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JPLearn! - Volume I
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Chapter: 1 Lesson: 13 - Counting in Japanese Part 3: 100 to a Quadrillion+

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Lesson added on: March 3, 2018 04:17pm
Let's Begin the Lesson!
Lesson Overview

We will now be concluding our journey in learning basic Japanese numbers. Please be sure to have studied Lessons 9 and 10 before proceeding as they are required for the understanding of this lesson.

Learning 100 and above will combine your current knowledge about Japanese numbers and introduce a few new number concepts. Please don't fret over the big numbers, focus primarily within the hundreds to thousands because in due time, you will grow accustomed to the really big numbers.

Units and Separators in Japanese

In previous lessons we did not have to worry about how numbers were presented because those numbers weren’t large enough to be of a concern. In the United States, numbers are separated by thousands, meaning 1000 becomes 1,000.

In other countries this may vary but large numbers usually are separated for readability. In Japanese, numbers are separated by thousands with a comma mainly in part to the western influence, however pronunciation can get a little tricky. We have already learned that 1 is ichi and have also learned 10 is Juu.

Taking this step one zero further to 100, one-hundred is pronounced Hyaku. We’ve already learned how to count up to 99 and because of this learning how to count to 999 will be fairly straight forward. Just like when we counted 20 and 30, add the number you want in the front of hyaku, for instance 2 would be ni to create nihyaku or 200. Let's look at the chart below.

Number Romaji Japanese
100 Hyaku
200 Nihyaku 二百
300 Sanbyaku 三百
400 yonhyaku 四百
500 Gohyaku 五百
600 Roppyaku 六百
700 Nanahyaku 七百
800 Happyaku 八百
900 Kyuuhyaku 九百

Did you notice that 300 is pronounced sanbyaku instead of sanhyaku?

The reasoning behind this involves some knowledge of advanced Japanese linguistics patterns. This explanation is lengthy and will be explained in an advanced lesson in due time. For now, please recognize that 300 is sanbyaku and not sanhyaku.

Did you also notice that 600 and 800 don’t follow the typical pattern? The reason behind the difference is elementary. The reason is simply because pronouncing roku hyaku and hachi hyaku are very difficult. To make it easier to pronounce, roppyaku and happyaku were introduced. Thankfully these three changes are the only ones which you need to worry about.

What about numbers like 101? This is very easy, in fact remember in the previous lesson when we’ve discussed two + ten + five = 25? Higher numbers follow the same pattern and for 101 it would be 100 + 1 or rather hyaku ichi. If you would like to create 203 you would do 2 + 100 + 3 (Ni Hiyaku San).

Number Romaji Japanese
101 Hyaku ichi 百一
110 Hyaku juu 百十
115 Hyaku juu go 百十五
124 Hyaku ni juu yon 八百二十四
200 Ni hyaku 二百
333 Sanbyaku san juu san 三百三十三
666 Roppyaku roku juu roku 六百六十六
888 Happyaku hachi juu hachi 八百八十八
999 Kyuuhyaku kyuu juu kyuu 九百九十九
Higher numbers; A thousand or two

In Japanese, the thousands can get a little tricky because it tries to adopt the western comma separator for thousands but yet the logic of the actual numbers conflicts with it. Let’s first learn how to count up to 10,000.

Number Romaji Japanese
1,000 Sen
2,000 Ni Sen 二千
3,000 San zen 三千
4,000 Yon sen 四千
5,000 Go sen 五千
6,000 Roku sen 六千
7,000 Nana sen 七千
8,000 Hassen 八千
9,000 Kyuu sen 九千

This was straight forward but be sure you take special notice to san zen as it is not san sen and that 8,000 is Hassen and not hachi sen.

Going above 10,000

We have now reached a very big milestone, 10,000. These numbers are easy to learn but there are some important things to take note of.

First, to count 10,000 all the way to 99,999 all you need to do is use the ten thousand unit ‘man’ and add ichi, ni, san… in front of it. Please take a look at the chart below to understand this better:

Number Romaji Japanese
10,000 Ichiman 一万
20,000 Niman 二万
30,000 Sanman 三万
40,000 Yonman 四万
50,000 Goman 五万
60,000 Rokuman 六万
70,000 Nanaman 七万
80,000 Hachiman 八万
90,000 Kyuuman 九万

Did you notice the pattern? Counting this series was relatively easy but what happens if you want to count 11,000?

How would you count it?
A) Ichi man sen
B) Ichi man ichi sen
C) Ichi man issen

The correct answer would be C) ichi man issen as it is easier to pronounce than any of the other. Whenever we add sen to higher numbers we would want to use issen as a rule.

