Is the Japanese language difficult⁈

Is the Japanese language difficult⁈

The biggest problem that foreign people face is Japanese language in order to work in Japan. Here, in Horizon, we are providing some Filipinos a remote Japanese lesson. The more I teach Japanese, the more I’ve come to find Japanese language complexity. One of the typical examples is how to count the numbers. Since English has one way to count the numbers, the Japanese have many ways because the various different counter suffixes are used depending on what is being counted. Here is an example.

人(にん) People, except for one and two. One person is counted ひとり(1人), and two people are counted ふたり(2人)4人is pronounced よにん.
台(だい) machines and vehicles
枚(まい) thin, flat things such as paper, shirts, dishes, and CDs
回(かい) frequency, number of times
分(ふん) minutes
日(にち) days(This is the same as for dates, but 1日 is pronounced いちにち, not ついたち.)
週間(しゅうかん) weeks

The count suffixes above are just some examples. There are as many as 500 kinds! However, practically used are just 100 of them. But still, I can’t believe we naturally distinguish them according to what we count. It would be much easier and simpler if we unify the terms used but I think this is one of the important Japanese cultures. I want my students to continue to enjoy learning them.


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