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Lesson Transcript

Peter: Basic Bootcamp Lesson 5 – “Counting from one hundred to one hundred thousand in Japanese.” Welcome back to Basic Bootcamp. This five-part series will help you ease your way into Japanese.
Naomi: We’ll go over all the basics that will really help you understand Japanese in a quick and easy way.
Peter: In this lesson, we’ll venture into high number territory, from over one hundred to ten thousand.
Naomi: You’ll be listening to two people at an auction.
Peter: They’ll be bidding over an item. They’re trying to outbid one another for an item and the price keeps rising.
Auctioneer: And here, we have a beautiful vintage comic book. It’s a rare collector's item. We'll start the bidding at 100 yen.
Hiro: Hyaku! (100!)
Kazuki: Ni-hyaku! (200!)
Hiro: Go-hyaku! (500!)
Kazuki: Sen! (1,000!)
Hiro: Sen san-byaku! (1,300!)
Kazuki: Sen ro-ppyaku! (1,600!)
Hiro: Ni-sen! (2,000!)
Kazuki: San-zen! (3,000!)
Hiro: Ha-ssen! (8,000!!!)
Kazuki: ....
Auctioneer: Sold! To this person right here for 8,000 yen!
Hiro: Yatta! (Yay!)
Peter: Naomi-sensei, poor Kazuki, he walked away with nothing. But Hiro got the vintage comic he wanted. How much did he pay for it?
Naomi: Ha-ssen-en, which is 8,000 yen.
Peter: Sounds like a lot for a comic. It must have been a pretty good one.
Naomi: Yeah.
Peter: Or, maybe, he just really wanted it.
Naomi: Right. He sounded really excited. He said Yatta! which means “Yay!” or “I did it!” You can use this if you’re happy about something that happened.

