Help with Japanese numbers

I'm working through Genki I and there's an exercise where you have to write Japanese numbers in Arabic numerals.

The number is 三千九百万円

How do I interpret it?
posted by MikeSmithJap

Comments 10

  • MikeSmithJap
    MikeSmithJap
    ah good, I found this site to help me out:
    http://www.sljfaq.org/cgi/numbers.cgi

  • kida400061
    kida400061
    It is should be read as 39,010,000 yen. The moment that the Japanese counting system hits 万 (10^4), it starts repeating place markers 十、百、千until hits 億 (10^8) then it repeats again until it hits 兆 (10^12).

    Sorry, if that is confusing, but that is best explanation that I can give.
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    @kida So close! 39,000,000 yen. Easy mistake though. :P

    It's a bit like how we in the UK used to use long scale 'billion' and 'trillion'...
    1,000,000 = one million
    1,000,000,000 = one thousand million (short scale = one billion)
    3,900,000,000 = three thousand nine hundred million
    10,000,000,000 = ten thousand million
    100,000,000,000 = one hundred thousand million
    1,000,000,000,000 = one billion (short scale = one trillion)

    But nowadays the UK has pretty much completely switched over from using long scale to short scale, so now it matches what the US uses. I think people must have wished to call themselves billionaires when they only had one thousand million pounds, or something...
  • japanthony
    japanthony
    @mog86uk Isn't it more like 3,009,000,000 yen (三千九百万円) ? 39,000,000 yen would be 三十九百万円... Or am I wrong ?
  • japanthony
    japanthony
    P.S. : I am wrong. I just realised my mistake. Sorry to have bothered everyone for nothing ! My brain probably died... I should stop drinking water,..
  • M3gadriel
    M3gadriel
    Damn, I'm terrible at math and I don't get this at all...is there an easy place to learn this? :O
  • lugia
    lugia
    Arabic numerals are 1, 2, 3, 4, .....
  • mog86uk
    mog86uk
    @japanthony Haha. 三十九百万 is a fairly logical guess for 39,000,000 though. However it's not what is used for that number in Japanese, just as in English we should say "three thousand nine hundred" not "thirty nine hundred" for 3,900.

    @M3gadriel Which part didn't you understand? It shouldn't be that difficult.

    百 = 100 (hundred)
    千 = 1,000 (thousand)
    万 = 10,000 (There is no English name for this number, but "myriad" from Greek roots works. Means ten thousand, which would be written 一万)

    三千 = 3,000 (three thousand)
    九百 = 900 (nine hundred)

    So...
    三千九百 = 3,900 (three thousand nine hundred)

    Make sense so far? Now to add 万 to the end.

    一万 = 10,000 (one myriad / ten thousand)
    二万 = 20,000 (two myriad / twenty thousand)
    十二万 = 120,000 (twelve myriad / one hundred and twenty thousand)

    三千九百万 = 39,000,000 (three thousand nine hundred myriad / thirty nine million).
  • MikeSmithJap
    MikeSmithJap
    japanthony, that was my initial interpretation as well (thinking 39,000,000 would be 三十九百万円 and not 三千九百万) and the reason I posted here. Now it's all clear. Thanks, mog86uk.
  • Tamir
    Tamir
    Do they even use Japanese numbers in Japan? When I look at articles most of the time they use arabic numbers
MikeSmithJap

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