What's the difference for using these?




  • 4
    You might want to recheck your textbook or other source from which you got these - your first example should probably be さんじごじっぷん or さんじごじゅっぷん (not じゅうぷん). Anyway, the answer to your question involves a phenomenon called rendaku (連濁), sometimes translated as "sequential voicing". This answer has a good overview of the phenomenon. – senshin Jan 12 '15 at 5:40
  • This is similar to the difference in the English phrases an apple and a tomato. (as in, there's no difference in meaning) – blutorange Jan 12 '15 at 17:17
  • I don't think /h/ → /p/ is the same thing as rendaku. It's explained by a separate rule. – snailplane Jan 13 '15 at 15:05

It all depends on the numbers immediately preceding 「分」.

ん Hun」: 2, 5, 7, 9 and 00.

ん Pun」: 1, 3, 4, 6, 8, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, etc.


ん Hun」: 32分(さんじゅうにふん)、15分(じゅうごふん)、57分(ごじゅうななふん)、9分(きゅうふん)、4-5分(しごふん [Only number 5, not number 4, affects the way 分 is pronounced.])

ん Pun」: 1分(いっぷん)、13分(じゅうさんぷん)、24分(にじゅうよんぷん)、6分(ろっぷん)、20分(にじゅっぷん)、60分(ろくじゅっぷん)、2-3分(にさんぷん)

「0分」 can be read both 「ゼロふん」 and 「れいふん」.

Additional Info:

In fractions, 「分」 is always pronounced 「ん Bun」.

1/4 (よんぶんのいち)


  • Thanks for the answer, it helps alot. BTW, why ふん is sometimes written as "Hun" and sometimes as "Fun"? I checked multiple pronunciation videos and recordings, for my non-english ears it's always "f", never "h" – grigoryvp Aug 7 '18 at 4:15

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