Gengo Girls #115: We’re Number One

Gengo Girls #115: We're Number One

Sometimes it makes a lot of sense when a word has double meaning. “Hayai” as both early and fast is easy to remember since they are related concepts.

On the other hand some aren’t so obvious. Why is “takai” both tall and expensive? No clue. But hopefully the thought of an expensive and tall mountain will help you remember.


一番 = いちばん = first

二番 = にばん = second

三番 = さんばん = third

高い = たかい = tall, high

= やま = mountain


言語ガールズ #115

We’re Number One

Blue: Adding (ばん) to the end of a number let’s you create words like “first”, “second”, “third” and so on.

Yellow: 一番, 二番, 三番

Blue: 一番 can also mean “the best” or “the most”.

Blue: You could say that Mt. Everest is the 一番高い山

Yellow: I thought 高い meant expensive?

Blue: It can also mean tall.

Yellow: I wonder what the 一番 expensive mountain is?

Blue: You mean the most expensive to visit?

Yellow: I mean the most expensive to buy and use as a doom fortress.