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Lesson Transcript

Do you know how to count crabs?
I'll tell you the answer at the end of this lesson!
Hi everybody! I'm Alisha.
こんにちは、 Yamamori です。
Welcome to Japanese Counters for Beginners, where you'll learn how to count all sorts of different objects in Japanese!
Yamamori-sensei, what counter will we learn in this lesson?
First, let's take a look at what sorts of objects can be counted with the counter.
When counting animals, you can use the counter...
You can use this counter when you count small to medium-sized animals, and any insects and fish. The object you count can be as small as a mosquito, or as big as a large-breed dog.
Okay, let's count numbers 1 to 10 with this counter.
Did you notice that there were some numbers that sounded different to how they usually sound?
You need to be careful when you say the numbers 1, 3, and 10.
For number 1, it's i-ppiki, not 'ichi-hiki.'
For number 10, it's 'ju-ppiki' not 'juu-hiki.'
For number 3, it's 'san-biki' not 'san-hiki'.
Only this number three takes 'biki'.
Okay. Now let's take a look at some sample sentences that use this counter.
“There are 3 dogs.”
“I caught a beetle.”
“There are 5 carp swimming.”
Now it's time for a quiz. I'm going to ask you a question in English. Answer it in Japanese. Are you ready? Make sure you use the right counter.
How many cats are there?
How many fish are swimming?
Japanese counters can sometimes change according to the state of objects. When you go to a
fishmarket, some fish or seafood can be counted with a different counter. For example, how
would you count crabs, octopuses and squid when they're seen as food?
The answer is...
When Japanese people see crabs, octopuses and squid as food, they change the counter.
So, you can ask at the fishmarket: このカニは、一杯いくらですか。
And that means "how much is one crab of this (type)?"
Okay, everyone. That's it for this lesson.
I'll see you next time!