Lesson focus

Peter: Ok. So, they were shouting a lot of big numbers in this conversation. Let’s take a closer look at how to put them together. In the last Bootcamp Lesson about numbers, we learned that to say 11 in Japanese is basically say “ten-one”.
Naomi: 十一 (jū-ichi).
Peter: 12 is?
Naomi: “Ten-two.” 十二 (jū-ni).
Peter: And, so on. 20 is the same thing, you say?
Naomi: “two-ten” 二十 (ni-jū)
Peter: 21?
Naomi: 二十一 (ni-jū-ichi)
Peter: And, so on. Up to 99 which is?
Naomi: 九十九 (kyū-jū-kyū)
Peter: And then at the end of the lesson, we learned that one hundred is?
Naomi: 百 (hyaku)
Peter: Remember that, even though in English, we say 100, we use the actual number. We don’t need to say “one” or 一 (ichi) heres, just…
Naomi: 百 (hyaku)
Peter: So, here’s the question: how do we start forming numbers over one hundred? Well, it’s very simple, actually. We just take 百 (hyaku) “100” and and then put the number after it.
Naomi: Right! For example, 101 is 百 (hyaku) “100” plus 一 (ichi) “1,” so 百一 (hyaku-ichi).
Peter: How about 111?
Naomi: “100” is 百 (hyaku), “11” is 十一 (jū-ichi), so 百十一 (hyaku-jū-ichi).
Peter: So, you could see again the pattern is the same. Now, let’s go through multiples of 100, 100 all the way to 900. Naomi-sensei, お願いします (onegai shimasu)?
Naomi: Ok. To create multiple hundreds, we put the number in front of 百 (hyaku), but sometimes, the 百 (hyaku) part itself will change.
Peter: Ok. So, we know that for 百 (hyaku), we don’t have to do it, so why don’t we start at 200?
Naomi: 二百 (ni-hyaku)
Peter: Literally, “two hundred.” How about 300?
Naomi: 三百 (san-byaku). Hyaku turns into byaku here. It’s just an exception, has to be memorized.
Peter: Yes. There are series of sound changes when it comes to number. Let’s keep going on. How about 400 and 500.
then, 四百 (yon-hyaku)
Peter: 400
Naomi: 五百 (go-hyaku)
Peter: 500. So, this stay the same. How about 600?
Naomi: 六百 (ro-ppyaku). This time hyaku changed to ppyaku.
Peter: Ok. How about 700?
Naomi: 七百 (nana-hyaku)
Peter: So this one stays the same. How about 800?
Naomi: 八百 (ha-ppyaku). The same sound change that we saw in 600.
Peter: And 900?
Naomi: 九百 (kyū-haku)
Peter: This one stays the same as well. When 百 (hyaku) followed 3, 6, and 8, we had a sound change. This is a pattern that shows up quite a lot, so try to remember these numbers. The rest will normally stay the same. Okay, Naomi-sensei, that takes care of the hundreds.
Naomi: はい。(Hai.)
Peter: Before moving on, let’s just recap them one more time, もう一度お願いします (mō ichi-do onegai shimasu). 100
Naomi: 百 (hyaku)
Peter: 200
Naomi: 二百 (ni-hyaku)
Peter: 300
Naomi: 三百 (san-byaku)
Peter: 400
Naomi: 四百 (yon-hyaku)
Peter: 500
Naomi: 五百 (go-hyaku)
Peter: 600
Naomi: 六百 (ro-ppyaku)
Peter: 700
Naomi: 七百 (nana-hyaku)
Peter: 800
Naomi: 八百 (ha-ppyaku)
Peter: 900
Naomi: 九百 (kyū-haku)
Peter: And 1000, which is a new word.
Naomi: 千 (sen). You don’t need to say the word for “1.” “1000” is just 千 (sen).
Peter: Now, as you guessed it, the pattern is going to stay the same. Let’s go to 2000.
Naomi: 二千 (ni-sen)
Peter: 3000?
Naomi: 三千 (san-zen)
Peter: One more time, break it down.
Naomi: 三千 (san-zen). Here, sen changes into zen.
Peter: 4000 and 5000.
Naomi: 四千 (yon-sen)
Peter: 4000
Naomi: 五千 (go-sen)
Pater: 5000. 6000?
Peter: 六千 (roku-sen). This time, it doesn’t change. So you have to memorize this one too.
Peter: Okay, 7000?
Naomi: 七千 (nana-sen)
Peter: 8000?
Naomi: 八千 (ha-ssen)
Peter: So here, the 八 (hachi) turns into?
Naomi: 八 (ha).
Peter: So, that one, you’re going to have to memorize.
Naomi: 八千 (ha-ssen)
Peter: Next, we have?
Naomi: 9000, 九千 (kyū-sen)
Peter: So, we only had two exceptions this time and we heard these in the conversation. Can we hear them one more time, Naomi-Sensei? ゆっくりお願いします。 (Yukkuri onegai shimasu.) “Slowly, please.”
Naomi: 三千 (san-zen)
Peter: Literally, that’s “3000.” How about 8000?
Naomi: 八千 (ha-ssen)
Peter: Now, before we go, let’s introduce a complex number, so that we could see how it’s all put together. Up until now, we’ve been using clean numbers.
Naomi: Clean numbers?
Peter: Yeah, well, very easy numbers; 3000, 4000. Let’s just pick a random number, but one that’s a little more complex. How about 3,592?
Naomi: Ok.
Peter: Which is by our definition a dirty number. So, we start out with 3000.
Naomi: 三千 (san-zen)
Peter: 500
Naomi: 五百 (go-hyaku)
Peter: 92
Naomi: 九十二 (kyū-jū-ni)
Peter: Put it all together?
Naomi: 三千五百九十二 (san-zen go-hyaku kyū-jū-ni)
Peter: 3,592. And, there it is. These are the building blocks for you to count all the way from one to 10,000.
Naomi: Just keep in mind a few exceptions and you’ll be set.
Peter: Now, we did say that we’d go up to 10,000, so let’s talk about that number for a moment, because it’s important.
Naomi: Yes, because in English, you can just say 10,000, but in Japanese, we have a separate word for 10,000.
Peter: That’s right. And because it’s different from English, this concept can be a little confusing at first. What’s the word for 10,000?
Naomi: 一万 (ichi-man)
Peter: 一万 (ichi-man) means 10,000. And note this time, we need the word for “1” 一 (ichi).
Naomi: 一万 (ichi-man)
Peter: So, let’s go over the keywords from this lesson. First, what’s “100,” again?
Naomi: 百 (hyaku)
Peter: “1000”?
Naomi: 千 (sen)
Peter: And “10,000”?
Naomi: 一万 (ichi-man)
Peter: There you have it. Now, Naomi-sensei, I think there’s one more number that we really should cover.
Naomi: What is it?
Peter: How about “zero”?
Naomi: Oh! There are two ways to say “zero.” One is ゼロ (zero), another is 零 (rei).
Peter: Two ways to say “zero,” just in case you needed them. And the reason we went all the way to 10,000 is because of the Japanese currency, the yen. The way it works here is 10,000 is equivalent to about 100 US dollars at this current point in time. That will change depending on when you’re listening to this. So, because of this, you use big numbers very fast. I mean, if you go out to dinner with four people to a nice restaurant, you’ll really be blown by the numbers we’ve covered so far, but in the lesson notes, there’ll be a nice explanation about this.


Peter: Ok. That concludes your basic bootcamp. You’ve now graduated Bootcamp and you have enough basics under your belt to move on to Basic Japanese Lessons.
Naomi: 頑張ってください。(Ganbatte kudasai.) Good Luck!


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