Counting in Mauritian Creole
Mauritian Creole (kreol morisien) is one of the French lexical-based Creole languages. It belongs to the Bourbonnais Creole group, the French Creoles spoken in the southwestern Indian Ocean. Mauritian Creole is spoken in Mauritius by about 1.2 million speakers.
Mauritian Creole numbers list
- 1 – enn
- 2 – dé
- 3 – trwa
- 4 – kat
- 5 – sink
- 6 – sis
- 7 – set
- 8 – wit
- 9 – nef
- 10 – dis
- 11 – onz
- 12 – douz
- 13 – trez
- 14 – katorz
- 15 – kinz
- 16 – sez
- 17 – diset
- 18 – dizwit
- 19 – diznef
- 20 – vin
- 30 – trant
- 40 – karannt
- 50 – sinkant
- 60 – swasant
- 70 – swasann-dis
- 80 – katrovin
- 90 – katrovin-dis
- 100 – san
- 1,000 – mil
- one million – enn milion
Mauritian Creole 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, namely: zero , enn , dé , trwa , kat , sink , sis , set , wit , and nef .
- Numbers form eleven to sixteen are also rendered by specific words: onz , douz , trez , katorz , kinz , and sez . From seventeen to nineteen, the numbers are formed starting with the word for ten (dis), directly followed by the unit with no space: diset , dizwit , and diznef .
- Tens are irregular for ten and twenty, based on the multiplier root from thirty to fifty, and follow a vigesimal system from sixty to ninety: dis , vin , trant , karant , sinkant , swasant , swasann-dis or swasanntdiz  (60+10), katrovin  (4*20), and katrovin-dis  (4*20+10).
- Compound numbers above nineteen are formed starting with the ten, directly followed by the unit with no space, except for numbers based on seventy and ninety (e.g.: vennset , sinkantkat ).
- Compound numbers based on seventy and ninety are formed adding the numbers from eleven to nineteen to the ten, with no space for the compound based on seventy, and with a hyphen for those based on ninety: swasannonz  (60+11), swasanndouz  (60+12)… katrovin-trez  (80+13), katrovin-katorz  (80+14)… katrovin-diznef  (80+19).
- Hundreds are formed starting with the multiplier digit, then the word for hundred (san) separated with a space, except for one hundred itself: san , dé san , trwa san , kat san , sink san , sis san , set san , wit san , and nef san .
- Thousands are formed starting with the multiplier digit, then the word for thousand (mil) separated with a space, except for one thousand itself: mil [1,000], dé mil [2,000], trwa mil [3,000], kat mil [4,000], sink mil [5,000], sis mil [6,000], set mil [7,000], wit mil [8,000], and nef mil [9,000].
- The word for million is milion, one million being enn milion [1 million].
Write a number in full in Mauritian Creole
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Mauritian Creole. 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.
Mauritius Marco Polo Pocket Guide
editors Marco Polo Travel Publishing (2018)
French Creoles: A Comprehensive and Comparative Grammar
by Anand Syea, editors Routledge (2017)
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The Syntax of Mauritian Creole
by Anand Syea, editors Bloomsbury Academic (2012)
[ , ]
Creating the Creole Island: Slavery in Eighteenth-Century Mauritius
by Megan Vaughan, editors Duke University Press Books (2005)
[ , ]
by Luis López, editors Ecos Travel Books (2019)
[ , ]
French-based creoles and pidgins
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