Counting in Michif
Michif is a mixed language spoken by the Métis nation in Canada (Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Ontario) and United States (North Dakota). It combines Cree and Métis French, with some borrowing from English, Ojibwe, and Assiniboine. Michif numerals are based on Métis French, even though digits from one to five have another form based on Cree. Michif counts about 830 speakers.
Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 100 in Michif. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.
Michif numbers list
- 1 – aeñ
- 2 – deu
- 3 – trwá
- 4 – kátr
- 5 – saeñk
- 6 – sis
- 7 – set
- 8 – wit
- 9 – naef
- 10 – jis
- 11 – óñz
- 12 – dóz
- 13 – trayz
- 14 – katorz
- 15 – kaeñz
- 16 – saeñz
- 17 – jis set
- 18 – jis wit
- 19 – jis naef
- 20 – vaeñ
- 30 – tráñt
- 40 – karánt
- 50 – saeñkánt
- 60 – swesáñt
- 70 – swesáñty jis
- 80 – katávaeñ
- 90 – katrávaen jis
- 100 – sáñ
Michif 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 one to sixteen are specific words, namely aeñ (or peyak) , deu (or nésho) , trwá (or nishto) , kátr (or neyo) , saeñk (or niyánan) , sis , set , wit , naef , jis , óñz , dóz , trayz , katorz , kaeñz , saeñz . Seventeen to nineteen are regular numbers, i.e. named after the word for ten followed by the unit separated with a space: jis set [10 7], jis wit [10 8], jis naef [10 9].
- The tens are specific words too, namely jis , vaeñ , tráñt , karánt , saeñkánt , swesáñt , swesáñty jis  (60+10), katávaeñ  (4*20), and katrávaen jis  (4*20+10).
- Compound numbers are formed by stating the ten, then the unit separated with a space (e.g.: karánt sis , swesáñt naef ).
- One hundred is sáñ.
Write a number in full in Michif
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Michif. 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.
Metis Legacy II : Michif Culture, Heritage and Folkways
editors Pemmican Publications (2006)
We Know Who We Are: Metis Identity in a Montana Community
by Martha Harroun Foster, editors University of Oklahoma Press (2006)
New Peoples: Being & Becoming Métis in North America (Manitoba Studies in Native History, Book 1)
by Jennifer S.H. Brown, editors Minnesota Historical Society Press (2001)
A Language of Our Own: The Genesis of Michif, the Mixed Cree-French Language of the Canadian Métis (Oxford Studies in Anthropological Linguistics)
by Peter Bakker, editors Oxford University Press (1997)
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.