"よん"

Translation:four

June 10, 2017

69 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/bxnny....senpai

This was helpful thanks


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/greenlillybeth

Hey... as someone who’ll lived in Japan for five years and took karate (meaning we counted off every night when practicing) we used shi. However, I lived in the south of japan. I believe there is a big difference between the south and north in dialect


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

From what I've learned, し is fine to be used when counting but よん should be used in other situations.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/master-of-mayhem

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/poornendu2

Yeah i.have learned first shi but now only i know that it necessary told as yon


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jace672

How do you know when to use shi and yon?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jace672

Really what I'm asking is their any specification for when to use shi as apposed to yon both meaning 4?


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

It will most often be よん
し is mainly only used in some older set expressions such as month names 四月・しがつ "April"
It is also commonly used interchangeably with よん when counting 1-10 (as you would when just listing numbers such as for a countdown, not when counting a specific object)


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/EquanimousLingo

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


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

Shi and yon are the same but shi is death so mostly people say it yon sorry If i sound really stupid


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.P5KgxO

Is there any word Shichu?


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

Not really, no.
シチュ shichu in katakana is an abbreviation of the loan word "situation"
しちゅう shichuu with a long vowel sound can mean a lot of things from "in the city, prop/support, fatal situation, larva" depending on the kanji used and context.

You may be thinking of しち shichi which is another reading for the number 7


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/galaxy_1029

Yon:- 4 shi:- 4


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/matthieumarron

Kanji are ideograms, not pictographs. Their appearances and their meanings are not necessarily connected. The kanji for one (ー), two (ニ), and three (三) happen to look like what they mean, but most kanji do not. (au fait, j'aime ton nom d'utilisateur - "parcourant la blanche immensité ... ")


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/senoritavic

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/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/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/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/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/sahlofoli.na

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


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

    Looking at the discussion here I'm wondering when the shift from Shi to Yon happened. I initially learned some Japanese when my father was stationed in Yokosuka and we were taught that shi was 4. This was more than 20 years ago, but I'm wondering if this was just the local dialect, or if the language shifted at some point in the past couple decades.


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

    My grandma taught me to count shi as four, so this confused me, but some of the comments are saying that shi is used for counting, while yon is used for other things. I thought that (and I could be wrong) when counting objects, the numbers all changed depending on what you are counting. Is this true? And if so, when is yon used? As a generic counting-objects word??


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

    This threw me off when I decided to watch Soul Eater in Japanese. In one part the character basically writes a phone number, saying the numbers to herself as she does so. But they use Shi instead of Yon


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

    Yes, Shinigami's phone number is a pun :)
    4242564 shi-ni-shi-ni-go-ro(ku)-shi
    sounds very close to 死に死に殺し shini shini koroshi "Die, die, kill"

    "Shi" is usually avoided for 4 because it is a homophone of 死 "death"


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

    Is it just me or the second letter looks like a h-


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/max640123

    I have confusion in 4 and 6


    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/nxL3
    • 1194

    The correct spell, kunyomi for 四 is "yon". And the pronounce changes 【yon】【yong】【yom】by following sound.


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

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


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

    They're interchangeable, but "shi" sounds like the Japanese word for death, so it's sometimes avoided. This has already been covered in the thread many times. Please read before commenting.


    https://www.duolingo.com/profile/ph.tkactv

    I am confused in 4 and 5


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

    (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.


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

    Isn't the kanji 四????? i thought the superstition was because 四 and 死 sound similar.

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