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Counting in Shona

Enter a number and get it written in full in Shona.

Language overview

Shona (chiShona) is a Bantu language from the Niger-Congo family. Spoken in Zimbabwe (where it is co-official language with English and Sindebele), Mozambique, Zambia, and Botswana, it counts about 7 million speakers.

Due to lack of data, this program can only count accurately up to 99,999 in Shona. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

Shona numbers list

  • 1 – motsi
  • 2 – piri
  • 3 – tatu
  • 4 – china
  • 5 – shanu
  • 6 – tanhatu
  • 7 – nomwe
  • 8 – sere
  • 9 – pfumbamwe
  • 10 – gumi
  • 11 – gumi neimwe
  • 12 – gumi nembiri
  • 13 – gumi nenhatu
  • 14 – gumi neina
  • 15 – gumi neshanu
  • 16 – gumi nenhanhatu
  • 17 – gumi nenomwe
  • 18 – gumi nesere
  • 19 – gumi nepfumbamwe
  • 20 – makumi maviri
  • 30 – makumi matatu
  • 40 – makumi mana
  • 50 – makumi mashanu
  • 60 – makumi matanhatu
  • 70 – makumi manomwe
  • 80 – makumi masere
  • 90 – makumi mapfumbamwe
  • 100 – zana
  • 1,000 – churu

Shona numbering rules

  • Digits and numbers from zero to nine are specific words, namely ziro [0], motsi [1], piri [2], tatu [3], china [4], shanu [5], tanhatu [6], nomwe [7], sere [8], and pfumbamwe [9].
  • The tens are formed by putting makumi before their multiplier digit prefixed with ma-, except for ten, with some exceptions: gumi [10], makumi maviri [20] (maviri and not mapiri), makumi matatu [30], makumi mana [40] (mana and not machina), makumi mashanu [50], makumi matanhatu [60], makumi manomwe [70], makumi masere [80], and makumi mapfumbamwe [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed by saying the ten and the unit digit prefixed with ne- and separated with a space (e.g.: gumi nesere [18], makumi mashanu nena [54]).
  • Hundreds are formed by setting the multiplier digit (prefixed with ma-) after the word for hundred (zana, prefixed with ma-), except for one hundred itself: zana [100], mazana maviri [200], mazana matatu [300], mazana mana [400], mazana mashanu [500], mazana matanhatu [600], mazana manomwe [700], mazana masere [800], and mazana mapfumbamwe [900].
  • Thousands are formed the same way as hundreds, i.e. by setting the multiplier digit (prefixed with zvi-) after the word for thousand (churu, which becomes zvuru when multiplied), except for one thousand itself: churu [1,000], zvuru zviviri [2,000], zvuru zvitatu [3,000], zvuru zvizvina [4,000], zvuru zvishanu [5,000], zvuru zvitanhatu [6,000], zvuru zvinomwe [7,000], zvuru zvisere [8,000], and zvuru pfumbamwe [9,000] (pfumbamwe is not prefixed with zvi-).
  • Higher thousands are formed prefixing the word for multiplied thousands (zvuru) with re- and putting the multiplier first for round thousands (e.g.: gumi rezvuru [10,000]), whereas compound higher thousands are formed by putting the word thousand first, then the multiplier, and the following hundred, ten ot unit prefixed with ne- (e.g.: zvuru gumi nezana [10,100]).

Books

Beginner’s Shona (ChiShona)Beginner’s Shona (ChiShona)
by , editors Hippocrene Books (2003)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Shona Mini Companion. A Guide for BeginnersShona Mini Companion. A Guide for Beginners
by , editors Mambo Press (1981)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Petit dictionnaire français-shona/shona-françaisPetit dictionnaire français-shona/shona-français
by , editors L’Harmattan (2007)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com, Kindle - Amazon.com Kindle - Amazon.com]

Bantu languages

Lingala, Mwani, Punu, Shona, Swahili, and Zulu.

Other supported languages

Supported languages by families
As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the following select box, or from the full list of supported languages.

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