Counting in Hausa
Hausa (Harhsen, هَرْشَن هَوْسَ) is an Afroasiatic language that belongs to the West chadic languages. Spoken in West Africa, and more specifically in Niger and Nigeria, it counts about 80 million speakers. The Hausa language can be written in the boko alphabet (a Latin-based alphabet), and in ajami (an Arabic-based alphabet). Hausa is a tonal language. However, the tone and vowel length are not marked in writing.
Hausa numbers list
- 1 – ɗaya
- 2 – biyu
- 3 – uku
- 4 – huɗu
- 5 – biyar
- 6 – shida
- 7 – bakwai
- 8 – takwas
- 9 – tara
- 10 – goma
- 11 – (goma) sha ɗaya
- 12 – (goma) sha biyu
- 13 – (goma) sha uku
- 14 – (goma) sha huɗu
- 15 – (goma) sha biyar
- 16 – (goma) sha shida
- 17 – (goma) sha bakwai
- 18 – (goma) sha takwas
- 19 – (goma) sha tara
- 20 – ashirin
- 30 – talatin
- 40 – arba’in
- 50 – hamsin
- 60 – sittin
- 70 – saba’in
- 80 – tamanin
- 90 – tis’in
- 100 – ɗari
- 1,000 – dubu
- one million – miliyan
Hausa 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 zero to nine are rendered by specific words: sifiri  (from the Arabic sifr), ɗaya , biyu , uku , huɗu , biyar , shida , bakwai , takwas , and tara .
- Numbers from eleven to nineteen are formed starting (optionally) with the word for ten (goma), followed by the particule sha (and), and the unit: (goma) sha ɗaya , (goma) sha biyu , (goma) sha uku , (goma) sha huɗu , (goma) sha biyar , (goma) sha shida , (goma) sha bakwai , (goma) sha takwas , and (goma) sha tara .
- Tens above ten are Arabic-based: goma , ashirin , talatin , arba’in , hamsin , sittin , saba’in , tamanin , and tis’in .
- Compound numbers above twenty are formed starting with the ten, followed by the conjonction da (and), then the unit (e.g.: ashirin da ɗaya , saba’in da uku ).
- Hundreds are formed starting with the word for hundred (ɗari), followed by the multiplier unit, except for one hundred: ɗari , ɗari biyu , ɗari uku , ɗari huɗu , ɗari biyar , ɗari shida , ɗari bakwai , ɗari takwas , and ɗari tara .
- Thousands are formed starting with the word for thousand (dubu), followed by the multiplier unit, except for one thousand: dubu [1,000], dubu biyu [2,000], dubu uku [3,000], dubu huɗu [4,000], dubu biyar [5,000], dubu shida [6,000], dubu bakwai [7,000], dubu takwas [8,000], and dubu tara [9,000].
- The word for million is miliyan.
Write a number in full in Hausa
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Hausa. 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.
Hausa-English/ English-Hausa Dictionary & Phrasebook
by Philip Hayab John, editors Hippocrene Books (2018)
English-Hausa Beginner’s book
by Mohamed Sheme, editors Independently published (2018)
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Teach Yourself Hausa: A Complete Course for Beginners
by Charles H. Kraft, A. H. M. Kirk-Greene, editors Hodder Arnold (1994)
- Hausa, by Philip J. Jaggar, John Benjamins Publishing Company (2001)
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.