Japanese Language Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for students, teachers, and linguists wanting to discuss the finer points of the Japanese language. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Here's the definition of sudoku in Wikipedia:

数独(すうどく)とは、3×3のブロックに区切られた 9×9の正方形の枠内に1〜9までの数字を入れるペンシルパズルの一つである。

How should one read 9×9の or 3×3の out loud?

share|improve this question
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I think you're asking this because in English, we distinguish times from by:

  • 3×3=9         three times three is nine
  • a 3×3 block      a three-by-three block

But I think in Japanese, it's just かける in both cases:

  • ×3=9     さんかけるさんはきゅう
  • ×3のブロック  さんかけるさんのブロック

You can see that both uses are listed on Wikipedia's article for × in the same section (titled 積), and in that section it says that the symbol is usually pronounced かける.

This ALC example also uses かける to correspond to English by, although this example has units:

Also about the photo size, would you like it four by six inches or three by five inches?


I also found some videos online where × was used to express dimensions, and they pronounced it かける in each case. For example, this video and this video say 2×2 and 3×3 as にかけるに and さんかけるさん. (They're both Minecraft videos.)

So I think you can just say "number かける number".

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.