How to tell Time in Japanese  

Table of Contents

The Importance of Telling Time in Japanese 

When learning Japanese, it’s essential to know how to tell time accurately. Telling time is a fundamental aspect of daily communication, from making plans with friends and scheduling appointments to understanding public transportation schedules. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about telling time in Japanese, from the basics of hours and minutes to common time-related expressions. With Curiotory’s expertise, you’ll be able to confidently tell time in Japanese and engage in conversations with ease. 

1. Basics of Telling Time in Japanese: –  

In Japanese, telling time is relatively straightforward. The language uses a combination of numbers, counters, and specific words to express the time. It’s important to learn the Japanese numbers and the appropriate counters for hours and minutes to tell time accurately. 

2.Understanding Hours and Minutes in Japanese: –  

In Japanese, hours are represented by the counter 時 (じ or ji). For example, to say “one o’clock,” you would say 一時 (いちじ or ichi-ji).  

The numbers for hours generally follow the basic Japanese numbering system, with some exceptions: 

• 4 o’clock: 四時 (よじ or yo-ji) 

• 7 o’clock: 七時 (しちじ or shichi-ji) 

• 9 o’clock: 九時 (くじ or ku-ji) 

Minutes are represented by the counter 分 (ふん or fun). However, the pronunciation can change slightly depending on the number: 

• 1 minute: 一分 (いっぷん or ip-pun) 

• 2 minutes: 二分 (にふん or ni-fun) 

• 3 minutes: 三分 (さんぷん or san-pun) 

• 4 minutes: 四分 (よんぷん or yon-pun) 

• 5 minutes: 五分 (ごふん or go-fun) 

• 6 minutes: 六分 (ろっぷん or rop-pun) 

• 7 minutes: 七分 (ななふん or nana-fun) 

• 8 minutes: 八分 (はっぷん or hap-pun) 

• 9 minutes: 九分 (きゅうふん or kyu-fun) 

• 10 minutes: 十分 (じゅっぷん or jup-pun) 

3. Asking for the Time in Japanese: –  

To ask someone for the current time in Japanese, you can use the phrase “今、何時ですか?” (いま、なんじですか? or Ima, nan-ji desu ka?). This translates to “What time is it now?” in English. When responding, you would state the hour and minute using the counters mentioned earlier. 

4.Time-related Expressions and Vocabulary: –  

• 午前 (ごぜん or gozen): AM 

• 午後 (ごご or gogo): PM 

• 朝 (あさ or asa): Morning 

• 昼 (ひる or hiru): Noon or afternoon 

• 夜 (よる or yoru): Evening or night 

• 深夜 (しんや or shin’ya): Late night 

5.Tips for Practicing Telling Time in Japanese: –  

•Practice telling time in Japanese by looking at clocks or setting alarms on your phone in Japanese. 

•Quiz yourself on hours and minutes in Japanese to improve your understanding of the counters and their pronunciations. 

•Incorporate Japanese time expressions into your daily conversations to become more comfortable using them. 

•Use Curiotory’s language learning platform to access lessons, exercises, and quizzes that focus on telling time in Japanese. 

6.Tips for Memorizing Japanese Time Vocabulary: –  

To help you remember Japanese time vocabulary, here are some tips you can use: 

•Create flashcards: Make a set of flashcards with Japanese time expressions, hours, and minutes on one side and their English translations on the other side. Review them regularly to reinforce your memory. 

•Use mnemonic devices: Create mental associations or stories to help you remember the vocabulary. For example, you can associate 一時 (いちじ or ichi-ji) with “one o’clock” by imagining a giant number one on a clock. 

•Practice with a language partner: Find a language partner who is also learning Japanese or a native speaker and practice telling time in Japanese together. This will not only help you remember the vocabulary but also improve your speaking skills. 

•Listen to Japanese audio: Listen to podcasts, songs, or other audio resources in Japanese, and try to identify time expressions being used. This will help you become more familiar with the natural flow of Japanese speech. 

7.Japanese Time Expressions in Context: –  

To further enhance your understanding of how to tell time in Japanese, here are some example sentences using time expressions in context: 

•今何時ですか? (いまなんじですか? or Ima nan-ji desu ka?) – What time is it now? 

•三時半に会いましょう。 (さんじはんにあいましょう。 or San-ji han ni aimashou.) – Let’s meet at 3:30. 

•午前十時から授業があります。 (ごぜんじゅうじからじゅぎょうがあります。 or Gozen juu-ji kara jugyou ga arimasu.) – I have a class from 10 AM. 

•今日の午後七時に映画を見に行きます。 (きょうのごごしちじにえいがをみにいきます。 or Kyou no gogo shichi-ji ni eiga wo mi ni ikimasu.) – I’m going to see a movie today at 7 PM. 

8.Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ): –  

1: How do you express half-past in Japanese?  

To express half-past, use the word “半” (はん or han) after the hour. For example, 7:30 would be 七時半 (しちじはん or shichi-ji han). 

2: How can I practice telling time in Japanese?  

Practice by looking at clocks, setting alarms on your phone in Japanese, quizzing yourself, and incorporating time expressions into daily conversations. Curiotory’s language learning platform also offers lessons, exercises, and quizzes to help you master telling time in Japanese. 

3: Are there any differences in telling time in formal or casual situations in Japanese?  

3: In formal situations, you might use the polite form です (desu) when telling time. In casual conversations with friends or family, you can omit です (desu) and simply state the time. 

4: How do I express durations in Japanese?  

4: To express durations in Japanese, you can use the counters for hours and minutes along with the particle 間 (かん or kan). For example, 2 hours and 30 minutes would be 二時間半 (にじかんはん or ni-jikan han). 

5: Can I use a 12-hour or 24-hour clock in Japanese?  

5: Both the 12-hour and 24-hour clock systems are used in Japan. However, the 12-hour system with 午前 (gozen) for AM and 午後 (gogo) for PM is more common in everyday conversations. 

9. Embrace the Language of Time in Japanese: –  

Learning how to tell time in Japanese is an essential skill for any language learner. By understanding the basics of hours and minutes, asking for the time, and using time-related expressions, you’ll be well on your way to mastering this important aspect of the language. Make use of Curiotory’s language learning platform to practice and enhance your Japanese time-telling abilities, and soon you’ll be able to confidently engage in conversations about time in Japanese