Count in Japanese - Learn Japanese: How to Count Thin and Flat Objects Video
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# Video:Learn Japanese: How to Count Thin and Flat Objects

with Michael Metcalf

Counting thin or flat objects in Japanese is different from counting other numbers or items. Here's a quick guide to counting thing or flat objects in Japanese.See Transcript

## Transcript:Learn Japanese: How to Count Thin and Flat Objects

Hi, my name is Michael Metcalf. I am a student of Japanese at the University of Missouri in Columbia, for About.com. In this video, I will discuss how to count thin and flat objects in Japanese.

### Add Counter-Word When Counting in Japanese

In Japanese, whenever you count something, you say the number of whatever it is you are counting and then you attach a special counter-word that relates specifically to whatever object it is that you are quantifying. For thin and flat objects, that special counter-word is "mai", in Japanese. Now, I will draw the kanji. A kanji is basically a pictograph that represents a meaning, but not necessarily a pronunciation, and it is used very often in written Japanese.

### Counting to Ten in Japanese

For example, let's say we wanted to talk about two sheets of paper. If I'm seeing this in written Japanese, I would be seeing it like this: the kanji for "two", which is "ni", right next to "mai" – "nimai" – meaning "two thin, flat objects". In the context of what I would be referring to, which is paper, it would be understood what I was talking about. "Mai" is not bound to just paper; it could be a slice of bread, or a leaf, but usually just any thin flat object. So, let's try counting, from one to ten, some thin flat objects. For one piece of paper, "ichimai"; two pieces, "nimai"; three, "sanmai"; four, "yonmai"; five, "gomai"; six, "rokumai"; seven, "nanamai"; eight, "hachimai"; nine, "kyuumai"; and ten, "juumai".

Thank you for watching, and if you would like to know more about counting in Japanese, look us up on the web at About.com.
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