So if I'm trying to say "I found more than 50 unfamiliar words" how would I count words?

My attempt: 意味の分からない言葉を50回も初めて見た。

As you can see, I counted how many times I saw an unfamiliar word, rather than the words themselves. Is my sentence okay, and can anyone tell me the word to count more than ten words?

PS Sorry if this is a dumb question, it's my first time. This website seems really sophisticated and I do not want to bug my Japanese friends. Google searching wasn't helping me much, either.

  • Nice question, welcome to the site. You asked a clear question and included your attempt. Not a dumb question at all :)
    – Pedro A
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 23:40
  • Wow thank you :D In hindsight I feel pretty dumb, but thanks.
    – user22536
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 15:20

1 Answer 1


「言葉」is more like "language" or "phrase". If you want to talk about individual words, a better term is 「単語{たんご}」. Furthermore, the counter for words is 「語{ご}」.

So, one way you could say what you're trying to say would be:


(「以上」means "more than". )

Hope that helps.

  • Is there a particular reason for using 見つけました here instead of OP's attempt, 見た?
    – Pedro A
    Commented Jun 13, 2017 at 23:37
  • I suppose there would be nothing wrong with using 初めて見た, per se. But the fact that the sentence starts with 知らない already implies that he's seeing them for the first time, so I thought it seemed a bit redundant.
    – TFlo83
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 2:06
  • I think 知らない言葉を見た is okay unless you're writing a textbook or an academic article. The counter 語 also sounds a bit technical, so I would prefer saying it using 回 in not-so-formal situations.
    – naruto
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 2:47
  • I see what you're saying, but I was just going by the phrase he wanted translated, which was "I found more than 50 unfamiliar words," not "I found unfamiliar words more than 50 times."
    – TFlo83
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 4:05
  • Also, was 意味の分らない incorrect? PS thanks for all the insights
    – user22536
    Commented Jun 14, 2017 at 15:24

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