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Counting in Afrikaans

Language overview

Forty-two in Afrikaans Afrikaans is an Indo-European language derived from Dutch and classified as Low Franconian West Germanic. Mainly spoken in South Africa and Namibia, it has about 5 million speakers.

Afrikaans numbers list

  • 1 – een
  • 2 – twee
  • 3 – drie
  • 4 – vier
  • 5 – vyf
  • 6 – ses
  • 7 – sewe
  • 8 – ag
  • 9 – nege
  • 10 – tien
  • 11 – elf
  • 12 – twaalf
  • 13 – dertien
  • 14 – veertien
  • 15 – vyftien
  • 16 – sestien
  • 17 – sewentien
  • 18 – agtien
  • 19 – negentien
  • 20 – twintig
  • 30 – dertig
  • 40 – veertig
  • 50 – vyftig
  • 60 – sestig
  • 70 – sewentig
  • 80 – tagtig
  • 90 – neëntig
  • 100 – eenhonderd
  • 1,000 – eenduisend
  • one million – een miljoen
  • one billion – een miljard
  • one trillion – een biljoen

Afrikaans numbering rules

Now that you’ve had a gist of the most useful numbers, let’s move to the writing rules for the tens, the compound numbers, and why not the hundreds, the thousands and beyond (if possible).

  • Digits and numbers from zero to twelve are specific words, namely nul [0], een [1], twee [2], drie [3], vier [4], vyf [5], ses [6], sewe [7], ag [8], nege [9], tien [10], elf [11], and twaalf [12].
  • From thirteen to nineteen, numbers are built like English teens, i.e. by adding the -tien suffix after the unit: dertien [13], veertien [14], vyftien [15], sestien [16], sewentien [17], agtien [18], and negentien [19].
  • The tens are formed by adding the -tig suffix at the end of the matching digit (except for ten itself), often with a slight orthographic and phonetic change in the digit: tien [10], twintig [20], dertig [30], veertig [40], vyftig [50], sestig [60], sewentig [70], tagtig [80], and neëntig [90].
  • From twenty-one to ninety-nine, the tens and units are joined with the en (and) word, the unit being said before the ten (eg. een-en-dertig [31], vyf-en-dertig [35]).
  • Hundreds (based on the word for hundred, honderd) and thousands (based on the word for thousand, duisend) are built by saying the multiplier unit right before the scale word with no spacing (e.g.: eenhonderd een-en-twintig [121], eenduisend tweehonderd negentien [1,219]).
  • The Afrikaans language uses the long scale for big numbers where every new word greater than a million is one million times bigger than the previous term. Thus, een miljard is 109 (the US billion), and een biljoen (1012) worths a thousand US billions.

Write a number in full in Afrikaans

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Afrikaans. Will you guess how to write a number in full? Enter a number and try to write it down in your head, or maybe on a piece of paper, before displaying the result.

Books

A Grammar of Afrikaans A Grammar of Afrikaans
by , editors Walter de Gruyter (1993)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Parlons Afrikaans Parlons Afrikaans
by , editors L’Harmattan (2005)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

L’afrikaans de poche L’afrikaans de poche
editors Assimil (1999)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

West Germanic languages

Afrikaans, Alsatian, Bavarian, English, German, Luxembourgish, North Frisian, Pennsylvania German, Plautdietsch, Saterland Frisian, Swiss German, West Frisian, and Wymysorys.

Other supported languages

As the other currently supported languages are too numerous to list extensively here, please select a language from the full list of supported languages.

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