Counting in Ojibwa
Ojibwe (Anishinaabemowin, or ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᒧᐎᓐ in Canadian Aboriginal syllabics) is an indigenous language of the Algonquian linguistic family. The aggregated dialects of Ojibwe comprise the second most commonly spoken First Nations language in Canada (after Cree), and the fourth most widely spoken in North America (excluding Mesoamerica), behind Navajo, Inuit and Cree, with about 80,000 speakers. It is also known as Ojibwa, Ojibway, and Chippewa.
Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 1,999 in Ojibwa. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.
Ojibwa numbers list
- 1 – bezhik
- 2 – niizh
- 3 – nswi
- 4 – niiwin
- 5 – naanan
- 6 – ngodwaaswi
- 7 – niizhwaaswi
- 8 – nshwaaswi
- 9 – zhaangswi
- 10 – mdaaswi
- 11 – mdaaswi shaa bezhik
- 12 – mdaaswi shaa niizh
- 13 – mdaaswi shaa nswi
- 14 – mdaaswi shaa niiwin
- 15 – mdaaswi shaa naanan
- 16 – mdaaswi shaa ngodwaaswi
- 17 – mdaaswi shaa niizhwaaswi
- 18 – mdaaswi shaa nshwaaswi
- 19 – mdaaswi shaa zhaangswi
- 20 – niizhtaana
- 30 – nsimtaana
- 40 – niimtaana
- 50 – naanmitaana
- 60 – ngodwaasmitaana
- 70 – niizhwaasmitaana
- 80 – nshwaasmitaana
- 90 – zhaangsmitaana
- 100 – ngodwaak
- 1,000 – mdaaswaak
Ojibwa 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 specific words, namely kaagego , bezhik , niizh , nswi , niiwin , naanan , ngodwaaswi , niizhwaaswi , nshwaaswi  and zhaangswi .
- The tens are based on the root of the digit names, except for ten: mdaaswi , niizhtaana , nsimtaana , niimtaana , naanmitaana , ngodwaasmitaana , niizhwaasmitaana , nshwaasmitaana  and zhaangsmitaana .
- The hundreds are built the same way, based on the root of the digit names, with the exception of one hundred: ngodwaak , niizhwaak , nswaak , niiwaak , naanwaak , ngodwaaswaak , niizhwaaswaak , nshwaaswaak , and zhaangswaak .
- Each group of number is joined by shaa (and), which means not only the tens and units (eg. niimtaana shaa naanan ), but also hundreds and tens (eg. niiwaak shaa niimtaana shaa nshwaaswi ), thousands and hundreds (eg. mdaaswaak shaa niizhwaak shaa niizhtaana shaa niizh [1,222]), and so on. The word for thousand is thus mdaaswaak.
Write a number in full in Ojibwa
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Ojibwa. 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.
editors Minnesota Humanities Center (2009)
Nishnaabemwin reference grammar
by J. Randolph Valentine, editors University of Toronto Press (2001)
Concise Dictionary of Minnesota Ojibwe
by John Nichols, editors University Of Minnesota Press (1994)
Dictionary of the Ojibway Language
by Frederic Baraga, editors Minnesota Historical Society Press (1992)
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.