why is 2人で pronounced FUTA RI DE.Shouldnt it be NI RI DE.Why is 2 suddenly FUTA instead of NI?
Feb 5, 2013 10:20 PM
Answers · 5
It is useful for you memorise, there are 2 ways to read of Kanji. 1,On-yomi It is on-yomi when you read "ni" On-yomi derive from Chinese reading. 2,Kun-yomi "Futa-ri" is kun-yomi. Kun-yomi is Japanese reading. We use kun-yomin not only people but things. 1人=Hitori 1つ=Hitotsu An apple=Hitotsu no ringo You can say also "1個=ikko" 2人=Futari 2つ=Futatsu Two orange=Futatsu no orange. You can say also "2個=ni-ko" But sorry, I don't know well why we use Kun-yomi only 1 and 2. Maybe it is because the sounds are good. But 12人、22人・・・are read Ju-ni-nin, Niju-ni-nin. And you just memorise how to count.
February 6, 2013
In your theory, not "NI RI", but "NI NIN", because "人" when you count people pronouce "NIN". "一人"and"二人" are irregular pronunciation. But, in your theory is right. In 1948, "二人" only pronounced "NI-NIN", after 1973 it can pronounce also "FUTARI" both is right. However, some have to pronounce "FUTARI" and some "NININ". "二人で" you have to pronounce "futa-ri-de", today. I don't know why changed. You can pronounce"NININ" with these kanji 二人三脚(ni nin san kyaku)、二人称(ni nin sho)、二人前(ni nin mae) etc. 
February 6, 2013
In Japanese there are many exceptions in the words they use when counting, depending on what it is you are counting (eg. people, flat objects, tall objects, etc.) If that makes any sense... (◎_◎;) So counting people is a bit tricky as well. people/person = 人 hitori = 1人 = 1 person (hitori de = alone) futari: = 2人 = 2 people sannin = 3人 = 3 people yonin = 4人 = 4 people gonin = 5人 = 5 people ...
February 6, 2013
1人, 2人 and 4人 have special pronunciations, respectively hitori, futari and yonin. They are exceptions. For other numbers, the counter 人 follows the rule "number + nin" :)
February 5, 2013
Thank you everyone. All of you were helpfull
February 6, 2013
Still haven’t found your answers?
Write down your questions and let the native speakers help you!