Counting in Tongan (telephone-style)
Tongan (lea fakatonga) is an Austronesian language from the Polynesian group spoken in the South Pacific Ocean archipelago of Tonga where it is co-official with English. It counts about 100,000 speakers.
Tongan (telephone-style) numbers list
- 1 – taha
- 2 – ua
- 3 – tolu
- 4 – fā
- 5 – nima
- 6 – ono
- 7 – fitu
- 8 – valu
- 9 – hiva
- 10 – taha noa
- 11 – taha taha
- 12 – taha ua
- 13 – taha tolu
- 14 – taha fā
- 15 – taha nima
- 16 – taha ono
- 17 – taha fitu
- 18 – taha valu
- 19 – taha hiva
- 20 – ua noa
- 30 – tolu noa
- 40 – fā noa
- 50 – nima noa
- 60 – ono noa
- 70 – fitu noa
- 80 – valu noa
- 90 – hiva noa
Tongan (telephone-style) 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 noa , taha , ua , tolu , fā , nima , ono , fitu , valu  and hiva .
- Two different numbering systems are in use at the same time in Tongan. It is up to the speaker to choose in which system they will spell out the numbers. In this so-called telephone-style system, numbers are spelled out by saying the digits one by one, from the higher position digit to the lower position digit. Thus, ten is read taha noa, litteraly meaning one zero.
- To prevent some awkward repetitions, twenty-two is read uo ua and not ua ua, fifty-five nime nima and not nima nima, and ninety-nine hive hiva instead of hiva hiva.
Write a number in full in Tongan (telephone-style)
Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Tongan (telephone-style). 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 Student’s English-Tongan and Tongan-English Dictionary
editors Friendly Isles Pr (2000)
Intensive Course in Tongan
by Eric B. Shumway, editors Institute for Polynesian Studies (1989)
Eastern Malayo-Polynesian languages
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.