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Counting small animals

Marta
Asked 2 years ago

 

Hello, I'm just going through the lesson ま means nothing and I'm getting a bit confused with the pronounciations of some of the small-animal counters.

For 四ひき, from the audio it sounds like it's yoihiki, however I'm guessing it's meant to be yonhiki?

Also for 八ぴき, the lesson says hachipiki in brackets next to it, however from the audio it sounds like hap-piki (with a small tsu) to me? Which of the two is it meant to be? Or can you use both?

Know someone who might be able to answer this question?

3 Answers

2
Votes
+500

I've heard 四ひき pronounced as yonhiki in some children's songs, so I think that for sure is correct. I don't know if yoihiki would be correct...but I wouldn't be surprised if it was.

I've heard 八ぴき pronounced as hap-piki (with a small tsu), again in some children's songs. I've never heard hachipiki though.....

 

Hope this helps and maybe some other nihongomaster students/staff can confirm or correct my answer?

 

Dennis
Answered 2 years ago

2
Votes
+500

Typing from a Japanese keyboard to check against kanji options for each:
いっぴき
にひき
さんびき
よんびき
ごひき
ろっぴき
ななひき
はっぴき
きゅうひき
じゅうひき
ひゃくひき
せんびき

Basically with counters if the number ends in a つ then it goes small and the ひ becomes ぴ, so いっぴき and ろっぴき. If it ends in an ん sound then the ひ becomes び.

The same applies to counters like 本 so いっぽん、ろっぽん or さんぼん、よんぼん.

Hope that explains things somewhat. Dunno about the songs cited by Dennis but it could be for rhyming purposes in the song and if a native speaker corrects me then I'll hold my hands up but this is the general rule, it's what sounds natural to me.

 

番長
Answered 2 years ago

I've gone back to the lesson and she says よんひき and じゅうぴき so I've made a mistake there, although I've also heard よんびき so there may be some flexibility there. Use じゅうぴき though as thinking now 十分 is じゅうぷん. The yoihiki sound is her pronouncing yo-n-hi-ki, the n is almost a nasalised vowel in Japanese hence the confusion.

番長
Commented 2 years ago

Thank you so much! That's super useful!

Marta
Commented 2 years ago

2
Votes
+500

Hi everyone,

As you know, the counter for small animals is "ひき" and it can be changed to "ぴき" or "びき"depending on the numbers followed by them.
( numbers with ぴき should be changed, too.)

FYI,

いっぴき
にひき
さんびき
よんひき
ごひき
ろくひき or ろっぴき
ななひき
はちひき or はっぴき
きゅうひき
じっぴき or *じゅっぴき *it's not grammatically correct but commonly used. 

 

Aki
Answered 2 years ago

Thank you!

Marta
Commented 2 years ago