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Counting in Wayuu

Language overview

Forty-two in Wayuu Wayuu (Wayuunaiki), also known as Goajiro, is an Indigenous South-American language that belongs to the Arawakan language family. It is spoken by the Wayuu people in the north of the state of Zulia, Venezuela, and in the department of La Guajira, Colombia. Wayuu counts about 305,000 speakers.

Wayuu numbers list

  • 1 – waneeshia
  • 2 – piama
  • 3 – apünüin
  • 4 – pienchi
  • 5 – ja’rai
  • 6 – aipirua
  • 7 – akaraishi
  • 8 – mekiisalü
  • 9 – mekie’etasalü
  • 10 – po’loo
  • 11 – po’loo waneeshimüin
  • 12 – po’loo piamamüin
  • 13 – po’loo apünüinmüin
  • 14 – po’loo pienchimüin
  • 15 – po’loo ja’ralimüin
  • 16 – po’loo aipiruamüin
  • 17 – po’loo akaraishimüin
  • 18 – po’loo mekiisalümüin
  • 19 – po’loo mekie’etasalümüin
  • 20 – piama shikii
  • 30 – apünüin shikii
  • 40 – pienchi shikii
  • 50 – ja’rai shikii
  • 60 – aipirua shikii
  • 70 – akaraishi shikii
  • 80 – mekiisalü shikii
  • 90 – mekie’etasalü shikii
  • 100 – po’loo shikii
  • 1,000 – miirü
  • one million – miyon
  • one billion – miyaatta
  • one trillion – piyon

Wayuu 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: seero [0], waneeshia (or wanee, waneesia) [1], piama [2], apünüin [3], pienchi [4], ja’rai [5], aipirua [6], akaraishi [7], mekiisalü [8], and mekie’etasalü [9].
  • Tens are formed starting with the multiplier digit, followed by the word shikii separated with a space, except for ten: po’loo [10], piama shikii [20], apünüin shikii [30], pienchi shikii [40], ja’rai shikii [50], aipirua shikii [60], akaraishi shikii [70], mekiisalü shikii [80], and mekie’etasalü shikii [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed starting with the ten, then the unit digit suffixed by müin (e.g.: po’loo aipiruamüin [16], piama shikii pienchimüin [24]).
  • Hundreds are formed starting with the multiplier digit suffixed by tua (with the exception of 800 and 900 where the salü ending becomes sattua), then the word for hundred (po’looin shikii, where po’loo gains the suffix in), except for one hundred: po’loo shikii (or ten times ten) [100], piantua po’looin shikii [200], apünüintua po’looin shikii [300], pienchitua po’looin shikii [400], ja’raitua po’looin shikii [500], aipiruatua po’looin shikii [600], akaraishitua po’looin shikii [700], mekiisattua po’looin shikii [800], and mekie’etasattua po’looin shikii [900].
  • When a hundred is compound with a round ten, the multiplier digit of the ten is suffixed by müin (e.g.: po’loo shikii, po’loomüin [110], piantua po’looin shikii, pienchimüin shikii [240], but apünüintua po’looin shikii, akaraishi shikii mekiisalümüin [378]).
  • Thousands are formed starting with the multiplier digit, then the word for thousand (miirü, loanword from the Spanish mil), except for one thousand: miirü [1,000], piama miirü [2,000], apünüin miirü [3,000], pienchi miirü [4,000], ja’rai miirü [5,000], aipirua miirü [6,000], akaraishi miirü [7,000], mekiisalü miirü [8,000], and mekie’etasalü miirü [9,000].
  • The word for million, miyon, is also a loanword from Spanish (millón). Then we have miyaatta or miituasü miyonniirua [109, billion], and piyon or miituasü miirüin miyonniirua [1012, trillion].

Write a number in full in Wayuu

Let’s move now to the practice of the numbering rules in Wayuu. 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.

Books

Merachon: Living with the Wayuu Indians Merachon: Living with the Wayuu Indians
by , editors Elvin Myers (2016)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Wayuu: People of the Columbian Desert Wayuu: People of the Columbian Desert
by , editors Villegas Editores (1998)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Etnomatemática y Educación Intercultural Bilingüe: Acercamiento de la Etnomatemática en la cultura Wayuu Etnomatemática y Educación Intercultural Bilingüe: Acercamiento de la Etnomatemática en la cultura Wayuu
by , editors Editorial Académica Española (2012)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Wayuu: Cultura del desierto colombiano Wayuu: Cultura del desierto colombiano
by , editors Villegas Editores (2006)
[Amazon.com Amazon.com]

Source

  • Diccionario de computación en wayuunaiki, by José Álvarez (2011), in Spanish

Arawakan languages

Garifuna, Kali’na, and Wayuu.

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.

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