Tetsu: My Journey into Japanese Foundation Studies (Lesson 4)

On the 4th Lesson , Can Sensei introduced the class to Time and Numbers.

Time and Numbers in Japanese is slightly trickier as compared to English (In my Opinion:>), as certain numbers, when used in Time and Numeric Context, can be different. For Example, if we read the number 4 on its own, it is read as “shi(し)”, however, if we are speaking about 4 o’clock, the 4  is read as “yo(よ)”  instead of “shi(し)”.  Also, the number 4, when used in a number more than 10, is read as “yon よん”.

ji( じ) refers to o’clock, which is quite straight forward, but here comes the tricky part. Minutes can be refered to as ” pun (ぷん)” or “fun (ふん)”, depending on the number of minutes we are referring to.

Confused ? Well, below is an example of how time is read in Japanese for easier understanding.

Speaking of differences, Can Sensei also taught us the differences in the reading and writing of numbers in relation to Tens, Hundreds and Thousands. For Example, the number 300 is read as “san byaku(さんぴゃく), but the number 200 does not use “pyaku” as the hundred reading, instead using “hyaku”. So 200 is read as “ni hyaku (にひゃく)”

Below is an example of how numbers are read in the different amounts.

In order for us to better memorize all the different times and numbers, Can Sensei  asked each of the students to come up with different combination of numbers for the other classmates to guess, as well as using Time and Numbers in a speech context, allowing us to ask questions in regards to time and numbers to each other. E.g “Can we meet at 4.30pm today ” and ” How many days are there in a year “.

Although there was a lot to absorb on this lesson, but it was very fulfilling, as the interactivity and detailed explanations given by Can Sensei allowed us to understand the how Time and Numbers work in Japanese Context 🙂

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