Is it OK to just write Japanese numbers in Arabic numerals?


Hi Richard!

I’ve been wanting to learn Japanese for a couple years now and I’ve known about your site for just as long, but I decided to finally crack down on learning it. I love your site and what you do (especially those “extra” fun videos about Japan).

I started off with your numbers video and I’m pretty sure I have them down.

But my question is: can I get away without knowing the Japanese symbols for the numbers? Should I be fine only knowing the arabic numerals?

Yes, most numbers are in arabic numerals over here.  The only exceptions are very traditional restaurants who put their prices in kanji.  But usually arabic numerals are fine!

Also is all Japanese really read right to left?

Traditionally, when Japanese is written from top to bottom, you read from right to left.  And books also open from right to left!
But these days if it is written horizontally you usually write it left to right, like English.

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