Resources‎ > ‎

Counting In Japanese

Counting In Japanese

Counting in Japanese is actually really easy. In order to count up to 99, all you need to know is the Japanese terms for 1 through 10.

 one ichi
 two ni
 three san
 four shi ( or yon)
 five  go
 six roku
 seven shichi ( or nana)
 eight hachi
 nine kyu
 ten jyu

Above ten, we would say something to the effect of "10 and 2" to stand for "12". Therefore,

11 = "ten (and) one" = "jyu ichi"
12 = "ten (and) two" = "jyu ni"
13 = "ten (and) three" = "jyu san"
14 = "ten (and) four" = "jyu yon"
15 = "ten (and) five" = "jyu go"
16 = "ten (and) six" = "jyu roku"
17 = "ten (and) seven" = "jyu nana"
18 = "ten (and) eight" = "jyu hachi"
19 = "ten (and) nine" = "jyu kyu"

For numbers from 20 through 99, you would say something like "3 tens and 6" to mean "36". Therefore,

36 = "3 tens and 6" = "san jyu roku"
43 = "4 tens and 3" = "yon jyu san"
71 = "7 tens and 1" = "nana jyu ichi"
99 = "9 tens and 9" = "kyu jyu kyu"

Counting higher is basically the same.

100 = "hyaku"
1000 = "sen"
10,000="man"

So,

101 is "hundred (and) one" = "hyaku ichi"
201 is "two hundred (and) one" = "ni hyaku ichi"
546 is "five hundred (and) four tens (and) six" = "go hyaku yon jyu roku"
3427 = "san zen yon hyaku ni jyu nana (or shichi)" (note that "sen" becomes "zen" after
a voiced consonant line "n")
23,456 = "ni man san zen yon hyaku go jyu roku"

Some anomalies:

Use "shi" for "four" only in the single digit column. So, you can use "shi" or "yon" in 3654, but use "yon" for 40, 400, 4000, etc.
Use "shichi" for "seven" only in the single digit column. So, you can use "shichi" or "nana" in 9607, but use "nana" for 70, 700, 7000, etc.

600 = "roppyaku" (not "rokyu hyaku")
800 = "happyaku" (not "hachi hyaku")
8000 = "hassen" (not "hachi sen")