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Counting numbers

In Japanese, you count numbers of birds in this way: ichi-wa,ni-wa.san-ba,yon-wa,go-wa,ro-ppa and so on. Do teachers teach the rules to count or you master them by yourselves?

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 14:17:04

QNo.8854665

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For the basic ones that you come across in your daily life, you get taught at school, but the chances are that you know the rules already from experience.

For those not in everyday use, I guess you'll have to look them up!

[Ref.1.] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3PjzsrFQi38
[Ref.2.] http://www.benricho.org/kazu/a.html

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 15:12:13

お礼

Great!

No Japanese friend of mine knows the site you kindly introduced me.

Thanks!

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 17:33:43

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回答(5)

Just to add: in the current official guideline Course of Study for Elementary Schools (determined by MEXT), rules to count are not among what to be taught in the Japanese language subject.
http://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/shotou/new-cs/youryou/syo/koku.htm

Maybe one of your Japanese friends knows this song. Ten Japanese counters are handled in its lyrics.
http://www.uta-net.com/movie/13946/
This songs appeared in 1970s in a kid-educational TV program which was then broadcast on a commercial channel (i.e. a non-NHK channel).

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 19:13:35

お礼

Thank you so much for your answer. I understand the latter site you kindly linked.

It is very interesting.

I hope to see you again.

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 22:25:48

> In Japanese, you count numbers of birds in this way: ichi-wa, ni-wa, san-ba, yon-wa, go-wa, ro-ppa and so on.

"San-wa" sounds more common than "san-ba" and "roku-wa" than "roppa"; but it might vary by regions and areas.

> Do teachers teach the rules to count or you master them by yourselves?

Well, Japanese kids may learn how to count…,
at home, at kindergarten, in books, in educational TV programs, etc.
Personally I, a man in middle age, don't remember a scene in my elementary school's classroom where my teacher taught Japanese counters to us. Maybe my teacher taught one to my classmate face to face, though.

When a kid counts a nonliving object but is not sure of the most adequate Japanese counter, he/she for convenience can use "ko" or, for 1 to 9, "tsu" instead.
: ikko, ni-ko, san-ko, yon-ko, go-ko, rokko, nana-ko, hakko / hachi-ko, kyuu-ko, jikkko / jukko.
: hito-tsu, futa-tsu, mittsu, yottsu, itsu-tsu, muttsu, nana-tsu, yattsu, kokono-tsu.

If a little boy counts saucers "ni-ko" at home, for example, his mother / father / older sibling corrects the counter like "you should say ni-mai"; through such experiences, Japanese kids can learn how to count.

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 18:28:22

お礼

Thank you so much for your answer. The way to count requires, I am sure, takes much time.

Are you a bilingual? Your English is perfect.

I wish I were you!

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 22:19:07

ANo.2

May be, "san-ba" is "san-wa", "ro-ppa" is "roku-wa".

>Do teachers teach the rules to count or you master them by yourselves?

These changing is "euphonic change".
So, almost Japanese can not pronounce "ro-wwa" or feel difficult to pronounce "ro-wwa".

I think alomost Japanese learn it at home not school.

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 14:40:14

お礼

Thanks a lot. You must be an expert.

No Japanese friend around me can explain this phenomena.

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 17:45:04

ANo.1

Both.

And, not only teachers but parents teach such rules to them when they are litle children.

(Sorry for my poor English)

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 14:33:54

お礼

Thank you so much. Yes, language is acquired at the early stages of life.

投稿日時 - 2014-12-11 17:38:09

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