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Counting in Cape Verdean Creole

Enter a number and get it written in full in Cape Verdean Creole.

Language overview

Cape Verdean Creole (kabuverdianu, língua kabverdian), is a creole language of Portuguese and African languages (mainly Wolof, Mandingo and Temne) spoken on the Cape Verde islands. Not yet standardized, it has a different dialect on each island of the archipelago. Those dialects, or variants, are grouped in two branches: the Sotavento Creoles (south islands) and the Barlavento Creoles (north islands). These different Creoles count globally one million speakers. We will focus here on the Santiago Creole spoken mainly on the Santiago island, one of the Sotavento islands.

Cape Verdean Creole numbering rules

  • Digits and numbers from zero to fifteen are specific words, namely zéru [0], um [1], dós [2], trés [3], kuátu [4], sinku [5], sax [6] (or séx), séti [7], oitu [8], nóvi [9], dés [10], ónzi [11], duzi [12], treizi [13], katorzi [14], and kinzi [15]. Sixteen to nineteen are regular numbers, i.e. named after the ten and the digit, and written phonetically: dizasax [10 and 6] (or dizaséx), dizaséti [10 and 7], dizoitu [10 and 8], and dizanóvi [10 and 9].
  • The tens have specific names based on the matching digits roots except for ten and twenty: dés [10], vinti [20], trinta [30], korénta [40], sunkuénta [50], sasénta [60], saténta [70], oiténta [80], and novénta [90].
  • Tens and units are regularly linked with a hyphen. However, tens ending with -a (hence between forty and ninety), see their final -a replaced by -i when combined with a unit (e.g.: vinti-trés [23], sunkuénti-sax [56]).
  • The names for hundreds are also based on the multiplier digit root, followed by the plural form of hundred, except for one hundred: sem [100] (séntus in plural), duzéntus [200], trezéntus [300], kuátuséntus [400], kinhéntus [500], saiséntus [600], sétuséntus [700], oituséntus [800], and nóviséntus [900].
  • When one hundred is followed by a ten or a unit, sem becomes senti- (e.g.: senti-kuátu [104], senti-trinti-oitu [138]). The other hundreds are followed by the conjunction i (and) (e.g.: trezéntus-i-oitu [308], saiséntus-i-sunkuénti-séti [657]).
  • One thousand is said mil, and one million um milliom (sometimes also mil mil). When there are several thousands or millions, they are preceded by their multiplier (e.g.: séti mil [7,000], nóvi miliom [9 million]). However, when followed by hundreds, tens or units, mil becomes mili (e.g.: mili-duzéntus-i-trinti-kuátu [1,234]), and million is followed by the conjunction i (e.g.: sinku miliom i saiséntus [5,000,600]). Beyond one thousand, composed numbers are not preceded by i anymore (e.g.: séti miliom kuátu mili-trezéntus [7,004,300]).
  • Cape Verdean Creole uses the short scale for big scale names creation, where every new word greater than a million is one thousand times bigger than the previous term. Thus, um biliom is 109 (one billion), as in English.

Books

The Syntax of Cape Verdean Creole: The Sotavento VarietiesThe Syntax of Cape Verdean Creole: The Sotavento Varieties
by , editors John Benjamins Pub Co (2003)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Le créole cpaverdien de pocheLe créole cpaverdien de poche
by , editors Assimil (2010)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Parlons capverdien : langue et cultureParlons capverdien : langue et culture
by , editors L’Harmattan (2003)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

L’élément africain dans la langue capverdienne (variété de Santiago)L’élément africain dans la langue capverdienne (variété de Santiago)
by , editors L’Harmattan (2008)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Grammaire de la langue cap-verdienneGrammaire de la langue cap-verdienne
by , editors L’Harmattan (2000)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Numbers list

1 – um
2 – dós
3 – trés
4 – kuátu
5 – sinku
6 – sax
7 – séti
8 – oitu
9 – nóvi
10 – dés
11 – ónzi
12 – duzi
13 – treizi
14 – katorzi
15 – kinzi
16 – dizasax
17 – dizaséti
18 – dizoitu
19 – dizanóvi
20 – vinti
30 – trinta
40 – korénta
50 – sunkuénta
60 – sasénta
70 – saténta
80 – oiténta
90 – novénta
100 – sem
1,000 – mil
one million – um miliom
one billion – um biliom

Other supported languages

Supported languages by families
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