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Japanese counting to ten*

  1. Ichi The “i” sounds like “ea” in “each” and the “chee” is like “cheek.” When spoken quickly, the “ee” part is not or barely pronounced and the whole word sounds like “each.”
  2. Ni It sounds like “knee.”
  3. San  It sounds like “sahn.”
  4. Shi  It sounds just like “she.”
  5. Go  When you say “go” in Japanese, you need to leave your mouth rounded when you’re done to prevent slipping towards a “w” sound.
  6. Roku  The R is pronounced like a cross between R and L, so when you say it it should sound similar to “loh-koo.” But an English R is pronounced at the center of the tongue, and an English L is pronounced about a quarter of an inch from the tip of the tongue, but the Japanese r is pronounced using only the very tip of the tongue.
  7. Shichi  Sounds like “she-chee”, with a hint of tch on the “chee.”
  8. Hachi  It sounds like “ha!” then “tchee.”
  9. Kyu  It sounds like the letter “q.” Similarly to “go,” English speakers tend to pronounce it as “kyoow” – make sure to keep your mouth rounded on the “oo” sound and not to slip towards “w”.
  10. Ju  It’s pronounced “joo”, with a teensy-tiny bit of zh on the j.

*Source: wikihow.com – how to count to ten in Japanese