Counting in Tamazight
Central Morocco Tamazight (tamaziɣt, ⵜⴰⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵜ), also known as Braber, or simply Tamazight, is a Berber language spoken in central Morocco where it counts about 3 million speakers. Tamazight is written in Tifinagh alphabet (of which a version has been standardized by the Royal institute of the Amazigh culture in 2003), and can be translitterated in both Latin alphabet and Arabic script. Tamazight is the official language of Morocco, alongside Arabic.
Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 9,999 in Tamazight. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.
Tamazight numbers list
- 1 – ⵢⴰⵏ (yan)
- 2 – ⵙⵉⵏ (sin)
- 3 – ⴽⵕⴰⴹ (kṛaḍ)
- 4 – ⴽⴽⵓⵣ (kkuz)
- 5 – ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ (smmus)
- 6 – ⵚⴹⵉⵚ (ṣḍiṣ)
- 7 – ⵙⴰ (sa)
- 8 – ⵜⴰⵎ (tam)
- 9 – ⵜⵥⴰ (tẓa)
- 10 – ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (mraw)
- 11 – ⵢⴰⵏ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (yan d mraw)
- 12 – ⵙⵉⵏ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sin d mraw)
- 13 – ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kṛaḍ d mraw)
- 14 – ⴽⴽⵓⵣ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kkuz d mraw)
- 15 – ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (smmus d mraw)
- 16 – ⵚⴹⵉⵚ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (ṣḍiṣ d mraw)
- 17 – ⵙⴰ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sa d mraw)
- 18 – ⵜⴰⵎ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tam d mraw)
- 19 – ⵜⵥⴰ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tẓa d mraw)
- 20 – ⵙⵉⵏ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sin id mraw)
- 30 – ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kṛaḍ id mraw)
- 40 – ⴽⴽⵓⵣ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kkuz id mraw)
- 50 – ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (smmus id mraw)
- 60 – ⵚⴹⵉⵚ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (ṣḍiṣ id mraw)
- 70 – ⵙⴰ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sa id mraw)
- 80 – ⵜⴰⵎⵜ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tamt id mraw)
- 90 – ⵜⵥⴰⵜ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tẓat id mraw)
- 100 – ⵜⵉⵎⵉⴹⵉ (timiḍi)
- 1,000 – ⵉⴼⴹ (ifḍ)
Tamazight 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).
- Zero has only one singular form, the masculine ⴰⵎⵢⴰ (amya), but it has a plural form: ⵉⵎⵢⴰⵜⵏ (imyatn).
Numerals from one to ten vary in gender: the feminine form is obtained by adding -ⵜ (-t) at the end of the masculine form.
The digits from one to nine are: ⵢⴰⵏ (yan) / ⵢⵓⵏ (yun) / ⵉⵊⵊ (ijj) / ⵉⴷⵊ (idj)  (four possible forms), ⵙⵉⵏ (sin) , ⴽⵕⴰⴹ (kṛaḍ) or ⵛⴰⵕⴹ (ʃaṛḍ) , ⴽⴽⵓⵣ (kkuz) , ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ (smmus) , ⵚⴹⵉⵚ (ṣḍiṣ) , ⵙⴰ (sa) , ⵜⴰⵎ (tam) , and ⵜⵥⴰ (tẓa) .
The same series in feminine form: ⵢⴰⵜ (yat) / ⵢⵓⵜ (yut) / ⵉⵛⵜ (iʃt)  (three possible forms), ⵙⵏⴰⵜ (snat) , ⴽⵕⴰⵟⵜ (kṛaṭt) or ⵛⴰⵕⴹⵜ (ʃaṛḍt) , ⴽⴽⵓⵣⵜ (kkuzt) , ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙⵜ (smmust) , ⵚⴹⵉⵚⵜ (ṣḍiṣt) , ⵙⴰⵜ (sat) , ⵜⴰⵎⵜ (tamt) , and ⵜⵥⴰⵜ (tẓat) .
- Ten is ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (mraw) when masculine, and ⵎⵔⴰⵡⵜ (mrawt) when feminine.
- From eleven to nineteen, the numbers are formed by setting the unit first, then the coordinating morphem ⴷ (d) (and), and the number ten (e.g.: ⵢⴰⵏ/ⵢⵓⵏ/ⵉⵊⵊ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (yan/yun/ijj d mraw) , ⵙⵉⵏ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sin d mraw) , ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kṛaḍ d mraw) or ⵛⴰⵕⴹ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (ʃaṛḍ d mraw) ).
If the name of the numbered entity is feminine, the unit digit remains masculine and the ten digit takes the mark of feminine (e.g.: ⵢⴰⵏ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡⵜ (yan d mrawt) , ⵙⵉⵏ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡⵜ (sin d mrawt) , ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡⵜ (kṛaḍ d mrawt) ).
- Tens from twenty are formed by setting the multiplier digit before the word ⵉⴷ (id) (of the) and the number ten: ⵙⵉⵏ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sin id mraw) , ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kṛaḍ id mraw) , ⴽⴽⵓⵣ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (kkuz id mraw) , ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (smmus id mraw) , ⵚⴹⵉⵚ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (ṣḍiṣ id mraw) , ⵙⴰ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (sa id mraw) , ⵜⴰⵎⵜ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tamt id mraw) , and ⵜⵥⴰⵜ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ (tẓat id mraw) . Tens take the mark of the following name gender.
- Beyond twenty, tens and units are combined by setting the ten digit, then the conjunction ⵉ (i) (and), then the unit (e.g.: ⵙⵉⵏ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ ⵉ ⵙⴰ (sin id mraw i sa) , ⵙⴰ ⵉⴷ ⵎⵔⴰⵡ ⵉ ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙ (sa id mraw i smmus) ).
- One hundred is ⵜⵉⵎⵉⴹⵉ (timiḍi) (ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (timaḍ) in plural), and is always feminine. Therefore, hundreds use only feminine digits as multipliers: ⵜⵉⵎⵉⴹⵉ (timiḍi) , ⵙⵏⴰⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (snat timaḍ) , ⴽⵕⴰⵟⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (kṛaṭt timaḍ) , ⴽⴽⵓⵣⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (kkuzt timaḍ) , ⵙⵎⵎⵓⵙⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (smmust timaḍ) , ⵚⴹⵉⵚⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (ṣḍiṣt timaḍ) , ⵙⴰⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (sat timaḍ) , ⵜⴰⵎⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (tamt timaḍ) , and ⵜⵥⴰⵜ ⵜⵉⵎⴰⴹ (tẓat timaḍ) ). The name following the hundred is set in plural and preceded by the preposition ⵏ (n) (of).
- One thousand is ⵉⴼⴹ (ifḍ) (ⴰⴼⴹⴰⵏ (afḍan) in plural). We thus get ⵙⵉⵏ ⴰⴼⴹⴰⵏ (sin afḍan) [2,000], ⴽⵕⴰⴹ ⴰⴼⴹⴰⵏ (kṛaḍ afḍan) [3,000], ⵜⵉⵎⵉⴹⵉ ⵏ ⴰⴼⴹⴰⵏ (timiḍi n afḍan) [100,000] (note the preposition ⵏ (n) in that case).
Write a number in full in Tamazight
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Tamazight. 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.
Grammaire du berbère
by Fatima Sadiqi, editors L’Harmattan (2000)
Grammaire berbère : Rifain, tamazight, chleuh, kabyle
by Michel Quitout, editors L’Harmattan (1997)
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