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How do you count to 10 in Japanese?


Japanese is a language that is spoken by millions of people worldwide. It is known for its unique writing system, but it also has a fascinating way of counting. In this article, we will explore how to count to 10 in Japanese and gain a better understanding of the language.

Counting from 1 to 4

The first four numbers in Japanese are straightforward. The number one is “ichi,” two is “ni,” three is “san,” and four is “shi.” It’s essential to note that the word for “four” can also mean “death” in Japanese culture, so sometimes it is substituted with “yon” instead.

Japanese Snack Box

Counting from 5 to 7

After four, the counting system starts to get more complicated. The number five is “go,” six is “roku,” and seven is “shichi.” It’s interesting to note that the number seven is considered lucky in Japanese culture, so it’s essential to know how to say it correctly.

Counting from 8 to 10

The last three numbers in Japanese are eight, nine, and ten. Eight is “hachi,” nine is “kyuu,” and ten is “juu.” These three numbers are crucial because they form the basis for counting higher numbers in Japanese.

Counting with Base Units

In Japanese, you use base units of 10,000, 1,000, 100, and 10. For example, the number 52 would be read as “gojuuni,” which means five tens and two. By learning these base units, you can count all the way up to one hundred million!

Counting with Counters

In addition to base units, Japanese also uses counters to count different objects. For example, when counting flat objects like sheets of paper or photos, you would use the counter “mai.” So if you had four sheets of paper, you would say “shi mai.” Other counters include “hon” for long objects like pencils and “dai” for machines or vehicles.

Counting Minutes and Seconds

In Japanese, time is counted in minutes and seconds using different counters. For example, one minute is “ippun,” and one second is “ichibyou.” When counting minutes and seconds together, you use the counter “fun” for minutes and “byou” for seconds.

Counting Money

When counting money in Japanese yen currency, you use the counter “en.” So if you had 500 yen, you would say “gohyaku en.” However, when counting large amounts of money (over 10,000 yen), you would use the base unit of 10,000 instead.

Counting People

To count people in Japanese, you use the counter “nin.” So if there were three people in a room, you would say “san nin.” However, when referring to oneself, the counter changes to “sai” for age or “tai” for body parts (such as fingers).

Counting Days

In Japanese culture, there are specific counters used for counting days. For example, when counting days of the week or dates on a calendar, you use the counter “nichi.” When counting days of the month or year, you use the counter “ka.”

Practice Makes Perfect!

The best way to master counting in Japanese is through practice. Try counting various objects around your home or office and using different counters. You can also practice listening to native speakers count in Japanese by watching videos or listening to podcasts.

In Conclusion

The Japanese language has a fascinating way of counting that involves base units and counters. By learning these fundamental concepts and practicing regularly, you can become proficient at counting in Japanese and gain a deeper understanding of the language as a whole.

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In Japanese, the numbers are pronounced as follows: “Ni” sounds like the word “knee,” “San” means three, “Shi” means four, “Go” stands for five, and “Roku” (sometimes pronounced as “Roak”) means six. The word for seven is “Shichi,” although it’s often shortened to “sheech” or “seech.” “Hachi” means eight, “Ku” means nine, and “Ju” stands for ten.

How do you count to 1 10 in Japanese?

In Japanese counting, the numbers are “hitotsu” (1), “futatsu” (2), “mittsu” (3), “yottsu” (4), “itsutsu” (5), “muttsu” (6), “nanatsu” (7), “yattsu” (8), “kokonotsu” (9), and “tou” (10). For numbers 4, 7, and 9, there are two reading options in Sino-Japanese, which are listed in the table below with their corresponding English pronunciations. This information is current as of November 22, 2021.

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A lot of our martial arts instructors started their training at a very young age, but there is no age requirement for starting. It’s always possible to learn something new, no matter how old you are, and practicing martial arts is a great way to challenge your mind and stay sharp.

How do you say 0 in Japanese?

The Japanese word for zero is represented by the kanji character 零 (rei), but it is more frequently expressed and said as “zero” in English, using the same pronunciation: ゼロ (zero). Another alternative is マル (maru), which means “circle” and is used in the same way as the English word “oh” when reading individual digits of a number.

What is 20 years old in Japan?

In Japan, there is an annual ceremony called Seijin shiki that takes place on the second Monday of January. This ceremony is held to mark the official recognition of individuals reaching legal adulthood, which is still at the age of 20 in Japan.

What is number 1 in Japanese?

The basic numbers in Japanese are represented by characters, with the first number being “ichi” or “one,” the second being “ni” or “two,” the third being “san” or “three,” and the fourth being “shi” or “four.”

The Importance of Proper Pronunciation

When learning how to count in Japanese, it’s essential to pay attention to proper pronunciation. Japanese is a tonal language, which means that a slight change in pitch can change the meaning of a word. For example, “shi” can mean either “four” or “death,” depending on the pitch used. It’s important to practice your pronunciation with a native speaker or a language teacher to ensure that you’re using the correct tone and emphasis.

The Role of Numbers in Japanese Culture

In addition to their practical use, numbers also hold cultural significance in Japan. For example, the number nine is considered unlucky because it sounds similar to the word for “suffering” or “pain.” On the other hand, the number eight is considered lucky because it sounds similar to the word for “prosperity” or “wealth.” Understanding these cultural nuances can deepen your appreciation for the language and its people.

Counting in Different Contexts

When counting in Japanese, it’s important to use the appropriate counter for the context. For example, when counting bottles of beer, you would use the counter “hai” instead of “hon” (which is used for long objects). Similarly, when counting animals, you would use the counter “hiki” instead of “nin.” Using the wrong counter can sound awkward or confusing to native speakers.

The Evolution of Japanese Numerals

Japanese numerals have evolved over time and have been influenced by other languages such as Chinese and English. For example, the word for “zero” in Japanese is “rei,” which was borrowed from Chinese. The word for “one,” on the other hand, is unique to Japanese and has no direct equivalent in Chinese or English. By studying the history of Japanese numerals, you can gain a deeper understanding of how language evolves and adapts over time.


Counting in Japanese is an essential skill for anyone interested in learning the language or traveling to Japan. By learning the basic numbers and counters and practicing your pronunciation, you can communicate effectively with native speakers and gain a deeper appreciation for Japanese culture. With dedication and persistence, anyone can master this fascinating aspect of the language.

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