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if you're having trouble understanding counter words

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."

July 15, 2017



In Japanese, it's just that all nouns are like "garlic."

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


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.


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:



But five murders of crows aren't five crows; they're five groups of crows :)


And I always expect at least some of them to be dead. A murder of zombie crows so to speak

  • 1602

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.

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