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Items counted

Posted: April 3rd, 2009 10:42 am
by JamieS
Hello, I am new to Japan pod so this topic may already have been covered, but I get confused on counting or saying a certain number of items. It seems that there are different labels for different looking things. For example long things are bon, animals are i piggy, ne hicky, then there is mitsu, youtsu, ittsu. But when you get up to a certain number things it switches to ko like niju ko tori. Thanks for the help/explanation

Thanks,
Jay

Posted: April 3rd, 2009 12:37 pm
by QuackingShoe
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_counters
At a glance, the most important ones are probably つ (tsu) 番 (ban) 匹 (hiki) 個 (ko) 枚 (mai) 人 (nin) 時 (ji) 分 (fun) 日 (ka/nichi) 月 (gatsu/tsuki) ヶ月 (kagetsu) 本 (hon) 才/歳 (sai) 週 (shuu), 回 (kai), 度 (do), more rarely probably 頭 (tou) and 字 (ji), and probably a few really obvious things I'm not thinking about. They're all useful, but I think these are the ones that show up the most in daily living, or at least in daily reading. Make sure to read about the euphonic changes, and the exceptions.
Overall, you don't need to actually worry about sitting down and memorizing all of this or anything, though. You get really used to it over time without any particular effort.

By the way, if you use romaji, please try to use standard forms of it. It's really hard to try to read something like 'i piggy'.

Good luck!

Posted: April 3rd, 2009 1:41 pm
by JamieS
Hi QuackingShoe, Thanks for the web site. It was very helpful. Sorry about the romaji mistake. I'll be more careful what I type next time.

Jay