Learning to count from 1 to 10 in Japanese is a great way to begin understanding the language. It’s a simple yet important step that introduces you to the sounds and structure of Japanese numbers. By mastering this basic skill, you’ll be able to recognize numbers in conversations and daily life, like when shopping or telling time.

Each number has its own unique pronunciation, and with practice, you’ll be able to say them smoothly. This guide will walk you through each number with clear explanations, so you can learn at your own pace. You’ll find that counting in Japanese follows a logical pattern that’s easy to grasp once you get the hang of it.

Whether you’re a complete beginner or just refreshing your skills, this section will help you gain confidence in using numbers in Japanese. Let’s dive in and start counting from 1 to 10!

**Understanding Japanese Numerals**

Japanese numerals come in two types: native Japanese and Sino-Japanese. Each has its own use, making the counting system unique.

**Native Japanese Numbers**

In Japan, people use two types of numbers: Native Japanese and Sino-Japanese. The native system is for everyday counts like how many things are there or telling time. Here are the Native Japanese numbers from one to ten.

They say “ichi” for 1, “ni” for 2, “san” for 3, “shi” or “yon” for 4, and “go” for 5. Then come “roku” (6), “shichi” or “nana” (7), “hachi” (8), “kyuu” or “ku” (9), and “juu” (10).

People often pick between words like ‘shi’ and ‘yon’ based on what they prefer.

Counting in Japanese starts with ‘ichi’ and goes all the way up to ‘juu’.

**Sino-Japanese Numbers**

Sino-Japanese numbers come from China. They use these numbers in Japan for counting and math. These numbers are different from native Japanese numbers. For example, “one” is “ichi” in native Japanese.

In Sino-Japanese, “one” is “ichi” too, but it can also be “yon” for four.

Many large numbers use Sino-Japanese forms. One hundred is “hyaku,” while one thousand is “sen.” For three hundred, say “san byaku.” For eight hundred, it is “hap pyaku.” These words are important for basic counting and arithmetic.

Understanding them helps in everyday conversations and math.

**How to Count from 1 to 10 in Japanese**

Counting from 1 to 10 in Japanese is simple and fun. You’ll learn the words, how to say them, and how to write each number.

Number | Hiragana | Katakana | Kanji | Romaji |
---|---|---|---|---|

0 | れい、ぜろ | レイ、ゼロ | 零 | rei, zero |

1 | いち | イチ | 一 | ichi |

2 | に | ニ | 二 | ni |

3 | さん | サン | 三 | san |

4 | し、よん | シ、ヨン | 四 | shi, yon |

5 | ご | ゴ | 五 | go |

6 | ろく | ロク | 六 | roku |

7 | しち、なな | シチ、ナナ | 七 | shichi, nana |

8 | はち | ハチ | 八 | hachi |

9 | きゅう、く | キュウ、ク | 九 | kyuu, ku |

10 | じゅう | ジュウ | 十 | juu |

**Tips for Memorization**

Memorizing numbers in Japanese can be fun and easy. Try using mnemonics. Create silly images or stories that match each number. For example, “ichi” means one. Imagine a single tree.

For “ni,” which means two, picture two birds sitting on a branch.

Word association helps too. Link each Japanese number to something familiar. For instance, “san” means three. Think of the famous baseball player Ichiro Suzuki—his name starts with “ichi,” or one.

These memory techniques can boost your learning. They make numbers stick in your mind. Now, let’s explore basic phrases involving numbers.

**Using Numbers in Daily Conversations**

Numbers are all around us in daily life. You use them for time, money, and dates. In Japan, knowing basic numbers helps with everyday chats. It makes talking to locals easier and more fun!

**Basic Phrases Involving Numbers**

Learning to count helps in many everyday situations. Here are some basic phrases involving numbers in Japanese.

**One (いち – ichi)**

Use it for simple counting. For example, if you buy one apple, say “りんごがいちつあります” (ringo ga ichitsu arimasu).**Two (に – ni)**

This is useful for ordering or asking about things. You might say, “二つください” (futatsu kudasai) which means “Please give me two.”**Three (さん – san)**

Say “三人” (sannin) when referring to three people. For example, “三人で行きます” (sannin de ikimasu) means “We will go with three.”**Four (し / よん – shi / yon)**

It can be tricky because the word for four can mean death if you use “し.” To avoid this, say “よん.” Use it like this: “四つの本” (yottsu no hon) means “four books.”**Five (ご – go)**

When you want five of something, you say “五個” (goko). For example, “五個ください” means “Give me five.”**Six (ろく – roku)**

You can also use this number to talk about age: “六歳” (rokusai) means “six years old.”**Seven (しち / なな – shichi / nana)**

Say “なな” to avoid any confusion with other meanings. For instance, “七時” (shichiji) means “seven o’clock.”**Eight (はち – hachi)**

This number is often used in pricing or measurements: “八百円” (happyaku en) refers to “800 yen.”**Nine (きゅう / く – kyuu / ku)**

Use either when counting up to nine: “九つあります” (kokonotsu arimasu) means “There are nine.”**Ten (じゅう – juu)**

This number is important for basic math phrases too: “十足す十は二十です” translates as “Ten plus ten is twenty.”

Using these phrases helps in daily conversations and makes shopping or traveling easier!

**Practical Examples**

Understanding basic phrases involving numbers helps a lot in daily conversations. Here are some practical examples of using Japanese numbers.

