Counting in Barsoomian
The Barsoomian language has been coined by Edgar Rice Burroughs in his series of science fiction novels starting with A Princess of Mars (1917). This is the language spoken by all Martians, and it includes a telepathic part. The first book of the series has recently been adapted for the cinema by Mark Atkins under the title Princess of Mars (December 2009), and by Andrew Stanton with a movie named John Carter (March 2012). The Barsoomian language has been re-created by Paul Frommer (the linguist behind the Na’vi language), who based his work on the about 400 words peppered within Edgar Rice Burroughs’ novel and its sequels.
Barsoomian numbers list
- 1 – ay
- 4 – tor
- 7 – ov
- 8 – bar
- 10 – tee
- 11 – teeay
- 14 – teetor
- 17 – teevor
- 18 – teebar
- 40 – tortee
- 70 – ovtee
- 80 – bartee
- 100 – tan
- 1,000 – teetan
- ten thousand – mak
- one million – dur
The Barsoomian script has been developed by the Walt Disney Studios.
Barsoomian 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).
- The attested digits are: ay , tor , ov , and bar .
- The tens are formed by suffixing the multiplier unit with the word for ten (tee), except for ten itself: tee , tortee , ovtee , and bartee .
- The compound numbers are formed by stating the ten, then the unit with no space (e.g.: teeay , torteetor , barteeov ).
- The hundreds are formed by prefixing the word for hundred (tan) with the multiplier digit, with no space, except for one hundred itself: tan , tortan , ovtan , and bartan .
- The thousands are litteraly tens of hundreds, hence formed by prefixing the word for hundred (tan) with the multiplier number, with no space: teetan (although another form, dar, is also possible) [1,000], teeaytan [1,100], teetortan [1,400], teeovtan [1,700], teebartan [1,800]. However, ten thousand is mak [10,000].
- One million is dur.
- If some of these numbers are attested, most of them are still hypothetical. We will add new numbers on this page as soon as they are attested.
The Art of John Carter: A Visual Journey
by Josh Kushins, editors Disney Editions (2012)
John Carter and the Gods of Hollywood
by Michael D. Sellers, editors Universal Media (2012)
[ , ]
A Princess of Mars
by Edgar Rice Burroughs, editors Penguin Classics (2007)
Uma Princesa de Marte
by Edgar Rice Burroughs, editors Aleph (2010)
- An Interview with Paul Frommer, by Fredrik Ekman, Fiat Lingua (March 2012)
- John Carter, Walt Disney official site
Other artistic languages
Aczu Śavnecze, Aramteskan, Atlantean, Atrian, Ayeri, Azazilúŝ, Barsoomian, Belter Creole, Brooding, Chakobsa, Dai, Dovahzul, D’ni, Elder Speech, Engála, Giak, Grayis, Hiuʦɑθ, Hylian, Illitan, Ithkuil, Itláni, Kala, Kēlen, Kiitra, KiLiKi, Láadan, Mondir, Na’vi, Nìmpyèshiu, Shiväisith, Siinyamda, Toki Pona, Tpaalha, Trigedasleng, Tüchte, Va Ehenív, Verdurian, Wardwesân, and Wóxtjanato.
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.