Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Numbers (trilingual post #4)

Since I really want to be talking about times, dates and other things I always really like, we need some basics first. Today I'll be talking about numbers.
Here are some of the previous posts: Pets (#1), Farm Animals (#2) and Things on your desk(#3)

Same disclaimer as always:
I'm not a teacher, I compile each of these posts by going by my own knowledge and they only reflect my own opinion. You should at all times think for yourself and not take any of what is said as the pure truth, I am after all human so I make mistakes too.


 So, we'll get into the basics of counting in all three languages, first some numbers and then I'll explain some of the specifics of each language.

Japanese English Dutch #
零(れい) Zero Nul 0
一(いち) One Een 1
二(に) Two Twee 2
三(さん) Three Drie 3
四(よん)* Four Vier 4
五(ご) Five Vijf 5
六(ろく) Six Zes 6
七(なな)** Seven Zeven 7
八(はち) Eight Acht 8
九(きゅう)* Nine Negen 9
十(じゅう) Ten Tien 10
十一(じゅう・いち) Eleven Elf 11
十二(じゅう・に) Twelve Twaalf 12
十三(じゅう・さん) Thirteen Dertien 13
十四(じゅう・よん) Fourteen Veertien 14
十五(じゅう・ご) Fifteen Vijftien 15
十六(じゅう・ろく) Sixteen Zestien 16
十七(じゅう・なな) Seventeen Zeventien 17
十八(じゅう・はち) Eighteen Achttien 18
十九(じゅう・きゅう) Nineteen Negentien 19
二十(に・じゅう) Twenty Twintig 20

* In Japanese the numbers 4 and 9 are traditionally read as し and く. But this is because the same reading can also mean (respectively) death and torture. This is why their traditional reading is only used in set combinations (like months), but in most readings they are read as shown in the table.
** The number seven is usually read as shown above, since it's original reading しち sounds too much like one (いち). The rules of when to use what are the same as for 4 and 9.

As you can see the Dutch and English numbers run up in largely the same way. If you know English, counting to twenty in Dutch shouldn't come as a surprise.

Japanese on the other hand runs slightly different. In Japanese counting is pretty straight forward (even when naming conventions aren't always). From left to right you write down the numbers from biggest to smallest, so sixteen is 10+6, and that is also how it's pronounced, じゅう・ろく. You can even see this going from 20, twenty is 2+10, two tens.
Of course, these aren't the only way numbers are pronounced, which by now is to be expected of Japanese. Though I focus on the simple way of counting first since this is important to know, also, this way you can get used to both the way numbers are displayed and written (though they do also use western numbers quite a lot these days, but it's handy to know these).

I didn't go over 20 since English and Dutch are different when you go over that line, so I'll leave that to another post, it's too much to explain for just one post.

I'm going to try to not all make this boring and will try to combine posts from the past into posts where I can explain more of the language.

I'm trying to keep these posts bite size, so that you can use them next to your own studies but not as a replacement of them. Do you think the size of these are good as they are or would you like them longer/shorter?

Study on!


I forgot a few little things.
One: here is the hiragana and katakana cheat sheet.

Also, I've opened a G+ community for this blog, so you can see and discuss all the posts that are made even when it's not about the languages that I post in the communities to: Kia Learns Japanese Blog Community