May 29, 2008

Counting in Japanese - Some study strategies

On Counting in Japanese: a study strategy

1 – ichi
2 – ni
3 – san
4 – shi, yon
5 – go
6 - roku
7 –shichi, nana
8 – hachi, ha
9 – kyu, ku
10 – ju, to
11 – ju ichi
12 – ju ni
13 – ju san
20 –ni ju
21 – ni ju ichi
22 – ni ju ni
30 – san ju
31 - san ju ichi
95 – kyu ju go
99 – kyu ju kyu
100 – hyaku
101 – hyaku ichi
108 – hyaku hachi
197 – hyaku kyu ju nana (shichi)
200 – ni hyaku
300 – sam byaku
400 – yon hyaku
500 –go hyaku
600 – roppyaku
700 – nanahyaku
800 – happyaku
900 – kyuhyaku
1000 – sen
1001 – sen ichi
2000 ni sen

Some of my best spent hours studying Japanese were when I recited to myself the numbers in Japanese from zero to one million, and then back to zero again. Yes it got a little tedious and after a while I would think to myself, “O.K. Enough is enough! I mean gee… to 1 million and back… that is going a little out of the way just to learn some language don’t you think?” Not to a die-hard that really wants to speak the language. I was extremely determined to master Japanese, that is why I recited the numbers from zero to one million and then back again over and over again.

Other things I did which are strategies worth considering was that I would count from 0 to 1 million by 2’s, by 3’s, by 4’s and by 5’s, 6’s, 7’s, 8’s, 9’s, and 10’s. Some numbers seemed for some reason or another harder than the others, so I would concentrate more on the hard ones. I don’t think I tried 11’s but it could produce the same results. It surely stems from basically the same idea. The more your mouth and brain coordinate their efforts in the target languages the better prepared you will be to use them in the real world. So go ahead use you try some of these out until you can say them without hesitation.

Below, are ways to practice counting in Japanese. Always practice with correct pronunciation. Start off counting slowly, then build up speed and swiftness of speech. Counting in Japanese will help you get better at speaking in it.

1. Count from 0 to 1 million and go backwards once you arrive at a million to get to zero once again. Again if 1 million seems tough, it would be o.k. to go as far as you can, but maybe stretch yourself a little, a least 99,000 or something. You want to get good don’t you?
2. Count up the odd numbers from 0 to 1 million
3. Count up the even numbers from 0 to 1 million
4. Do #2 and #3 backwards from 1 million
5. Count through your numbers by 3’s, 4’s, 5’s etc
6. Do long division by saying out loud in Japanese the problem

Here are some nice handy math words that will give you hours of word play:

To add – tasu
To divide – waru
To multiply -kakeru
To subtract – hiku

Until you’ve actually recited the numbers from zero to one million (1,000,000) a couple of times through without hesitation and eventually to do it without even thinking about it. That is one of the secrets of fluency. It sprouts from one’s ability to think in the target language. If you catch yourself thinking in the target language that is a good sign; if you catch yourself dreaming in the target language you have reached bliss, SLA bliss. You are heading towards fluency.

 I got to a point where my dreams would be in Japanese and it didn’t matter who or what type of people were in my dreams, everybody spoke in Japanese. I remember my mom and dad who aren’t too familiar with the Japanese language, but in my dreams were conversing with me full on like natives themselves. So what is the point of all this? The point is akin to the old adage,’when in Rome do as the Romans do’.

The more one thinks in the target language the more apt they are to acquire the language. Lets face it there is no quick road to fluency except hard work, goal oriented study, persistent practice and an iron will coupled with an abundance of motivation. I hope this little lesson won’t discourage anyone about learning languages. Because there will be some that are too lazy start the training, their motivation will be sub par for their needs, and thus they will not make it to fluency. But those who persevere and but instead will inspire people to go for it, even though the road to fluency isn’t yellow nor bricked. These are things that I know of that will enable an SL learner how to speak in a foreign tongue and bring them closer to near perfect fluency.

Japanetics is Language learning to the max