Going for the gold, 100,000 and above

We’ve reached a fairly high number, this one will be very confusing at first because now we’re about to mix western culture with Japanese to create numbers that don’t make much sense.

To elaborate, let’s look at the following:
Number Romaji Japanese
1 Ichi
10 Juu
100 Hyaku
1,000 Sen or Issen
10,000 Ichi man 一万

In English we say One + Hundred + Thousand to make one-hundred thousand (100,000) but in Japanese, we would say 10 + 10,000 or juu man.

Another way to imagine this would ten-ten-thousand. This is confusing because 100,000 should actually be 10,0000 but it isn’t because of the western adoption. Let’s take a look at the following chart to reach 999,999,999.

Number Romaji Japanese
100,000 Juu man 十万
111,111 Juuichi man issen hyaku juu ichi 十一万一千百十一
200,000 Ni juu man 二十万
300,000 San juu man 三十万
400,000 Yon juu man 四十万
500,000 Go juu man 五十万
600,000 Roku juu man 六十万
700,000 Nana juu man 七十万
800,000 Hachi juu man 八十万
888,888 Hachi juu hachi man hassen happyaku hachi juu hachi 八十八万八千八百八十八
900,000 Kyuu juu man 九十万
999,999 Kyuu juu kyuu man kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu 九十九万九千九百九十九
Go big or go home! Counting up to 999,999,999 in Japanese!

We’ve just learned that 100,000 is juu-man, and assuming that we add another zero, what do you suppose this number will be?

If juu is 10 and hyaku is 100, just by adding one extra 0, then one-million should be hyaku man.

After one-million we can use the same logic for ten-million to create sen-man.

However, we cannot do this for one-hundred million. For that number we’ll need to use oku or ichi oku. The usage of ichi oku and oku is the same as earlier when we learned the difference between man and ichi man. The unit of 100,000,000 is oku but the numbering is ichi oku.

Let’s go over some examples.
Number Romaji Japanese
1,000,000 Hyaku man 百万
10,000,000 Sen man 千万
100,000,000 Ichi oku 一億
200,000,000 Ni oku 二億
300,000,000 San oku 三億
400,000,000 Yon oku 四億
500,000,000 Go oku 五億
600,000,000 Roku oku 六億
700,000,000 Nana oku 七億
800,000,000 Hachi oku 八億
900,000,000 Kyuu oku 九億
999,999,999 Kyuu oku kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu man kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu 九億九千九百九十九万九千九百九十九
1 billion to trillion / quadrillion in Japanese

We’ve reached the very last segment for this lesson and almost the end of our counting journey. These are possibly the last sets of numbers you will ever need because there’s not much of a need to count beyond a quadrillion in Japanese unless you become a mathemetician or astrophysicist.

There are numbers that exist but they remain beyond the scope of this lesson and necessity for this course. However if you’re curious there are lessons outside of this one that go beyond a quadrillion here.
Number Romaji Japanese
1,000,000,000 (1 billion) Ichi oku 一億
10,000,000,000 (10 billion) Juu oku 十億
100,000,000,000 (100 billion) Issen oku 一千億
999,999,999,999 Kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu oku kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu man kyuu sen kyuu hyaku kyuu juu kyuu 九千九百九十九億九千九百九十九万九千九百九十九

To denote a trillion simply use ichou, nichou, sanchou, juuchou, hyakuchou and senchou. Let’s look at our final table for examples:
Number Romaji Japanese
1,000,000,000,000 (1 trillion) Ichou 一兆
2,000,000,000,000 (2 trillion) Nichou 二兆
3,000,000,000,000 (3 trillion) Sanchou 三兆
10,000,000,000,000 (10 trillion) Juuchou 十兆
100,000,000,000,000 (100 trillion) Hyakuchou 百兆
1000,000,000,000,000 (1000 trillion / quadrillion) Senchou 千兆
Printable Flash Cards

The printable flashcards are given at the end of the article in resources. Alternatively, you may use this link (PDF) to access them.

Random Number Generators

These random number generators will help you improve your ability to count in Japanese. Once you know the number, click NEXT and a new number will appear for a limitless supply of numbers from 0 to 9trillion+. We have English to Japanese and Japanese to English.

What is the Japanese Translation?
383061
NEXT →
Lesson Final Notes

Our Journey in learning basic Japanese numbers ends here. Learning numbers isn’t always easy and it is genuinely one of the hardest things to learn in Japanese. There are so many things to memorize and yet it is required to really do anything in Japan. It is because of this that we focused on numbers before conversational Japanese.

But now rest well, because you’re now able to use numbers in Japanese and that is one huge leap towards mastering the language.
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