Numbers? Help!

I’m having a terrible time with learning numbers, and it’s driving me nuts. Is there a reason why they keep changing, based on numbers or months or days or people or things? Is there any pattern to when you use which version, or do we just have to memorize it all? (I’m only on level 2, so yeah. Noob.) Thanks for any tips! I understand the idea of counters, I’m ok with that, it’s when to use ni and when to use fu for two, when to use san vs mi for three, etc.

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This Tofugu article is a good rundown of all the various ways of counting that you need to understand:

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In Japanese language, some numbers are read in the Chinese way, and some others in the Japanese way. Be glad that you’re not learning Korean. Otherwise you’d also be learning that the Chinese and Korean readings of numbers are sometimes mixed with each other.

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They don’t change that much, there are definitely patterns
いち either stays that ( 一日いちにち), turns into いっ (一体いったい) or turns into ひと (一つひとつ). You can get a feel for it very quickly. ひと only happens in 3 words, 2 of which you’ve already learned. いっ and いち will depend on exactly which is easier to read.
Same goes for most numbers, for most of them, you will have around 3 different readings, one of them being rarer.
In english you would for example say two, twice and twenty. Same(ish) number, changes a lot.

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Essentially there’s three numbering systems:
The chinese one, used for most numbers greater than 10 and with most counters, in general the most common one. It’s the typical ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyuu/ku, juu sequence with powers of ten going juu, hyaku, sen, man, etc. The twist is that 4 and 7 are considered unlucky due to associations with death (which is a homophone and also shi) so they are typically replaced with yon and nana from the next numbering system
The old native one: used for numbers 1-10, the counters つ 日 and occasionally with some multiples of 10 (such as how twenty years old is not the chinese nijuusai, but retains the old word for 20 and is read hatachi).
And lastly the english numbering system which should be pretty easy, it goes ワン ツウ etc (though anything above 2 is pretty rare, but i’ve seen bigger numbers in, like, tennis) it’s used in a bunch of odd places but is the rarest of the three.

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Though if we’re mentioning 一日, I would say it’s important to mention the ついたち reading. So, yeah… Even that one word has multiple readings, which aren’t interchangeable.

Numbers are definitely tough.

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Ah, the Valve™ counting system.

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Except in pop-music-related anime, where it’s common to hear someone counting people in with ファイブ シックス セブン エイト :slightly_smiling_face:

I think you posted to the wrong subtopic since your post is not written in Japanese.

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Details. New users can be allowed a few mistakes :blush:

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Sure, but we still should point the mistakes so they can learn.

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oh sorry sorry sorry! it suggested topics and I took them. :pensive:

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Don’t worry! :slight_smile:

Oh then can you help me i forgot if 3 is トリー or チリー

I started and then dropped テニスの王子様 this week which is why i still have memories of people saying フィフティン•ラブ or サーティ•オール
and of course there is that Mob Psycho opening where they just count

Three in katakana would be スリー.

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Seems very intimidating at first but it starts to make sense eventually. Just keep at it. Remember when I was audibly saying “what the fuck” to the screen, now I barely look at it.

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One resource for helping with numbers is this website that lets you practice your listening comprehension of them. It doesn’t help with some of the irregular numbers that come with certain counters, but it’s pretty handy for getting used to listening to large numbers and understanding what you’re hearing.

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Wikipedia is actually a pretty good resource for that:

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Level 2 you say? I usggest that you just bide your time and grind away at memorizing the presentations on Wanikani until you get to level 5, which is where I am now. THEN the problme yuou are talking about here will be organized and you will already have memorized the days, things 1-10…Umm I would say I am 90% there. Then look at the chart, Trust Wanikani to feed you the ones you/we need

Popping in to mention that in a lot of songs, 15 is said as strawberry. いちご :crazy_face:

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