Translation:Five things

June 8, 2017



[五つ, いつつ, five things]


But why is it pronounced like that and not gotsu


"go/ご" is the on'yomi (Chinese reading) of 五, and is used in counting, time, the like. On'yomi are usually used when two or more kanji are together as well, like "五月" [go'gatsu; fifth month/May]. Kun'yomi (Japanese reading) are usually used with isolated kanji and kanji attached to hiragana (like in 五つ). "itsu/いつ" is the kun'yomi for 五. There are plenty of exceptions (like 五日 [itsu'ka/fifth day], a number of days of the month use kun'yomi) but you'll just have to get used to them. Most numbers are actually pretty simple once you get them down, but some kanji have like 3 different on'yomi and kun'yomi depending on how they're used, and some even have special readings when in names (nanori), but those are much less important.


Sounds like she's beat boxing. How is it pronounced? Itsutsu?


Why is this not pronounced like 'go tsu' or something, because she's saying something different


All I can say is watch this video. I wish I could send it to everyone. Blown away. https://youtu.be/QtvTg9aP5pA


You'll get used to it. The process exactly follows the 5 stages of acceptance: 1. Denial: "No, they must be joking. "Futari" but "Nimai"?.." You're kidding, right?..." 2. Anger: "Not a joke, huh? What a stupid decision that was to make learning to count like a thousand times more difficult just to... I don't even know what the benefit is, honestly!!!" 3. Bargaining: "I can just learn つ and 個, right? I will not be that much of a gaijin for them, I guess...?" 4. Depression: "Hundreds of counters. Who cares. As if I will ever learn a hundred of kanji... And all these conjugations... I give up..." 5. Acceptance: "Alright. I just needed to drop Japanese for a year. Two times now. But third time's a charm! ふふふ。。。See? I'm even giggling in Japanese now... I guess it's not that bad after all..."

And yeah, this "third time" part is true. It's all about me more or less


Thank you for this comment, now I feel less hitori in this madness lol


Why does the representation of counting depend on the shape of the object? This is so bad and confusing... :P


Is it that weird tho. We say slices to pieces but generally only if it is something round.


I only say slices if something is sliced.

Also, I dont randomly call them something other than pieces, based on how many there are and what my "lucky" numbers are.

So, yes. It is that weird tho.


So, in English we have "collective nouns" you know, a murder of crows, a gaggle of geese, a flock of birds (or sheep) a parliament of owls, a pride of lions, a pack of wolves, a school of fish, a pod of whales, a swarm of bees... need I go on?


European languages divide things into two or three genders based on jack-❤❤❤❤❤❤❤-shit! Divding nouns into groups based on their shape is actually waay more intuitive than the European way. Thanks for the awesome video, Tara.furci.


Similarly, English uses cups of coffee, bars of soap, ears of corn, loaves of bread, pieces of candy, grains of rice, tubes of toothpaste, etc.

All languages are complicated/weird/confusing!


Some of those aren't counting words, though. "bar of soap" is still a bar even when it isn't being counted.

But yes, in general this concept should be more familiar than it initially appears in the lesson


In my language, we'd just say "a soap" without the word "bar," so yeah, it's a counting word peculiar to English.


Personally, I wouldn't say 2 soaps or 2 breads but would use the counters such as 2 slices of bread or 2 loaves of bread.


Thanks for the video. I feel much better prepared for this lesson ᕦ(ò_óˇ)ᕤ


The word for the number five is borrowed from Chinese, but when they count they use a native root fused with tsu giving unpredictable pronunciations. I guess it's the same with the first ten numbers at least


This threw me off too, but then i realized we do something similar in English. 1 = one, 1st = first, not 'one'st. It definitely is challenging without the hiragana next to it though


I think the problem is largely that Duolingo just springs it on us out of absolutely nowhere, creating a buttload of confusion and 'wait, what!?'-ing, then never explains it let alone teach it.


One thing that requires rote memorization is the counting words and changes to pronounciation. They tend to break lots of rules.


Everything has at least two ways of pronunciation, so called readings, the Japanese and the Chinese way. The kanji for hana (flower) is for example also pronounced ka.


Weird. In the 九つ question It said the correct answer was "nine pieces" but in this one it was only "five"


Only "nine" is also accepted for that other question. Since there's no context, they're both acceptable. It's more like "five (of a thing)".


Does it sound likr itsutsu instead of gotsu? :)


Yes, because of the counter that comes after it. 五 alone sounds like Go, but 五つ sounds like itsutsu.


"Itsu" is probably chinese pronounce variant of 五. Like "shichi" for 七 instead of "nana".


The other way around actually, いつ is the kun'yomi, ご is the on'yomi.

It depends on the counter which is used. For つ (generic objects) generally it's the kun'yomi reading.


Is "five things" an acceptable translation?


Meh. It's a completely different counting system for things. The format tells you that it's things so you don't need to specify that it is things. Like with Roman numerals, II is 2. You don't specify "Roman numerals 2" you just translate it as 2. Further if you continue using the translation for "itsutsu" as 5 things, when you have some thing like "itsutsu cuppu" your translation would be "5 things cups" And that's not quite right. It's just 5 cups


Yes, since this counter is a counter for things. Keep in mind that there are often no counters in English for things this is used for (for example: 五つの靴 would be just 5 shoes)


Soooo entering 5 things is apparently wrong, told me the correct answer was five. Just five...


Yes. It's a completely different counting system for things. The format tells you that it's things so you don't need to specify that it is things. Like with Roman numerals, II is 2. You don't specify "Roman numerals 2" you just translate it as 2. Further if you continue using the translation for "itsutsu" as 5 things, when you have some thing like "itsutsu cuppu" your translation would be "5 things cups" And that's not quite right. It's just 5 cups


Here is an excellent explanation regarding the various ways to pronounce Japanese numbers https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E-o-S2aGnVY


Just when you think counting was hard enough with all these counters, you now need to learn how to say the numbers all over again...


Вписывая любую цифру, ответ будет засчитан, но ответ подправит, якобы я совершил небольшую грамматическую ошибку.


Ugh this is so hard to pronounce for me T^ T I've encountered つつ in some other words too, gotta practice pronouncing it right.


Is the pronunciation standard in this audio because its very hard to replicate


A note for those who are confused by the pronuncation (I hope a native speaker can give their assessment of this)

Jsho, a mobile dictionary that I use, has pitch accent indicators, and according to this, いつつ (five) has "stress" at the second mora, while いつ (when) has "stress" on the first mora. So the audio is actually questionable. However, I've heard many times that pitch differs from area to area, from dialect to dialect...


More than anything I was confused by the pronunciation. Maybe a problem with the new male voice or just my hearing idk. I took me quite a while to realize that the first つ is not a small one (like in 三つ, 四つ, 六つ and 八つ) and it's supposed to sound like itsu-tsu.


is it いっつ or いつつ it sounds like shes saying i-tsu-tsu but i thought it was supposed to be i-ttsu can somebody help me clear this up?

Learn Japanese in just 5 minutes a day. For free.