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Old 05-24-2008, 01:58 AM   #1
dalen7
 
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Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

O.k. -
When we count to Japanese I notice that its different then most of what I have found on the internet.

First let me write how I understand it to be - and then the differences that we have with pronunciation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4d6S...eature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0hsB...eature=related
(The above are basically the same which correspond to a written explanation I had of it...which I modified slightly below)

1 - ichi | 'ee' chee
2 - ni | knee
3 - san | sahn
4 - shi | chee
5 - go
6 - roku
7 - shichi | shee chee
8 - hachi | hatch ee
9 - kyu | q
10 - ju

The difference is that we say:
1 - ich (eech) without the 'i' at the end
6 - rok (long 'o') without the 'u' at the end
7 - hard to understand them, but it sounds like chee most the time without shi at the beginning
8 - hach (hah tch) without the 'i'

Now my question is are we wrong...or is their more than one way to go about saying the numbers in Japanese?

The video below the lady says: 'ich' as well - but if you notice toward the end of the video when she is saying 31 (I believe it is), she says itchi (with they 'i' or 'y' at the end)
- Now her youttube clip is more professional than the above two, but it has apparent inconsistencies in it if you pay attention.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SF39q...eature=related

Anyway - if its hard to get through my rambling watch and compare the youtube clips which basically make the point.

Hard to learn to count to 10 when there are so many different ways people are showing to do it.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:46 AM   #2
Stefan Stenudd
 
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Dalen Johnson wrote: View Post
The difference is that we say:
1 - ich (eech) without the 'i' at the end
6 - rok (long 'o') without the 'u' at the end
7 - hard to understand them, but it sounds like chee most the time without shi at the beginning
8 - hach (hah tch) without the 'i'
Those differences are merely between pronouncing the words elaborately or in an everyday fashion. Sort of the same as the English "I am" or "I'm".

But it gets more complicated. There are alternative pronounciations. For example, 7 can also be pronounced nana, and 4 yon.
The latter is often used instead of "shi" to avoid saying a word that sounds the same as the Japanese word for death.

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Old 05-24-2008, 02:50 AM   #3
dalen7
 
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
Those differences are merely between pronouncing the words elaborately or in an everyday fashion. Sort of the same as the English "I am" or "I'm".

But it gets more complicated. There are alternative pronounciations. For example, 7 can also be pronounced nana, and 4 yon.
The latter is often used instead of "shi" to avoid saying a word that sounds the same as the Japanese word for death.
Thanks Stefan, that helps...
Just wanted to make sure that it wasnt 'incorrect' japanese I was learning.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 05-24-2008, 02:53 AM   #4
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

I've just started teaching myself Japanese using podcasts and the occasional help of a Japanese friend (no formal training available here in Qatar), and I've also noticed this difference. I'll preface my thoughts by saying that I am most certainly NOT an expert, but...

I always just chalked it up to slight differences in localized "dialects" (for lack of a better word), similar to the difference in pronunciation between, say, a New Yorker and a Texan.

It may also be that the final "ee" sound in ichi or "oo" sound in rokyu simply gets dropped as a form of contraction, similar to how we say "can't" in English instead of "cannot".

I'll have to ask my Japanese friend this one & see what she says...

BTW - if you're interested in learning some basic Japanese, check out http://www.japanesepod101.com/index.php. Excellent podcast series available for free download...start with Newbie Series # 31 - Nihongo Dojo.

Last edited by mwpowell : 05-24-2008 at 02:58 AM.

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Old 05-24-2008, 04:40 AM   #5
dalen7
 
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Mark Powell wrote: View Post
BTW - if you're interested in learning some basic Japanese, check out http://www.japanesepod101.com/index.php. Excellent podcast series available for free download...start with Newbie Series # 31 - Nihongo Dojo.
thanks for the link...

