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I need help learning counters?

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I need help learning counters?

Postby Amie » Mon 07.23.2007 9:45 pm

My Japanese teacher gave me three pages of information to memorize by next week consisting of

names of months
names of the days of the months
names of the days of the week
numbers for telling time with hours and minutes

I feel a bit overwhelmed.
Names of months are easy enough, and I think I could manage the days of the week and number counters for minutes, but all of this and the irregular days of the month?

Does anyone have any strategies or websites they know of to help learn these?
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby richvh » Mon 07.23.2007 9:48 pm

Flashcards?
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby Amie » Mon 07.23.2007 9:51 pm

Ya...

*stack of flashcards falls over*

I thought maybe there was a way besides sheer repetition.

That way doesn't seem to work to well for me. I'm better if I can associate with something else. Like I saw nichi-youbi was Sunday, like [sun][day], and getsu-youbi like moon day. So those are easy to me. I don't know where Wednesday, Thurs, etc. come from though.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby xeto » Mon 07.23.2007 9:59 pm

Well, after you get names of months, the days of the week, and hours and minutes down, you've done a lot. Probably the only way to get days of the month is to study, study, study just like everything else. I don't think there is a pattern. But, as you probably know, the numbers have On and Kun readings like most other kanji. And, why would you have On and Kun readings if you didn't EVER use one or the other. So, they happened to use the Kun readings for days of the months (and other things). For example, 三日 or みっか, uses the kun reading for 三 which is mitsu, and adds the day counter "ka" and forms mikka (with the pronunciation exception). I hope I was 100% accurate and answered your question. I just started as well, so I might be wrong. ;)
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby xeto » Mon 07.23.2007 10:05 pm

And with the days of the week, there are stories behind them.
Tuesday: Some god of war in mythology was Tues something or another and if you can associate war with fire it gives you 火曜日
Wednesday: Easy, Water, Wednesday.
Thursday: Thursday looks a little like Tuesday (with the T and the u) and the 火 looks like 木 (blur your eyes)
Friday: Also easy, Payday = 金曜日
Saturday: I singled it out as the last element on the list, earth. 土曜日
Hope this helps. :)
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby Amie » Mon 07.23.2007 10:15 pm

I see. That does help some xeto, thanks.
Only problem is, the text I'm learning from seems to be avoiding kanji. I think the intention with it is to familiarize me with the words and teach reading later. I don't like it though. It occasionally writes out the lessons in hiragana, which is good and all, except I know these words aren't written in hiragana. X_X
Maybe it will work though, like how little kids learn hiragana first to read once they can say the words...who knows.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby xeto » Mon 07.23.2007 10:23 pm

You really never know what works best for you until you try it, and I do agree that a good vocabulary will help with the kanji later. But sometimes, it's just whatever you feel comfortable with. I also like the text in the way that it builds your ability to read hiragana before learning the other aspects of Japanese. This will help SO much when you start to learn kanji, as practically the only way to pick up kanji is to study them in context, and the context mostly, if not all, is written in hiragana. So good luck with your class and the Japanese and never get discouraged.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby katafei » Tue 07.24.2007 5:07 am

I have totally fallen in love with the Japanese counters! Don't ask me why.
On this site you can find several. Unfortunately, the romaji used is not always correct.

Have you ever seen woman of water? It so fits you avatar and your sig ^_^
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby Amie » Tue 07.24.2007 11:48 am

katafei wrote:
I have totally fallen in love with the Japanese counters! Don't ask me why.
On this site you can find several. Unfortunately, the romaji used is not always correct.

Have you ever seen woman of water? It so fits you avatar and your sig ^_^


lol...I wish I could say the same.
Thanks for the site!

And no, I haven't seen it.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby richvh » Tue 07.24.2007 12:40 pm

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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby shoCk_x » Tue 07.24.2007 2:33 pm

richvh wrote:
A glimpse of the true horror that is Japanese counters. (Not for the faint of heart.)

lol And all of these are used? Wow. That's pretty freaky, even if they aren't used..

Some of these kind of overlap each other, if that makes sense. For example 朶 (だ) (among many others like 株(かぶ) and 樹(じゅ)..wow) is apparently used for trees..but wouldn't something more common like 本 for long, cylindrical objects also work? I may be mistaken though.

Anyway, as for memorizing things..
What helped me learned the days of the week was an acronym. I'm pretty sure that's what you call it.
My acronym was: Go Karate Some Money, K? Don't Negotiate.
Getsuyoubi Kayoubi Suiyoubi etc.

Although when I first started this method I ended up counting on my fingers how to say a certain day, I got used to it and now know the days very well ^^
Last edited by shoCk_x on Tue 07.24.2007 2:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby richvh » Tue 07.24.2007 2:42 pm

A lot of those have fallen out of use, I think. And the basic ones can be substituted for specific ones you aren't familiar with.
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby LordOfTheFlies » Tue 07.24.2007 3:41 pm

I don't think you'll ever use it, but this one is hilarious: 鞭. It also surprises me how many counters there are and how useless some of them are >__>. I don't see why 度 or 回 couldn't substitute 鞭.

鞭 【べん】 (ctr) counter for whippings
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby Yudan Taiteki » Tue 07.24.2007 3:57 pm

The Koujien does not list that word. Where did WWWJDIC get it?
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RE: I need help learning counters?

Postby Mike Cash » Thu 07.26.2007 8:07 am

At the risk of stating the obvious.....

There is a certain amount of drudge work involved in learning Japanese. I don't say that to discourage you, or to suggest that you not take advantage of every opportunity to seek out things that remove some of the drudgery. I just want you to realize that down the path of learning Japanese, you have some seriously boring grunt work that is unavoidable.
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