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Does Anyone Really Know What Time It Is?

November 19, 2015

Today in my Japanese class we focused on telling the time. It was a lot of numbers and some very thoughtful expressions as we went around the room and asked each person, “Anata no kuni wa ima nanji desuka?(What time is it now in your country?).” The gentleman from Canada tried to get specific and let us know what time it was in Toronto, but I kept my answer short and just answered without giving a specific city or time zone (not that I would know how to say “time zone” in Japanese).

As we learned the different minutes and then the words for a.m. and p.m. the group sort of collectively stumbled upon a tongue twister. Gozen is a.m. and gogo is p.m.. The number five is go. One of the example times was 5:55 .pm. Which gives us:

gogo goji gojyuugofun gojyuugobyou

The last part is 55 seconds. The lesson today wasn’t supposed to cover the word for seconds, but we asked about it so we could make it even harder to say. Try saying it five times fast.

Some new takeaways for me were the word for noon, shougo, and adding the phrases asano, hiruno, or yoruno (in the morning, during the day, at night) to a time. Yoruno kuji would be 9 o’clock at night and another way to say noon is hiruno jyuuniji.

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