Peace

dAlen
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:03 AM   #6
Christopher Creutzig
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Stefan Stenudd wrote: View Post
But it gets more complicated. There are alternative pronounciations. For example, 7 can also be pronounced nana, and 4 yon.
From what I was taught, nana and yon are not really alternative pronounciations, they are numerals from the purely Japanese system (the system usually used and quoted above is the Sino-Japanese system):

1 - hito(tsu)
2 - futa(tsu)
3 - mi(ttsu)
4 - yon(n|ttsu)
5 - itsu(tsu)
6 - mu(ttsu)
7 - nana(tsu)
8 - ya(ttsu)
9 - kokono(tsu)
10 - tő

Quote:
The latter is often used instead of "shi" to avoid saying a word that sounds the same as the Japanese word for death.
That's the way I learned it, too. Although it seems that mostly foreigners do that, could one of the people living in Japan comment on what they are used to hear?
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Old 05-24-2008, 07:42 AM   #7
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

dAlen,

One question, as a matter of interest. Why are you being asked to learn the numbers from 1 to 10 in Japanese for your 5th kyuu test? Is it because you count in Japanese when you do your warming up exercises? If so, I suggest that you learn them correctly. Actually, if you want to extend your knowledge of aikido Japanese, I also suggest that you learn the hiragana syllabary.

I myself learned how to count from practising with Japanese students in the aikido club of Hiroshima University. But only one person actually keeps count. The kendo club has the same practice, however, but does it in a kind of chant, with everyone counting/chanting together.

Here is the Japanese sequence in hiragana, with the Romaji equivalents afterwards:
いち, に, さん, し, ご, ろく, しち, はち, きゅう, じゅう
ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyuu, jyuu

Notice that every word except san ends in a vowel, which needs to be voiced, if only slightly. So, ich is not really correct. Actually, there are subtle pronunciation differences between male speech and female speech in Japanese and the young male students at Hiroshima University sounded quite different from the people on the Youtube videos.

For interest, here is the other (Chinese) sequence:
ひとつ, ふたつ, みつ, よつ, いつつ, むつ, ななつ, やつ,ここのつ, と
hitotsu, futatsu, mitsu, yotsu, itsutsu, mutsu, nanatsu, yatsu, kokonotsu, to.

I think you can disregard the Chinese system, because I have never heard anyone here use it to count when doing the warming up exercises. Which means that no one ever shouts yon instead of shi, or nana instead of shichi. (At least this is the practice in my own university club. In my own dojo, we do not count aloud in warming up exercises.)

I should also add that this explanation barely scratches the surface with regard to counting in Japanese.

Best wishes,

P A Goldsbury
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Old 05-24-2008, 12:08 PM   #8
dalen7
 
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Peter A Goldsbury wrote: View Post
dAlen,

One question, as a matter of interest. Why are you being asked to learn the numbers from 1 to 10 in Japanese for your 5th kyuu test? Is it because you count in Japanese when you do your warming up exercises? If so, I suggest that you learn them correctly.
Yes Peter, you are correct - I have to learn this for my 5th kyuu test.

As you mentioned, counting is used for the warm up exercise, and it varies how we go about doing this. Sometimes one person counts - other times it goes around the room - and most of the times it seems no one counts. (But apparently it is part of the kyuu exam.)

As an aside, the funny part is the history of how Aikido got started in Hungary is supposedly part of the exam to. (I am pretty sure they wont test me on this...though I am more familiar with this now as well.) My understanding is my test will be limited to Japanese and techniques.

Anyway, thank you for the explanation...I always enjoy the details.

Oh, you did mention that it sounds different when men and women speak, do you have a particular video clip in which to reference this? Again, the woman in the one clip, who seemed pro got me a bit confused as it sounded like she said "ich" but then on 31, I believe it was, she said "ichy"

Again, thanks for your time.

Peace

dAlen

Last edited by dalen7 : 05-24-2008 at 12:17 PM.
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:09 PM   #9
nekobaka
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Sounds are left off in Japanese in the same way they are in English. A lot of people will say "gonna" or "wanna" when speaking with their friends and maybe be a little more formal and pronounce it "going to" in other situations. Also it doesn't apply to everyone, it's just common. When it comes to sports in general this is how people count. At my school, boys, girls, everyone says it this way. When they are counting anything else, people, apples, whatever, I would say that they go to the more standard way of saying it. If you want to be more polite/proper you pronounce the su on gozaimasu, but in general you say gozaimas.While it may seem like a big difference to you, it really isn't. Imitating how your dojo says it is probably best. But I can't imagine they would fail you if you said it the proper way(sounding proper that is), as long as you had it memorized.
Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2008, 06:26 PM   #10
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

by the way, there is comedian (who isn't very funny) doing this counting joke on YouTube. So you're not in the dark, all multiples of 3 make him "stupid".

