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I'm writing a skit but I need a counter for bowls of ramen. ひとつ ふたつ somehow sounds weird. Is there a counter for bowls?

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2 Answers

How significant is it when a Japanese learner says a word or phrase sounds weird? ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ, etc. is by far the most often used way of ordering ramen in a restaurant.

玉 is the counter for the noodle part of a ramen, not for the entire bowl of ramen with noodles, soup, toppings, etc.

杯 is the counter for the whole thing --- noodles, soup and toppings. Some people use this counter for ordering ramen but it is much less common to do so than to use ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ.

丁 is the counter almost exclusively used by the waiter/waitress to tell the kitchen how many ramen has just been ordered.

本 is almost irrelevant to the original question because it is only used to count the strands of noodle.  

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Come to think of it... we use ひとつ、ふたつ、みっつ when ordering coffee, udon, yakisoba, sushi, cheeseburger, french fries and... just about anything! (...except kushi-age and yakitori, maybe?) –  Chocolate Oct 18 '13 at 4:03
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“How significant is it when a Japanese learner says a word or phrase sounds weird?” What is this sentence supposed to mean? It sounds a little insulting. –  Tsuyoshi Ito Oct 18 '13 at 10:22
    
@Tokyo どう、どう・・・ –  Chocolate Oct 18 '13 at 10:45
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Quote from 数え方の辞典 (which I have introduced here before):

ラーメン(拉麺)

数え方:本、杯(はい)、丁(ちょう)、玉(たま)

スープ・具・麺(めん)を椀(わん)や丼に盛ると「杯」で数えます。飲食店で注文を受け、景気付けに店員が「ラーメン一丁」のように「丁」で注文を数えることがあります。ばらばらの麺は「本」、1食分の麺の分量は「玉」で表します。

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I take it 玉 would mostly be used in the sense of 替え玉{かえだま}? –  nkjt Mar 24 '13 at 12:20
    
@nkjt うどん[玉]{たま}にも「うどん[2玉]{ふたたま}買ってきて~」とかいいます。 fujimuraya.com/shopping/shop/udon/image/m0100l.jpg ←普通、これ位の大きさのが[1玉]{ひとたま}。ゆでてある「和そば」や、焼きそば・ラーメン用のゆで麺も、よく「玉」で数えます –  Chocolate May 13 '13 at 19:57
    
A very misleading answer for most J-leaners. One would need a near-native level proficiency to make use of it. –  Tokyo Nagoya Oct 18 '13 at 2:51
    
@TokyoNagoya どう、どう・・・。(← I mean, "Easy", not "How") –  Chocolate Oct 18 '13 at 10:44
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まあ、OPがコンテクストを提示してないし、レストラン/ラーメン屋での会話だとも書いてないし・・・「一日にラーメン3杯食えます」って言ってるかもしれないし・・しょ‌​うがないよね~汗 ^^; –  Chocolate Oct 18 '13 at 11:03
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