Counting in Quenya
Quenya (quenya in Tengwar script) is one of the fictional languages spoken by the Elves, in the Arda world of J. R. R. Tolkien (of which The Lord of the Rings is one of the most renown work). Mainly influenced by Finnish, in grammar, phonology and vocabulary, it is also influenced to some extend by Latin, Greek, German and Spanish. It is written in Latin alphabet or in Tengwar script.
Quenya numbers list
- 1 – minë (minë)
- 2 – atta (atta)
- 3 – neldë (neldë)
- 4 – canta (canta)
- 5 – lempë (lempë)
- 6 – enquë (enquë)
- 7 – otso (otso)
- 8 – tolto (tolto)
- 9 – nertë (nertë)
- 10 – cainen (cainen)
- 11 – minquë (minquë)
- 12 – yunquë (yunquë)
- 13 – nelcëa (nelcëa)
- 14 – cancëa (cancëa)
- 15 – lencëa (lencëa)
- 16 – encëa (encëa)
- 17 – occëa (occëa)
- 18 – tolcëa (tolcëa)
- 19 – nercëa (nercëa)
- 20 – yucainen (yucainen)
- 30 – nelcainen (nelcainen)
- 40 – cancainen (cancainen)
- 50 – lemincainen (lemincainen)
- 60 – eneccainen (eneccainen)
- 70 – otsocainen (otsocainen)
- 80 – tolcainen (tolcainen)
- 90 – nercainen (nercainen)
- 100 – tuxa (tuxa)
- 1,000 – húmë (húmë)
- one million – mindóra (mindóra)
Tengwar script numerals
The Tengwar alphabet has been created by J. R. R. Tolkien for his Middle-Earth world, well-know for his The Lord of the Rings. The Tengwar script is used to write many of the languages used in that world, including Quenya and Sindarin. As these languages (originally) use a duodecimal number system (base 12), the Tengwar script has numerals digits for ten and eleven.
Quenya 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 and numbers from ten to twelve are specific words, namely munta (munta) , minë (minë) , atta (atta) , neldë (neldë) , canta (canta) , lempë (lempë) , enquë (enquë) , otso (otso) , tolto (tolto) , nertë (nertë) , cainen (cainen) , minquë  (minquë), and yunquë (yunquë) . As the elves originally used the duodecimal number system (base 12), eleven and twelve are still irregular.
- From thirteen to nineteen, the numbers are built by adding the -cëa (-cëa) suffix at the end of the first syllable (acting as a root) of the matching digit: nelcëa (nelcëa) , cancëa (cancëa) , lencëa (lencëa) , encëa (encëa) , occëa (occëa) , tolcëa (tolcëa) , and nercëa (nercëa) .
- The tens are formed by adding the ten word (cainen, cainen) after the matching multiplier digit root (or first syllable), with the exception of ten where the multiplier is implicit: cainen (cainen) , yucainen (yucainen) , nelcainen (nelcainen) , cancainen (cancainen) , lemincainen (lemincainen) , eneccainen (eneccainen) , otsocainen (otsocainen) , tolcainen (tolcainen) , and nercainen (nercainen) .
- Numbers from twenty-one to ninety-nine are built by saying the unit first, then the ten separated by a space (e.g.: lempë yucainen (lempë yucainen) , enquë cancainen (enquë cancainen) ).
- The hundreds are built exactly the same way as the tens, i.e. by adding the hundred word (tuxa, tuxa) after the matching multiplier digit root, except for one hundred itself: tuxa (tuxa) , yutuxa (yutuxa) , neltuxa (neltuxa) … When the hundred is composed, the unit is said first, then the ten, then the hundred, all separated by spaces (e.g.: atta otsocainen tuxa (atta otsocainen tuxa) , lempë tolcainen yutuxa (lempë tolcainen yutuxa) , cancainen neltuxa (cancainen neltuxa) )
- We assume the thousands are built identically, i.e. by adding the thousand word (húmë, húmë) after the matching multiplier digit root, except for one thousand itself: húmë (húmë) [1,000], yuhúmë (yuhúmë) [2,000], nelhúmë (nelhúmë) [3,000]…
- The word for million is mindóra (mindóra).
Write a number in full in Quenya
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Quenya. 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.
The Ring of Words: Tolkien and the Oxford English Dictionary
by Edmund Weiner, editors Oxford University Press (2009)
[ , ]
The Languages of Tolkien’s Middle-Earth
by Ruth S. Noel, editors Mariner Books (1980)
La route perdue
by J.R.R. Tolkien, editors Bourgois (2008)
Lord of the Rings languages
Quenya, and Sindarin.
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.