Japanese Vocabulary Lesson 2: Numbers

Today I’ll teach you about numbers in Japanese! I’ll write in kanji, hiragana and romaji. Let’s start from 0 to 10:

0 – ゼロ、まる (zero, maru) -> maru means circle. There is a kanji for number 0, but it’s not very popular.
1 – 一、いち (ichi)
2 – 二、に (ni)
3 – 三、さん (san)
4 – 四、よん、し (yon, shi)
5 – 五、ご (go)
6 – 六、ろく (roku)
7 – 七、なな、しち (nana, shichi)
8 – 八、はち (hachi)
9 – 九、きゅう (kyuu)
10 – 十、じゅう (jyuu)

(1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 100, 1000)

For numbers that have more than one way to say, it depends on the situation. I’ll explain it when a concrete example comes up.

Now to the following numbers. The logic is to multiply 10 by 1 to 9, and add 1 to 9. Examples:

11 – 十一、じゅういち (jyuu ichi)
15 – 十五、じゅうご (jyuu go)
40 – 四十、よんじゅう (yon jyuu) -> here you have to use yon jyuu. Shi jyuu is wrong.

Simple right? A little more difficult ones:

23 – 二十三、にじゅうさん (ni jyuu san)
89 – 八十九、はちじゅうきゅう (hachi jyuu kyuu)

Ok, that was simple. Now to the bigger numbers. In Japanese there are some differences in bigger numbers. In the West we have “new unit names” at hundred, thousand and million, right? There are bigger ones like billion, but I won’t get to that extent. In Japanese there are new names at hundred, thousand, ten thousand and one hundred million. You just write this unity and add the rest of the number. Examples:

100 – 百、ひゃく (hyaku)
145 – 百四十五、ひゃくよんじゅうご (hyaku yon jyuu go)
333 – 三百三十三、さんびゃくさんじゅうさん (san byaku san jyuu san) -> please note the “byaku” instead of hyaku. Sometimes in Japanese these words are changed to be more easily pronounced.
666 – 六百六十六、ろっぴゃくろくじゅうろく (roppyaku roku jyuu roku) -> similar situation as the previous example.
1 000 – 千、せん (sen)
1 900 – 千九百、せんきゅうひゃく (sen kyuu hyaku)
10 000 – 一万、いちまん (ichi man)
44 445 - 四万四千四百四十五、よんまんよんせんよんひゃくよんじゅうご (yon man yon sen yon hyaku yon jyuu go)
7 000 000 – 七百万、ななひゃくまん (nana hyaku man)
100 000 000 – 一億、いちおく (ichi oku)

This number is high enough right? 🙂


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