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https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3

if you're having trouble understanding counter words

piguy3
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I'm hardly an expert in the matter of Japanese counter words (the things that come in the course as "for counting birds", etc.), but I think the most useful comparison in English to wrap your head around them might be "garlic." We don't normally say "a garlic" or "two garlics." (My spellchecker is even signaling "garlics" as a typo, for example.) We say "a clove of garlic" or "five heads of garlic." In Japanese, it's just that all nouns are like "garlic."

1 year ago

7 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/garpike
garpike
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In Japanese, it's just that all nouns are like "garlic."

This must be why no-one ever hears about Japanese vampires.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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Or look up "English terms of venery, by animal" on wikipedia, and you'll be amazed how hunters used different collective nouns for different animals.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_terms_of_venery,_by_animal

In looking for these, I happened across the following blog post which describes the way in which animal counters in Japanese can be employed in playful ways:

https://blog.gaijinpot.com/cant-really-count-counters/

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/piguy3
piguy3
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But five murders of crows aren't five crows; they're five groups of crows :)

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Faisane
Faisane
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Tru dat.

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Rhabarberbarbara
Rhabarberbarbara
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And I always expect at least some of them to be dead. A murder of zombie crows so to speak

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Maru657421

hai boy

1 year ago

https://www.duolingo.com/Arsuru
Arsuru
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Well that's new. Usually, I see people recommend loaves of bread or sheets of paper.

"Garlics" should be just fine though, if we are talking about varieties.

1 year ago