Counting in Buginese

Language overview

Forty-two in Buginese Buginese (Basa Ugi, ᨅᨔ ᨕᨘᨁᨗ), also know as Bugis, is an Austronesian language that belongs to the South Sulawesi languages group. It is spoken by the Bugis people in the southern part of Sulawesi, Indonesia. Buginese counts about 3 million native speakers. Buginese is written in Latin alphabet, and traditionally with the Lontara script, or more specifically the Buginese lontara known as Aksara Ugi.

Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 100 in Buginese. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

Buginese numbers list

  • 1 – seddi (ᨔᨙᨉᨗ)
  • 2 – dua (ᨉᨘᨓ)
  • 3 – təllu (ᨈᨛᨒᨘ)
  • 4 – əppa’ (ᨕᨛᨄ)
  • 5 – lima (ᨒᨗᨆ)
  • 6 – ənnəŋ (ᨕᨛᨊᨛ)
  • 7 – pitu (ᨄᨗᨈᨘ)
  • 8 – aruá (ᨕᨑᨘᨓ)
  • 9 – aserá (ᨕᨙᨔᨑ)
  • 10 – səppulo (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 11 – səppulo seddi (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨔᨙᨉᨗ)
  • 12 – səppulo dua (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨉᨘᨓ)
  • 13 – səppulo təllu (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨈᨛᨒᨘ)
  • 14 – səppulo əppa’ (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨕᨛᨄ)
  • 15 – səppulo lima (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨒᨗᨆ)
  • 16 – səppulo ənnəŋ (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨕᨛᨊᨛ)
  • 17 – səppulo pitu (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨄᨗᨈᨘ)
  • 18 – səppulo aruá (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨕᨑᨘᨓ)
  • 19 – səppulo aserá (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨕᨙᨔᨑ)
  • 20 – duappulo (ᨉᨘᨓᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 30 – təlluppulo (ᨈᨛᨒᨘᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 40 – patappulo (ᨄᨈᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 50 – limappulo (ᨒᨗᨆᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 60 – ənnəppulona (ᨕᨛᨊᨛᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ)
  • 70 – pituppulo (ᨄᨗᨈᨘᨄᨘᨒᨚ)
  • 80 – aruá pulona (ᨕᨑᨘᨓᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ)
  • 90 – aserá pulona (ᨕᨙᨔᨑᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ)
  • 100 – siratu’ (ᨔᨗᨑᨈᨘ)

The Lontara script

The Lontara script is an Indonesian traditional script mostly used to write the Buginese language, but also Makassarese and Mandar, and, through closely-related variants, Bima, Ende, and Sumbawa.
Lontara is an abugida, which means it is an alphasyllabary where consonant-vowel sequences are written as units. It consists of 23 letters, each of them including the default inherent vowel /a/, like the other Brahmic scripts (ᨀ ka, ᨁ ga, ᨂ nga, ᨃ ngka…). Diacritics are used to change that vowel, like in this example: ᨊ na, ᨊᨗ ni, ᨊᨘ nu, ᨊᨙ , ᨊᨚ no, and ᨊᨛ ne.
The word Lontara finds its origin in the Malay word for the palmyra palm, lontar. The leaves of this palm tree have been traditionally used for manuscripts in Indonesia.

Buginese 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 from one to nine are rendered by specific words, namely seddi (ᨔᨙᨉᨗ) [1], dua (ᨉᨘᨓ) [2], təllu (ᨈᨛᨒᨘ) [3], əppa’ (ᨕᨛᨄ) [4], lima (ᨒᨗᨆ) [5], ənnəŋ (ᨕᨛᨊᨛ) [6], pitu (ᨄᨗᨈᨘ) [7], aruá (ᨕᨑᨘᨓ) [8] (meaning ten minus two), and aserá (ᨕᨙᨔᨑ) [9] (meaning ten minus one).
  • Tens are formed starting with the multiplier digit or its root, directly followed by a form of the word ppulo, with the exception of eighty and ninety: səppulo (ᨔᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [10], duappulo (ᨉᨘᨓᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [20], təlluppulo (ᨈᨛᨒᨘᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [30], patappulo (ᨄᨈᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [40], limappulo (ᨒᨗᨆᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [50], ənnəppulona (ᨕᨛᨊᨛᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ) [60], pituppulo (ᨄᨗᨈᨘᨄᨘᨒᨚ) [70], aruá pulona (ᨕᨑᨘᨓᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ) [80], and aserá pulona (ᨕᨙᨔᨑᨄᨘᨒᨚᨊ) [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed starting with the ten, followed by the unit separated with a space (e.g.: duappulo aserá (ᨉᨘᨓᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨕᨙᨔᨑ) [29], limappulo lima (ᨒᨗᨆᨄᨘᨒᨚ ᨒᨗᨆ) [55]).
  • The word for one hundred is siratu’ (ᨔᨗᨑᨈᨘ) [100].
  • The word for one thousand is sisəbbu (ᨔᨗᨔᨛᨅᨘ) [1,000].
  • The word for ten thousand is silassa (ᨔᨗᨒᨔ) [10,000].
  • The word for one hundred thousand is sikətti (ᨔᨗᨀᨛᨈᨗ) [100,000].

Write a number in full in Buginese

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Buginese. 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.


Learn To Write Lontara Learn To Write Lontara
by , editors Independently published (2023)

The Bugis The Bugis
by , editors Wiley-Blackwell (1997)

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