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I just saw a trailer of 47 Ronin. My first thought was "that doesn't sound right". We have 12 Monkeys and 13 Warriors. Why 47 Ronin? Then I recalled that there is a movie titled Seven Samurai.

I checked the words ronin and samurai with Google, and found that the plural form of ronin can be either ronin or ronins. But the plural form of samurai is samurai.

Is there any guideline on the plural form(s) of loanwords in English, especially those from Japanese?

marked as duplicate by Peter Shor , Mitch, Robusto, Barrie England, choster Dec 21 '13 at 16:05

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  • This is a duplicate question. – Peter Shor Dec 21 '13 at 14:24
  • Which one, I searched but couldn't find one? – Damkerng T. Dec 21 '13 at 14:25
  • That question doesn't say anything at all about guidelines, rules, or patterns. From the accepted answer: "So yes, ninja meaning ninjas is a usage that gets some use, but regular pluralized ninjas is more common, and perfectly grammatical." Can I conclude that there is no such guideline, and I should always consult dictionaries? What if I'd like to write some word borrowed from Japanese and it wasn't in any dictionary? – Damkerng T. Dec 21 '13 at 14:35
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    I believe there is no such guideline; consult dictionaries. (Actually, one guideline is to only take irregular inflected plurals from a few selected languages—probably German, French, Greek, Latin, Hebrew. You certainly shouldn't use things like Hungarian plurals: one coach; two coachik). For loan-words from Japanese, though, I don't think there's any reason not to use the zero plural. – Peter Shor Dec 21 '13 at 14:39
  • Two nindzi :)... – mplungjan Dec 21 '13 at 15:36