**Asking About Age**

You can ask someone’s age with “おいくつですか?” (Oikutsu desu ka?). If they reply, “私は25歳です” (Watashi wa nijuugo sai desu), it means “I am 25 years old.”**Counting Object**s

To count items, you say the number followed by the correct counter. For example, if you have three apples, you’d say “りんごが3つあります” (Ringo ga mittsu arimasu), which means “There are three apples.”**Telling Time**

When telling time, use the hour and minute format. At 4:15, say “今は4時15分です” (Ima wa yoji juugofun desu). It means “It is 4:15 now.”**Shopping and Prices**

In stores, it’s common to discuss prices. For instance, if something costs 500 yen, you might hear “これ、500円です” (Kore, gohyaku en desu), meaning “This is 500 yen.”**Talking about Dates**

Dates can be said using numbers too. For April 5th, say “4月5日” (Shigatsu itsuka). This translates to “April fifth.”**Using Japanese Currency**

Money talks! If you have 1,000 yen in your pocket, express it as “千円札” (Sen’en satsu), or simply say “One thousand yen.”**Making Appointments**

Scheduling can include numbers as well. You might say, “次は10時に会いましょう” (Tsugi wa juuji ni aimashou). This means “Let’s meet at 10 o’clock next.”**Describing Quantities in Food**

If you want two servings of rice at dinner, ask for “ごはんを2つください” (Gohan o futatsu kudasai). It means “Please give me two bowls of rice.

See Also – Animal Names in Spanish with Pronunciation

**Counting Beyond 10**

Counting beyond 10 is fun! You’ll learn how to use Japanese numbers in larger groups, like twenties and thirties.

Number | Hiragana | Katakana | Kanji | Romaji |
---|---|---|---|---|

100 | ひゃく | ヒャク | 百 | hyaku |

200 | にひゃく | ニヒャク | 二百 | nihyaku |

300 | さんびゃく | サンビャク | 三百 | sanbyaku |

400 | よんひゃく | ヨンヒャク | 四百 | yonhyaku |

500 | ごひゃく | ゴヒャク | 五百 | gohyaku |

600 | ろっぴゃく | ロッピャク | 六百 | roppyaku |

700 | ななひゃく | ナナヒャク | 七百 | nanahyaku |

800 | はっぴゃく | ハッピャク | 八百 | happyaku |

900 | きゅうひゃく | キュウヒャク | 九百 | kyuuhyaku |

1,000 | せん | セン | 千 | sen |

10,000 | いちまん | イチマン | 一万 | ichiman |

**Transition from 1-10 to Higher Numbers**

Counting from 1 to 10 in Japanese is a great start. After that, moving to higher numbers is easy. For eleven, say “Ju ichi” (DJYOO-ee-tchee). For twelve, it’s “Ju ni” (DJYOO-nee).

Thirteen is “Ju san” (DJYOO-sann). Fourteen is “Ju shi” (DJYOO-shee). Lastly, fifteen is “Ju go” (DJYOO-go).

Japanese numbers follow a simple pattern. After ten, you just add the digits to “Ju” for numbers eleven to nineteen. This makes counting simple. Use this easy method to count beyond ten with confidence!

**Counting in Tens**

Counting in tens in Japanese is easy. The number twenty is “ni ju,” pronounced “NEE-djyoo.” To say twenty-one, use “ni ju ichi,” or “NEE-djyoo-ee-tchee.” For twenty-two, it’s “ni ju ni,” which sounds like “NEE-djyoo-nee.”.

Next comes thirty, which is “san ju,” pronounced “SANN-djyoo.” Then, twenty-nine becomes “ni ju kyuu,” meaning “NEE-djyoo-kyoo.” Learning these numbers helps with more math, like addition and multiplication.

Now, let’s look at counting beyond ten.

**Japanese Number Superstitions**

Japanese number superstitions are quite interesting. Many people view certain numbers as lucky or unlucky, which shapes their culture and daily life.

**Unlucky and Lucky Numbers**

Four (し – shi) is linked to death (死 – shi) in Japanese culture. This makes it an unlucky number. Nine (く – ku) is also seen as unlucky because it means suffering (苦 – ku).

These beliefs shape how people view these numbers.

On the other hand, the number eight (八 – hachi) is considered lucky. Its shape symbolizes prosperity. Many people in Japan see the idea of ‘lucky seven’ as well. This belief comes from American culture and adds to the mix of superstitions surrounding numbers.

**Cultural Significance**

Numbers hold special meanings in Japanese culture. Certain numbers are seen as fortunate or unfortunate. For example, the number four (四 – し) is considered unfortunate. This is because it sounds like the word for death (死 – し).

On the flip side, the number seven (七 – しち) is fortunate. It connects to good fortune and happiness.

Number puns are fun and common in Japan. They help people recall numbers easily. For example, discounts on the 29th of the month are called “meat day” (肉 – にく – niku). August 7th is known as “nose day” (鼻 – はな – hana).

Some shops use clever phone numbers too. One shop uses 831, which sounds like the word for vegetable (野菜 – やさい – yasai). This shows how numbers can blend into everyday life, reflecting deep cultural beliefs and traditions.

**Conclusion**

Counting from 1 to 10 in Japanese is enjoyable and straightforward. You now know how to say each number and understand some tips for remembering them. This skill assists you in daily conversations and can create opportunities to learn more.

Embrace the Japanese counting system and enjoy your language journey. Practice leads to mastery!