How to Count in Japanese

Want to learn how to count in Japanese? Well you have come to the right place!

In most dojos, despite the common language spoken in the surrounding areas, the classes will often include some Japanese. This happens most often when the Sensei or Senior Instructor counts out loud during class. It is a good idea to learn how to count from 1-10 confidently as these are the most commonly used numbers in our Dojo and most others around the world.

___________ Let’s get started 🙂 ___________

One | Ichi (一)

  • Sounds like “eachee” or itchy – When spoken quickly the whole word sounds like “each.” or Itch

Two | Ni (二)

  • Sounds like “knee”

Three | San (三)

  • Sounds like “sahn”

Four | Shi / Yon (四)

  • Sounds like “she” – Alternately it can be pronounced “yon” (sounds like “yohn”).

Five | Go (五)

  • Sounds like “go” – when you say “go” in Japanese, you need to leave your mouth rounded when you’re done

Six | Roku (六)

  • Sounds similar to “row ku” but more like “loh-koo.”

Seven | Shichi / Nana (七)

  • Sounds like “she-tchee” – It can also be pronounced “nana” (the As are pronounced “ah”).

Eight | Hachi (八)

  • Sounds like “ha!” then “tchee.”

Nine | Kyuu (九)

  • Sounds like the letter “q”

Ten | Juu (十)

  • Sounds like “jew”





Above ten the numbers are pronounced differently: for example the number 11 in Japanese is translated as “10 plus 1”

Eleven | ju ichi

Twelve | ju ni

Thirteen | ju san

Fourteen | ju shi

Fifteen | ju go

Sixteen | ju roku

Seventeen | ju shichi

Eighteen | ju hachi

Nineteen | ju kyu

Above twenty the numbers are again pronounced in a slightly different manner. For example the number 20 in Japanese translates as “2 – 10’s” and continuing on therefore, the number 21 would be considered as “2 – 10’s plus 1”

Twenty | ni ju

Twenty-one | ni juichi

Twenty-two | ni juni

…and so on – all the way up to the number 99.

For example the number 56 would be “5 – 10’s plus 6” – or – “gojuroku” – the number 61 would then be “6 – 10’s plus 1” – or – “rokujuichi” and so on and so on.

Why not give it a go!

You never when it may come in useful 🙂

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