Sino-Japanese Numbers

25 Oct

The following includes the Sino-Japanese Numbers used in Japanese for many number-related issues. In appearance, they are the same as those used in Mandarin Chinese, in fact that is where the characters were borrowed from (Sino – meaning “Chinese”). Thus, the numbers are in fact a part of the Kanji writing system.  

While Sino-Japanese numbers are more common according to my Japanese friends, the traditional Japanese numbers are still occasionally used and it is good to memorize the numbers 1-10 in traditional form as well. 

Also notice that the number 4 (shi) can sound like a bad word in Japanese (shi sounds like ‘death’), so it is replaced with the traditional number “yon”. And number 7 (nana) can also be replaced with the traditional number “shichi” depending on the usage.

SEPARATE WORDS YOU MUST MEMORIZE

Number Name Kanji
1 ichi
2 ni
3 san
4 shi/yon*
5 go
6 roku
7 shichi/nana*
8 hachi
9 kyū
10
100 hyaku*/ichi hyaku
1000 sen/issen*
10,000 man / ichiman
100,000,000 oku
1,000,000,000,000 chō

COUNTING THROUGH ONE TRILLION

Although my examples below use spacing to help you see the numbers laid out more easily, the Japanese will often just combine the numbers into one long string. For example, my Japanese friends would write 2109  as nisenhyakukyū if they wrote it out in Romaji. 

**Please notice that the numbers 300 (sanbyaku), 600 (roppyaku), and 800 (happyaku) are different from the usual formula of Number + Hyaku. Not sure why, my Japanese teacher didn’t explain🙂 I just know that this is true.

Number Name Kanji
1 ichi
2 ni
3 san
4 shi/yon*
5 go
6 roku
7 shichi/nana*
8 hachi
9 kyū
10
11 jūichi 十一
12 jūni 十二
13 jūsan 十三
20 nijū 二十
30 sanjū 三十
40 yonjū 四十
50 gojū 五十
60 rokujū 六十
70 nanajū 七十
80 hachijū 八十
90 kyūjū 九十
100 hyaku*/ichi hyaku
200 nihyaku 二百
300 sanByaku *note the change 三百
600 roPPyaku *note the change 六百
800 haPPyaku *note the change 八百
1000 sen/issen*
10,000 man / ichiman
100,000 jūman 十万
1,000,000 hyakuman 百万
10,000,000 senman 千万
100,000,000 oku
1,000,000,000 jūoku 十億
10,000,000,000 hyaku oku 百億
100,000,000,000 senoku 千億
1,000,000,000,000 chō

***Please notice that while in English, we count in 1,000s — the Japanese (and Chinese) count in 10,000s.  So in English, we learn one thousand (1,000), ten thousand (10,000), one hundred thousand (100,000), one million (1,000,000), and ten million (10,000,000). But in Japanese, they learn sen (1,000), man (10,000), jūman (100,000), and hyakuman (1,000,000), senman (10,000,000).  Notice that jū(man), hyaku(man), and sen(man)  are all  multiples of 10,000 (Japanese) instead of 1,000 (English).   

Number English Japanese
10 ten jū (ten)
100 one hundred hyaku (hundred)
1000 one thousand sen (thousand)
1,0000 ten-thousand man (ten-thousand)
10,0000 one-hundred thousand jūman (ten man or ten ten-thousands)
100,0000 one million hyakuman (one-hundred man)
1000,0000 ten million senman (one-thousand man)
1,0000,0000 one-hundred million oku (one oku)
10,0000,0000 one billion jūoku (ten oku)

Because of this, you can often see them mark numbers as 1,0000 with the comma after the ten-thousands.  For example 1,0000 instead of 10,000.

PRACTICE

Here are examples of every number through ten million (follow same pattern if going farther)

Number Name Kanji
21 nijū ichi 二十一
32 sanjū ni 三十二
43 yonjū san 四十三
54 gojū yon 五十四
65 rokujū go 六十五
76 nanajū roku 七十六
87 hachijū nana 八十七
98 kyūjū hachi 九十八
109 hyaku kyū 百九
219 nihyaku jūkyū 二百十九
329 sanByaku nijū kyū *note the change 三百二十九
439 yonhyaku sanjū kyū 四百三十九
549 gohyaku yonjū kyū 五百四十九
659 roPPyaku gojū kyū *note the change 六百五十九
769 nanahyaku rokujū kyū 七百六十九
879 haPPyaku nanajū kyū *note the change 八百七十九
989 kyūhyaku hachijū kyū 九百八十九
2001 nisen ichi 二千一
3010 sansen jū 三千十
4100 yonsen hyaku 四千百
5210 gosen nihyaku jū 五千二百十
6222 rokusen nihyaku nijū ni 六千二百二十二
20,003 niman san 二万三
30,033 sanman sanjū san 三万三十三
40,333 yonman sanbyaku sanjū san 四万三百三十三
53,333 goman sansen sanbyaku sanjū san 五万三千三百三十三
140,000 jūyonman 十四万
400,000 yonjūman 四十万
654,321 rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 六十五万四千三百二十一
7,654,321 nanahyaku rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 七百六十五万四千三百二十一
87,654,321 hachisen nanahyaku rokujūgo man yonsen sanbyaku nijū ichi 八千七百六十五万四千三百二十一

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