 20, 30, 40, etc., instead of combining them additionally, they are created by multiplication. So instead of saying 10 twice, think 2x 10: “にじゅう”.
Counting over one hundred works the same way as counting over ten: Numbers are put together by multiplication. Hence, to say 200, think 2x 100: “にひゃく”. Watch out for the special readings for 300, 600 and 800!
Counting from one thousand upward is again the same game: You multiply! 2x 1000: “にせん”. Watch out for the special readings for 3000 and 8000!
Now that you know how to count, why not put what you learned to use and practice reading some numbers? Putting all the numbers together is easy: Just work your way down from the biggest counter down to the smallest. For example, 234 reads as: “にひゃくさんじゅうよん” – two (times) hundred three (times) ten four!
Here are a few numbers for you to try and read! Find the solutions below!
Counting in Japanese may seem difficult in the beginning, but it is logical and just a matter of practice. Try saying numbers you see throughout your day in Japanese and you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
|金額||Amount of money|