Counter Vocabulary

I’m a little baffled by the counter vocabulary choices made by WaniKani.

It seems like a lot of non-exception number-counter compounds are treated as vocabulary words…why is it necessary to separately learn 1台、2台、5台、10台? They all follow the same rule after all. It seems strange to cover so many redundant ones but not the whole 1-10. (I do understand why one would cover the whole 1-10 for wago since it’s more of an exception, like for the つ or 日 counters, but it seems like for kango this gets old pretty fast.)

Anyone else bothered by this? Sorry if I missed an FAQ somewhere that explains how WaniKani vocab is chosen.


They drop off as WK goes on. I think it’s just the site trying to get you used to the idea of the different readings that can accompany various counters.

(Incidentally, I learned recently from a Japanese native-speaker-oriented book about counter words that there’s a pattern to when the Japanese-original readings are used (ひ, ふ, み, よ, etc.) versus the Chinese-adopted readings (いち, に, さん, etc.). With a handful of exceptions, if the counter is also a stand-alone word/uses the kunyomi, it uses the Japanese-original readings. If the counter uses its onyomi/can’t stand meaningfully alone, it uses the Chinese-adopted readings. There are far more counter words that fall into the second category.)


Good to know I won’t be plagued by these for too long then ^-^

Also that’s an interesting pattern. I learned a lot about counters from reading the Tofugu articles on various counters as well as wago/kango counting, lots of good stuff there too.

Precisely to show you that they all follow the same rule. If they only had 1 or 2, you wouldn’t be as comfortable assuming.

Don’t worry, this won’t be a big problem in your WK jouney. Consider them as free words :slight_smile:


TextFugu used to introduce 一人 and 二人 first, and then later, suddenly 三人, leading many people to run to the forums and go “why’s 三人 got such a crazy reading?”

Oh, such fun was had.


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