"よん"

Translation:Four

June 10, 2017

91 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RebelBrigid

What is the difference between Yon and Shi


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

Yon and Shi are the same meaning just 4. But we sometimes avoid how to read of 'shi' because the pronunciation 'Shi' is as same as ’死' what meaning is death'. death is bad luck. And sometimes we avoid 'shi' .


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Briguy84

From what I remember Shi is used when counting things and Yon is used when you have an amount of something.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelvinBB

Yeah, some words use it too like 四季(しき) which means "the (4) seasons"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/GarethLewi15

This is easy for me to remember because of a song called"song 4" by babymetal which is about exactly this.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Crazy_plant_lady

I thought the word for death was shini or is it just shi? And the alternative word for four is shi or is it shini? And is yon the most popular version of four? Sorry if I sound stupid


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sum_Gai

Sora is saying that the Kanji for 4 has 2 readings. One is し, which is also a reading for the Kanji for death. しに is when you conjugate the word or combine Kanji to form a word.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

"Yottsu" is also a reading for the Kanji for "4" ("四"). See more here: https://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Japanese_numbers


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarvinAndres

四 by itself has 2 readings. し and よん. し is often used in compounds of kanji such as 四月 (shigatsu = april).

四つ or 4つ (yottsu) is used when actually counting things, like apples. "4 apples please." = "リンゴは4つをお願いします."

Hitotsu 一つ, futatsu 二つ, mittsu 三つ, yottsu 四つ, etc. are general counters, but usually Japanese people use specific counters for specific things. That is a whole other lecture in itself though.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sum_Gai

According to that article, yottsu is not a reading for 四, it is the universal counter for 4 things. Google Translate and my Japanese keyboard agree that the counter is "四つ" not "四." Well, Google Translate actually translated to "4つ," but that just reinforces the point.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Aidan357905

but this is not kanji tho


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/-soet-

so we use "四" & not "輜" ?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dim-ond-dysgwr

??? 輜 means some sort of military supply cart, doesn't it? Can't see the connection to "four".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Shella950948

Follow me back please


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EquanimousLingo

Shi derived from the Chinese On-yomi pronunciation of Si and is usually used with compound kanji words.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/itsDavid2103

Yon is a alternate way to say Shi but Shi also means death, so is avoided when possible


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarvinAndres

"Shi" is usually how 四 is read in compounds of kanji, such as 四月 (shigatsu = "fourth month" = april). Usually when kanji are in compounds, they take their Chinese reading, or onyomi. "Yon" is the Japanese reading of 四 (kunyomi), usually only used when reading the kanji by itself.

So basically "shi" is the Chinese reading used in big words, and "yon" is the Japanese reading used when just saying the word "four" in Japanese.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/brandi227563

I think that theyre just two different ways of saying four (shi, 死 means death and its pronounced the same way) also another reason there might be two is maby theyre from 2 different parts of the language, like hiragana, kanji, katakana, ect.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lucasatos92

Shi is the same sound as death in japanese, so they avoid it for avoiding bad luck and also to avoid strange ambiguities in some phrases. You will still hear it thoug, specially amoung the nikei in the american countinent and in some old texts.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorcans13

If you ever get confused between さん and よん think of the company Sanyo, San first then Yo(n).


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sora_Japan

this is kanji 4. why down vote? :O


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

Maybe because of the lack of explanation?

BTW, hat does this kanji represents? How it was a representation for 4. It makes no sense with hiragana, but with kanjis it does.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MaruMaruGijutsu

My four year old relative is 'young'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JordanOsr

I can't quite decipher the pronunciation here - is the voice saying "Yon," "Yong," or "Yom"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AnnikaNorris

"Yon" よ=yo and ん=n


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/tu_madre_vic

for me it's like saying "yong," but stopping before the "g" sound. I found that's a good way to pronounce it :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/WideVacuum

Was really a good question. This didn't arise in my mind. :D


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/guiri1967

I also hear "sang" and "yong" rather than "san" and "yon". Can anyone say what the proper pronunciation is?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

For san, it seems the an is a bit nasalized, a bit like in French, but slightly less, and with a very abrupt ending, so we have a bit the illusion to hear a "g" sound., like "ang".

