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Counting in Malagasy

Language overview

Forty-two in Malagasy The Malagasy language belongs to the Austronesian family, and more specifically to the East Barito group. Malagasy is divided in two dialectal groups, counting eleven dialects. Standard Malagasy is the Merina dialect, spoken natively by about a quarter of the population of Madagascar. Official national language of the island, and also spoken in the French department of Mayotte, in the Comoros archipelago, it counts about 20 million speakers.

Malagasy numbers list

  • 1 – iray
  • 2 – roa
  • 3 – telo
  • 4 – efatra
  • 5 – dimy
  • 6 – enina
  • 7 – fito
  • 8 – valo
  • 9 – sivy
  • 10 – folo
  • 11 – iraika ambin’ny folo
  • 12 – roa ambin’ny folo
  • 13 – telo ambin’ny folo
  • 14 – efatra ambin’ny folo
  • 15 – dimy ambin’ny folo
  • 16 – enina ambin’ny folo
  • 17 – fito ambin’ny folo
  • 18 – valo ambin’ny folo
  • 19 – sivy ambin’ny folo
  • 20 – roapolo
  • 30 – telopolo
  • 40 – efapolo
  • 50 – dimampolo
  • 60 – enimpolo
  • 70 – fitopolo
  • 80 – valopolo
  • 90 – sivifolo
  • 100 – zato
  • 1,000 – arivo
  • ten thousand – alina

Malagasy numbering rules

  • Digits from zero to nine are rendered by specific words, namely aotra [0], iray (iraika when compound) [1], roa [2], telo [3], efatra [4], dimy [5], enina [6], fito [7], valo [8], and sivy [9].
  • Tens are formed by prefixing the word for ten (folo, turned into (m)polo) by its multiplier digit, except for ten itself: folo [10], roapolo [20], telopolo [30], efapolo [40], dimampolo [50], enimpolo [60], fitopolo [70], valopolo [80], and sivifolo [90].
  • Teens are formed by stating the unit first, then the expression amby ny or ambin’ny (meaning in excess of), and the word for ten (folo): iraika ambin’ny folo [11], roa ambin’ny folo [12], telo ambin’ny folo [13], efatra ambin’ny folo [14], dimy ambin’ny folo [15], enina ambin’ny folo [16], fito ambin’ny folo [17], valo ambin’ny folo [18], and sivy ambin’ny folo [19].
  • Compound numbers are formed by stating the unit first, then the word amby (meaning in excess of), and the ten (e.g.: dimy amby roapolo [25], enina amby telopolo [36]).
  • Hundreds are formed by prefixing the word for hundred (zato, turned into (n)jato) by its multiplier digit, except for one hundred: zato [100], roanjato [200], telonjato [300], efajato [400], dimanjato [500], eninjato [600], fitonjato [700], valonjato [800], and sivinjato [900].
  • Thousands are formed by stating the multiplier digit before the word for thousand (arivo), separated with a space, except for one thousand: arivo [1,000], roa arivo [2,000], telo arivo [3,000], efatra arivo [4,000], dimy arivo [5,000], enina arivo [6,000], fito arivo [7,000], valo arivo [8,000], and sivy arivo [9,000].
  • Compound numbers above one hundred are formed by starting with the unit and going up to the higher scale number, linking units, tens and hundreds with the word amby (hence up to 999), and the upper groups with the word sy (and) (e.g.: valo amby efapolo amby telonjato [348], enina amby valopolo sy dimanjato sy roa arivo [2,586]).
  • Higher scale numbers have specific names for each power of ten: alina [10,000], hetsy [100,000], tapitrisa [million, 106], safatsiroa [ten of million, 107], tsitamboisa [hundred of million, 108], lavitrisa or arivo tapitrisa [billion, 109] (litterally, thousand million), alinkisa [ten of billion, 1010] (litterally, innumerable), tsipesimpesenina [hundred of billion, 1011], tsitokotsiforohana (from the expression tsy toko tsy forohana, litterally, an enormous sum of money, a lot) [trillion, 1012], tsihitanoanoa [ten of trillion, 1013], safatsiroafaharoa [hundred of trillion, 1014] (litterally the second 107, or rather 102*7, from faharoa, second), tsitamboisafaharoa [quadrillion, 1015]… safatsiroafahatelo [sextillion, 1021] (litterally the third 107, or rather 103*7, from fahatelo, third), tsitamboisafahatelo [ten of sextillion, 1022]…

Books

Malagasy-English, English-Malagasy: Dictionary and PhrasebookMalagasy-English, English-Malagasy: Dictionary and Phrasebook
by , editors Hippocrene Books (2001)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Antisèche Français - MalagasyAntisèche Français - Malagasy
by , editors Salines Éditions (2017)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

Guide de conversation Malgache de pocheGuide de conversation Malgache de poche
by , editors Assimil (2010)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Le malgache de pocheLe malgache de poche
by , editors Assimil (2000)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

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