HOME About Japan Language

[Step.9] Expression of number

When you travel around Japan, it may be important to know Japanese words of number.
Please learn them in this page.

Number

Basic reading of number is the following.
Some numbers have another reading in parentheses.

0
zero (rei)
1
ichi []
2
ni []
3
san []
4
yon (shi) []
5
go []
6
roku []
7
nana (shichi) []
8
hachi []
9
kyû (ku) []
10
jû []

The reading of number in Japanese is based on decimal system.
Therefore, you read the number of each digit from the upper digits.

From 11 to 19, the reading is the following.

11
jû-ichi
12
jû-ni
13
jû-san
14
jû-yon (jû-shi)
15
jû-go
16
jû-roku
17
jû-nana (jû-shichi)
18
jû-hachi
19
jû-kyû (jû-ku)

The reading of the ten's place is (number)+"jû".

20
nijû
30
sanjû
40
yonjû
50
gojû
60
rokujû
70
nanajû
80
hachijû
90
kyûjû

From 21 to 99, you connect reading of the ten's place and the reading between 1 and 9.

21
nijû-ichi
37
sanjû-nana
65
rokujû-go
84
hachijû-yon
99
kyûjû-kyû

The reading of the hundred's place is "hyaku" ().
But a few numbers are changed for making the pronunciation smooth. (I show them by changed color.)

100
hyaku
200
nihyaku
300
sanbyaku
400
yonhyaku
500
gohyaku
600
roppyaku
700
nanahyaku
800
happyaku
900
kyûhyaku

The reading from 101 to 999 is the following.
When a digit is 0, it doesn't be read.

105
hyaku-go
326
sanbyaku-nijû-roku
480
yonhyaku-hachijû
696
roppyaku-kyûjû-roku
777
nanahyaku-nanajû-nana

The reading of the thousand's place is "sen" ().
But a few numbers are changed for making the pronunciation smooth.

1000
sen
2000
nisen
3000
sanzen
4000
yonsen
5000
gosen
6000
rokusen
7000
nanasen
8000
hassen
9000
kyûsen

The reading from 1001 to 9999 is the following.
When the digit of 0, it doesn't be read.

1,349
sen-sanbyaku-yonjû-kyû
3,012
sanzen-jû-ni
4,755
yonsen-nanahyaku-gojû-go
7,502
nanasen-gohyaku-ni
9,800
kûsen-happyaku

Large number

You have already been able to read the numbers from 0 to 9,999 in Japanese.
This means that you can read larger numbers easily.

I show a 16-digit number.

chô ()

1,234
oku ()

,567,8
man ()

91,23
 
 
4,567

You can read the large number in each group as a 4-digit number.
It is OK to add the unit word on the upper part of the example after the 4-digit number.

“Man” () means 10,000 (ten thousand), “oku” () means 100,000,000 (one hundred million), and “chô” () means 1,000,000,000,000 (one thousand billion).

18,675
ichi-man-hassen-roppyaku-nanajû-go
5,730,412
gohyaku-nanajû-san-man-yonhyaku-jû-ni
84,652,116,383
happyaku-yonjû-roku-oku-gosen-nihyaku-jûichi-man-rokusen-sanbyaku-hachijû-san

Number is read every group of 4 digits in Japanese.
But the notation of number in Japan is every 3 digits.
It is the same as many countries in the world.

When you visit Japan, I think you use the number until the range of “man” at most.
Millionair treats the money of “oku” and Japan’s national budget treats the range of “chô”.

Probably, price is the number which you see most frequently in Japan.
Yen () is Japanese currency, and the symbol is “¥”.

¥298
nihyaku-kyûjû-hachi yen
¥35,800
san-man-gosen-happyaku yen
¥280,000
nijû-hachi-man yen

Decimal

In Japan, period is used as decimal point.
The reading in Japanese is “ten” meaning “dot” in English.

Reading of decimal in Japanese is easy.
Each of numerical figures after a decimal point is read as a number.
0 is read as either "zero" or "rei".

When integer part is 0, it is usually read as “rei”.
And, when the numerical figure of one’s place of the integer part is 2 (ni) or 5 (go), it is usually read long like “nî” or “gô”.

3.14
san ten ichi yon
0.705
rei ten nana rei go
55.6
gojû gô ten roku

Fraction

Reading of fraction in Japanese is also easy.

(Denominator) bun no (Numerator)

Note that you must read denominator first in reverse order of notation.

English has the words such as “half” (1/2) and “quarter” (1/4).
In Japanese, there is only word “hanbun” (半分) equivalent to “half”.

1/2
ni bun no ichi
3/5
go bun no san
7/16
jûroku bun no nana

Return to Language