Reading "one thousand" for 千 is red flagged

…but 千円 is ‘one thousand yen’. Since nobody will read 三千 ‘three one thousand’ , I don’t understand.
千 should read ‘one thousand’ (and possibly ‘thousand’ if you insist)

If it’s that big a deal to you, you can add a synonym. But I don’t see it as such an issue. If you think about it, there is a difference.

Let’s say you were buying pants and it said 5 on it. If you asked the employee if it was hundred or thousand would you say “one thousand”? “Are these pants 5 one thousands?”

So honestly, to me, what’s there is more accurate.


千 does not mean one thousand, it means thousand, 一千 is one thousand.

I was assuming that they were referencing the fact (at least, in English) that when you have number range definers by themselves you generally say one hundred, one thousand, etc.

(I have no idea what a “number range definers” is. It’s what came out of my brain.)


That’s probably true, but it doesn’t really change the fact that 千 just doesn’t mean “one thousand”

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Sometimes it does! In fact, if you don’t put any modifier before 千 the Japanese language usually assumes you’re talking about one thousand of something.

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The key word being assume. The words themselves mean “one thousand [somethingorother]” but the kanji does not. As the op stated 千円 is indeed “one thousand yen” but that is only because the 一 is omitted and the word 千円 has taken that meaning.


Nobody writes 一千 and nobody says いちせん but everybody says ‘one thousand’. So
your case is really hard to plead. In my language (French) we say 'mille’
not ‘un mille’ so might have a case here. It is not a matter of Japanese,
but of English


Every language I know of assumes it is one with the exception of English.
The problem has nothing to do with Japanese but with English which says
’one hundred’ and ‘one thousand’ where everybody else will use these
powers of ten without ‘one’ to express that there is only one. Same thing
for ‘one hundred thousand’ . Others join the English way for millions and

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I think your problem is with the fact that 千 is not a word; it’s a kanji, you can’t apply the same logic to it. 一千「いっせん」on the other hand is a common word.


You don’t know German then.


Yup! But either way the meaning is “1000” and it just so happens you can say that two ways in English.

Some dictionaries even include “one thousand” in the meaning for 千, like this one:千

But mostly I just think this discussion is silly and pointless. Whether he remembers 千 as thousand or one thousand is not going to affect his Japanese studies in the slightest.


French is even weirder in that regard: we omit the “one” for hundreds and thousands, but starting from millions, we must use it.

  • Cent cinquante-trois (153)
  • Un million deux cents mille (1,200,000)

You’re right, nobody says いちせん, you know why? Because it’s pronounced いっせん. No offense but if you didn’t even know how to pronounce the word, then I doubt you’d know how many people are using it. Just googling it gives you close to 80 million search results, including example sentences from books and newspapers.


Liras, I humbly thank you for your kind lesson, but I have been a few times
to Japan and therefore, in spite of all my ignorance, I know how to
pronounce correctly issensatsu. I used ichisen only to stress the
difference between standard English and standard Japanese when simply
counting. If I may reciprocate, this is a discussion about Japanes, not
Chinese to which the overwhelming majority of your 80 million search result
As already said, this is a question of English rather than Japanese

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Fair, but 三千円 is “three thousand yen”. Also think about it like this, when someone says “I have hundred dollars” you assume they mean one hundred, even though all they said was hundred, right?

Yeah but did you read the sample sentences? No one is using 一千 by itself, except to refer to that udon place in Yamanashi. Most people are saying 一千万 aka ten million. Even the sample sentences at jisho only use it to mean “ten million”

It seems like stylistically, the only time you actually use 一千 is if you’re referring to a number which is not one thousand. Either you’re talking about some udon place in Yamanashi or using it to refer to a larger number.

Most of the results seem to just be asking about the udon place though. And ironically their Twitter handle uses “ichisen”

Anyone hungry?

Portuguese does the exact same thing! These two numbers you gave, for example, are:

Cento e cinquenta e três
Um milhão e duzentos mil

I guess that’s to be expected from such similar languages, but it’s still cool to see

Yeah, you have to be careful with this in Japanese; it’s very easy to get carried away. Like this guy, presumably a native speaker, asking the question “How much is 1,000 thousand yen?”

And the answer is even better: “It’s 1000 x 1000 = 100 ten thousand yen.”

Oh, Japanese, don’t ever change.

It seems that 第一千 might be preferable to 第千, as in ordinal number counting, but obviously it still wouldn’t be common to express the 1000th of something. Though it feels nicer to say to my tongue.