But there's no g, it's the abrupt ending that we are not used to.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

I hear it like yonn, with a long extended n sound.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kaldiii

This one always catches me because I was taught in school that shi = 4


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lorcans13

Both よん and し are four but し is generally avoided because it is pronounced the same as 死 which means death


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

So shi is a borrowed Chinese word for death?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DrScottDukowitz

from a very long karate background I noticed 4 and 7 were different, I'm used to shichi for 7 and 4 has already been covered here. I'm wondering if any other numbers are different and why? I've trained with the master of Shorin-Ryu (matsubayashi-ryu) a few times when he was still alive and he counted differently than is being taught here - phonetically it was like ichi, ni, san, shi, go, roku, shichi, hachi, kyu, ju.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/David614676

I don't know if you know this so I'll go ahead and offer this as a possible explanation. Japanese words tend to have two readings called onyomi and kunyomi. Kunyomi are how words were pronounced in Japanese originally (to the best of my knowledge) while onyomi are actually pronunciations that came from China. For example the onyomi for 4 in romaji, shi, actually matches the pinyin used in Chinese, shì, save the tone mark (and when pronounced they do sound fairly similar). When counting to ten either pronunciation can be used it seems (note that death is also pronounced shi). Nine can also be kyuu or ku (ku also can mean suffering)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Barrbelle

In Shotokan karate taught in Los Angeles in the late 70's- early 80's, that is the way it counted in our dojo. I wonder if the association with death was more acceptable in a martial art context? But using that reasoning, one would expect the choice of "ku" for the pronunciation of the number 9 (which now that I am trying to remember, I can't recall if it sounded more like kyu or ku). So, do pronunciation choices have to do with vocation or is it more regional? Or do both play a part in word choice?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Sum_Gai

Probably both, but from what I understand saying し and しち are more common when counting, but saying よん and なな are more common when said individually. From other studies, I was informed that if somone says し and しち when counting 1 to 10, then they will say なな and よん when counting 10 to 1. Also, for counters and anything higher than 10, よん and なな are used almost exclusively.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

They said about the shi double meaning, avoiding by superstition to pronounce it, because it means "death". But I don't about the etymology of the "yon".

In English, I know why and how there's very often words that have 2 different etymologies and means the same (like right box, from Saxon root, and immediately, from a borrowed French root), but in Japanese, is it the same, one regular etymology, and one borrowed to Chinese? As they also avoid to say "shi"in Chinese, it seems a Chinese-borrowed word in Japanese. But how do they say 4 in Chinese the non-death way, and what is the origin of the alternative etymology?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dieprinzessin

Fo(u)r-ever yo(u)ng


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TohruHondaaaa

Someone on this site gave me a good way to remember 2 and 3. Sorry I forget who his name is but it was GREAT advice!

If you know the car Nissan, it is easy to remember 2 and three because:

2: Prononciation: Ni

3: Pronunciation: San

If you put 2 and 3 together it sounds like Nissan (the car)!

Thank You to the person who gave the advice :D!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnJohnNL

Why avoid pronouncing death?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/momokafuyu

We avoid pronouncing death because it is bad luck. So when you ought to say four, yon「よん」is the most prefered way of saying it. It is also the same meaning, but still 'yon' is basically the better way of saying it.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JohnJohnNL

Arigato! Would it also be wise to avoid using terms like "death metal" and to avoid talking about accidents and other unfortunate events?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Gita-ji

"Speak the sweet truth."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kawaineko1223

im interested in japanese but im really confused about the Japanese words


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TapMyUsername

4 is a YON-g age


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RoddyDev

I've been messing around with the japanese keyboard and I noticed that I transformed さ into ざ Does it have a different meaning?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JerryMcCarthy99

It has a different pronunciation. "さ" = "sa".

