After a visit to Tofugu I became completely overwhelmed by the number of counters that exist in Japanese. They’re listing 350 counters as being between absolutely necessary to know to less common and used. But, the real number is actually 500 counters!
After scrolling down the list, I kind of noticed something: many counters are actually just the nouns converted to a counter. For example, to count institutions you use the kanji for institution, 院, to count songs, you’ll use the kanji for song, 曲, for counting stones, use the kanji stone, 石.
Not all counters seem to follow that pattern, BUT, they did seem to be a not insignificant number of them.
Those of you who’ve gotten a bit further with your Japanese learning, can anyone confirm that it really is that simple, that when in doubt, you might be able to guess the counter to use, since it’s likely the noun of the thing you want to count!
It would certainly make it easier to understand how there can be 500 counters, making them ridiculously narrow in their span of objects that they can count.