a = “a” in “father”, but short and crisp
e = “ay” in “may” but without final “y” sound
i = “ee” in “keep”, but short and crisp
o = “o” in “go”, but without final “u” sound
u = “u” in “put”, but without rounding the lips

Note 1: Each Japanese vowel is pronounced short, clipped, and with equal length. For example, in “sensee” (teacher), the “ee” at the end is pronounced twice as long as the first “e”. In “oi” (lunge), the “o” and the “i” are both pronounced, like the “oy” in “boy”, but short and clipped, or the “a” and “i” in “hai” (yes) which sound like “uy” in “buy”.

Note 2: The vowels “u” and “i” are often silent or whispered, that is although they exist in the rhythm of pronunciation, they are often very de-emphasized. For instance, the “u” in “tsuki” (punch or thrust) is whispered, making the word sound like “tski”. Likewise the first “i” in “shichi” (seven) is whispered, which makes it sound like “sh’chi”.

Note 3: The consonant “r” is pronounced by placing the tip of the tongue on top of the mouth and right behind the upper teeth, making “r” sound very much like “d+l” or like the word “very” when pronounced with a British accent (“veddy”). There is no “l” in Japanese, and thus words that are borrowed from other languages will often have an “r” instead of an “l”.

Ichi —————————– One (1)
Ni —————————– Two (2)
San —————————– Three (3)
Shi/Yon —————————– Four (4)
Go —————————– Five (5)
Roku —————————– Six (6)
Shichi/Nanatsu —————————– Seven (7)
Hachi —————————– Eight (8)
Ku/Kyuu —————————– Nine (9)
Ju —————————– Ten (10)
Juuichi —————————– Eleven (11)
Juuni —————————– Twelve (12)
Juusan —————————– Thirteen (13)
Juushi/Juuyon —————————– Fourteen (14)
Juugo —————————– Fifteen (15)
Juuroku —————————– Sixteen (16)
Juushichi/nana —————————– Seventeen (17)
Juugo —————————– Eighteen (18)
Juugo —————————– Nineteen (19)
Nijuu —————————– Twenty (20)
Nijuuichi —————————– Twenty one (21)
Sanjuu —————————– Thirty (30)
Shijuu/Yonjuu —————————– Forty (40)
Gojuu —————————– Fifty (50)
Rokujuu —————————– Sixty (60)
Shichi/Nanajuu —————————– Seventy (70)
Hachijuu —————————– Eighty (80)
Ku/Kyuujuu —————————– Ninety (90)
Haku/Hyaku —————————– Hundred (100)