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15 votes
Accepted

Why did Japanese borrow words for simple numbers from Chinese?

Besides prestige reasons, there is also the fact that the Old Japanese numeral systems can be seen as inconvenient, especially for higher numbers. Disadvantages compared to the Chinese system are: ...
Dodezv's user avatar
  • 411
12 votes

Why did Japanese borrow words for simple numbers from Chinese?

The reason is similar to the reason why English has borrowed (French) words for beef, pork, mutton even though there are Germanic words for cows, swine and sheep. There is a tendency to borrow words ...
user6726's user avatar
  • 83.2k
5 votes

Apparent sound crespondences between Eurasian, Trans-New-Guinean, Pama-Nyungan and Burushaski

Below are my comments on the Eurasiatic data, and why I think @Anixx's forms are not Proto-Eurasiatic numerals. As I am not a specialist of Burushaski, Trans-New-Guinean, or Pama-Nyungan, I cannot ...
abhishek's user avatar
  • 159
5 votes

Why did Japanese borrow words for simple numbers from Chinese?

They are pronounced that way, before the importing of the Chinese characters, and even to this day: ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ、よっつ、いつつ、むっつ、ななつ、やっつ、ここのつ、とお. There even is the shortened way of counting: ひ、ふ、み、よ、い、む、な、...
Jimmy's user avatar
  • 159
3 votes

Why did Japanese borrow words for simple numbers from Chinese?

It's not only Chinese numerals that were imported to Japanese, but also Chinese counter suffixes (these are akin to units and are specific to the category of object being counted). Now how could ...
tobi_s's user avatar
  • 131

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