When referring to the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident, is "3.11" pronounced "San gatsu ju ichi nichi", or is there a shortened version, like "nine one one" or "September eleven" for the terrorist attacks on September the eleventh?

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    3/11 is typically much more common in Western media (who probably like that 9/11 ring to it)... Japanese media overwhelmingly prefer the term 大震災/東日本大震災.
    – Dave
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 8:12
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    I thought "nine one one" was the number you dialed in emergencies in the US. I thought "nine eleven" was more common.
    – dainichi
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 8:30
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    @Flaw: that claim is stated as fact in Wikipedia With citations given: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/9-1-1#cite_ref-35
    – Golden Cuy
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 11:11
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    @AndrewGrimm: No, what I mean is that whenever I say it, or hear it, it's September 11th or 911... Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 16:30
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    >there were people who couldn't find number eleven on the phone. --- Lol in Japan we have ひゃくとうばん but no one would say 'I can't find number ten on the phone!'
    – user1016
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 5:28

1 Answer 1


For 2.26事件 or 5.15事件, I remember learning them to be read as "にいにいろくじけん", "ごういちごうじけん," but I also hear people reading them as "にいてんにいろくじけん", "ごうてんいちごうじけん." Other than these two, as far as I know, incidents written like this seem to be read simply as if you read a number with a decimal point, like "さんてんいちいち."

  • 3
    Is the vowel sound for に and ご intentionally dragged out to form にい and ごう? Why does it happen?
    – Flaw
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 7:39
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    @Flaw That is the way these numbers are usually pronounced in isolation.
    – user458
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 8:10
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    @Flaw One-mora digits are given an extra mora when pronouncing a series of digits, probably to make them an "equidistant" rythm.
    – dainichi
    Commented Feb 19, 2012 at 8:35

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