However, if you look at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiragana and skip down to the table headed "Diacritics (gojūon with (han)dakuten)" you'll see that "ざ" = "za".


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/BAZAMEEE

the difference between yon and shi is that yon is used after 10 wher has shi is used before 10. Make sense


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Dante815390

fun fact: 4 is the unluckiest number in japan and is tied back to most religions as being a number of the evil gods


[deactivated user]

    Same like in Chinese, because it has the same meaning as "death"


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/UcNh10

    Ichi ni san yon go roku nana hachi ku ju


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EchanElang

    Is it yon or Yong or young?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ccf-Uk_2019

    It's "yon". I recommend looking at the Duolingo wikia: https://duolingo.fandom.com/wiki/Japanese_Skill:Hiragana_1


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmritNalam

    I remember like 'yondame' hokage(fourth hokage)


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PERCE_NEIGE

    When it is "won't you" or "you know" in a sentence?


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andrew735704

    Is it spelled yom or yon? The word is yon but the speaker said yom


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TannerShum4

    I was robbed by a thief for the first time after his death. My brother Adam went to work in his city. We put the shopping cart in the back of the sofa. "Rudy is with me," Adam said. When I found a large piece on the ground, I followed. "Adam, what's that?" I whispered. "Rudy's guard, stop whispering and keep the money in the car," Adam said as he threw me a big, heavy bag. "Well, what is it?" "Kian Rudy, money"! Suddenly a guard ran into the back street. "Get in the car"! Adam cried. Before camping that night, we survived the wait and went far. "I did well, Rudy," Adam said. As Adam fell to the ground, B threw his step and his voice in the air. "Sorry, brother, but the money's for me," I said. Then Adam shot himself and stole the money. It's over.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/TannerShum4

    I was robbed by a thief for the first time after his death. My brother Adam went to work in his city. We put the shopping cart in the back of the sofa. "Rudy is with me," Adam said. When I found a large piece on the ground, I followed. "Adam, what's that?" I whispered. "Rudy's guard, stop whispering and keep the money in the car," Adam said as he threw me a big, heavy bag. "Well, what is it?" "Kian Rudy, money"! Suddenly a guard ran into the back street. "Get in the car"! Adam cried. Before camping that night, we survived the wait and went far. "I did well, Rudy," Adam said. As Adam fell to the ground, B threw his step and his voice in the air. "Sorry, brother, but the money's for me," I said. Then Adam shot himself and stole the money. It's over.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Eimantas74523

    5 marked as correct


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CaptainGiri

    Sigh. Everything in Japanese has two or three words. I hope what I'm learning is enough. From what I inferred, Japanese would like to hear Yon rather than Shi. But what if Shi is written somewhere? That's why I insist in learning all the words.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/anonymous4365-

    It didnt tell me that


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Idontevenk967822

    I misspelled it lol


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sounki

    I forgot haw we rate 4


    [deactivated user]

      In my karate training it use "shi" instead of "yon"


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/theboredga3

      This is kind of unfair that we don't get any teaching and we just get thrown into the water and it doesn't make me feel bad at all for getting off of the app and going on Google to find the answer


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Bella107456

      Whats a good way to keep track of the sounds and the differences between them? Im having trouble


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cody141527

      The answer is four yet when i put four it said it was incorrect


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Cate333405

      Umm...so i have heard someone say the 4 is shi not yon


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/sahlofoli.na

      Remember, Yon (Four) as in Yondaime Hokage and San (Three) as in Sandaime Hokage lol


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MelviBila

      When you say type in English I think you mean like what if would be said “yon” it would better to say translate


      https://www.duolingo.com/profile/shionispoorhelp

      (Not so) Fun fact: The words "shi" (し) and "yon" (よん/四) are the same. But the reason why 4 is written like よん and not like し (On writing) is beacuse the kanji for "shi" is wrote like this: 死 which means death. Thus making a superstition.

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