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=nffUwe...eature=related
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Old 05-25-2008, 04:50 AM   #11
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Ani Forbes wrote: View Post
When it comes to sports in general this is how people count. At my school, boys, girls, everyone says it this way. When they are counting anything else, people, apples, whatever, I would say that they go to the more standard way of saying it.

Good luck!
Thanks, this makes it a bit clearer.

Peace

dAlen
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:04 AM   #12
jennifer paige smith
 
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

The difference is that we say:
1 - ich (eech) without the 'i' at the end
6 - rok (long 'o') without the 'u' at the end
7 - hard to understand them, but it sounds like chee most the time without shi at the beginning
8 - hach (hah tch) without the 'i'

Exactly how we say it.

Golly, just imagine if English had these kind of inconsistencies. Whew!

Jennifer Paige Smith
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:32 AM   #13
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

I'm afraid Professor Goldsbury has mistakenly switched the Chinese and Japanese methods of counting in Japanese. "Ichi, ni, san, etc." comes from Chinese pronunciation, while "Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, etc." is the native Japanese one.

Why does "ichi" become "ich(i)"? There are some phonological reasons, but first, try saying the word "seven". Notice that you have two distinct syllables, of roughly equal length (although the first syllable will be weighted with stress). Now, do 10 fast push-ups, counting outloud. Most likely, in that situation, the full "seven" will become a one syllable "sevn", to save time and breath, and to keep in the rhythm of the exercise. That's the same effect happening here. When counting fast and rhythmically, words get shortened.

Now, why does ichi specifically become ich'? Because it's a feature of Japanese (in most dialects, and all the major ones) that "u" and "i" become unvoiced (not dropped altogether!) following or in between unvoiced consonants. I.e., "su", "ku", "fu", "pu", and "shi". One example is Boston Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, whose nickname is "Dice-K" because that's how one pronounces his name - the "u" in the "su" is unvoiced.

So, ichi becomes "ich(i)" (with the second "i" essentially whispered), roku becomes "rok(u)", shichi becomes shich(i) (or alternatively, as Jennifer indicates, "sh(i)chi", or even "sh(i)ch(i)", and hachi becomes "hach(i)."

Quote:
Golly, just imagine if English had these kind of inconsistencies. Whew!
We do. Say "butter", or "letter" at natural speed. In American English, at least, the medial consonant is not a "t"! Or, say, "trip" or "train". Notice that you're not saying "t+r", but rather "ch+r". And then of course there's "gimme" for "give me", "wanna" for "want to", and "gonna" for "going to", all of which can give second language learners fits.

Jeff Foxworthy used to have a bit on this in Southern speech.

Redneck 1: "Djeetyet?" (Did you eat yet?)
Redneck 2: "Naw."
Redneck 1: "Yawntu?" (You want to?)

Quote:
Ani Forbes wrote: View Post
by the way, there is comedian (who isn't very funny) doing this counting joke on YouTube. So you're not in the dark, all multiples of 3 make him "stupid".

http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=nffUwe...eature=related
That bit's hilarious...the first time you see it.

Last edited by Josh Reyer : 05-26-2008 at 04:37 AM.

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Old 05-26-2008, 07:22 AM   #14
Peter Goldsbury
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post
I'm afraid Professor Goldsbury has mistakenly switched the Chinese and Japanese methods of counting in Japanese. "Ichi, ni, san, etc." comes from Chinese pronunciation, while "Hitotsu, futatsu, mittsu, etc." is the native Japanese one.
Yes, I realized that, not long after the 'edit' window closed. Thanks for the correction.

PAG

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Old 05-26-2008, 11:18 AM   #15
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Re: Counting to 10 in Japanese (Inconsistent)

Quote:
Joshua Reyer wrote: View Post

Why does "ichi" become "ich(i)"? There are some phonological reasons, but first, try saying the word "seven". Notice that you have two distinct syllables, of roughly equal length (although the first syllable will be weighted with stress). Now, do 10 fast push-ups, counting outloud. Most likely, in that situation, the full "seven" will become a one syllable "sevn", to save time and breath, and to keep in the rhythm of the exercise. That's the same effect happening here. When counting fast and rhythmically, words get shortened.
Thank you for the time and explanation...I appreciate it.

Peace

dAlen

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