I am currently working through みんなの日本語 (and still very new), in 第二課の会話 one character says "...408のサントスです。”, but in the audio the voice actor says what sounds like ”よんまるはちのサントスです".

I would say 408 as "よんひゃくはち" , what is this "まる", is it just another way to represent 100?

  • As an aside, the suffix [〜号室]{ごう・しつ} would equate to "room number", although you wouldn't include it in casual conversation like this. 408号室 = "Room (number) 408"
    – istrasci
    Mar 19 '20 at 21:12

In this case, Santos isn't saying he's from (apartment) "four hundred and eight", but (apartment) "four - oh - eight".

まる (kanji 丸) in this case refers to the symbol ○, which can sometimes stand in the place of zero, just as 'oh' stands in place of 'zero' in English.

  • Okay, this explains it. Thank you! Mar 19 '20 at 20:51

I'm still new to Japanese myself, but I think they are saying:


Here, 「丸」is the word for "circle", and is taking the place of the zero in the number. This is basically equivalent to how somebody in English might read the number "four oh eight" instead of "four zero eight".

  • More accurately, it's equivalent to how an English speaker might read a number as "four oh eight" instead of "four hundred and eight" :P
    – V2Blast
    Mar 20 '20 at 6:47

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