## How to count in Esperanto

Posted on 19. Nov, 2011 by in Uncategorized

So, want to impress your friends by being about to count in the most widely spread planned language? Let’s start by counting to 10… I’ll even throw in some memory hints for free! And yes, I’m a software developer, so I’ll start counting at zero.

### Numbers 0-10

• 0 – nul (sounds like null)
• 1 – unu (sounds like card game Uno)
• 2 – du (do you want to learn the second number?)
• 3 – tri (sounds like three)
• 4 – kvar (almost like four)
• 5 – kvin
• 6 – ses (almost like six)
• 7 – sep
• 8 – ok
• 9 – naŭ (learn this number now!)
• 10 – dek (highest number in a deck of cards)
• Ok, that was just as easy as learning any other language, but here is where Esperanto’s logical nature really helps. For fun, I’ll teach you the ordinal numbers. Let’s compare English with Esperanto here:

English
cardinal
English
ordinal
Esperanto
cardinal
Esperanto
ordinal
one first unu unua
two second du dua
three third tri tria
four fourth kvar kvara
five fifth kvin kvina
six sixth ses sesa
seven seventh sep sepa
eight eighth ok oka
nine ninth naŭ naŭa
ten tenth dek deka

## Numbers 11-1.000.000

The numbers stay logical. Check out the following examples:

• 11 – dek unu
• 12 – dek du
• 34 – tridek kvar
• 93 – naŭdek tri
• 100 – cent
• 123 – cent dudek tri
• 678 – sescent sepdek ok
• 1.000 – mil
• 1.000.000 – miliono

Also note that as opposed to English, the thousands dividers are typically separated by a dot, whereas the decimal is a comma. For example, you might see, “Tio kostas 1.299,99 €.” [That costs €1,299.99.]

## Saying years

If you want to say, “The first Universal Congress of Esperanto happened in 1905.” you would say, “La unua Universala Kongreso okazis en mil naŭcent kvin.” Literally in English that would be “thousand nine-hundred five”. Note however, that in years starting with 2000, the same order as English applies, so 2011 is “du mil dek unu”.

## Further study for advanced students

Believe it or not, numbers above a billion can get tricky. When you’re ready for an advanced lesson, feel free to check out Vortoj por grandegaj nombroj.

### 5 Responses to “How to count in Esperanto”

1. Leon sennomo 19 November 2011 at 19:27 #

Oww, a lesson! Haven’t seen one of them for a while
Nice

2. Gene Keyes 25 November 2011 at 14:52 #

1905 = Mil naucent NUL kvin, chu ne?

3. Chuck Smith 25 November 2011 at 20:14 #

Ne, oni fakte diras “mil naŭcent kvin”. Char oni devas diri “cent”, oni ne devas diri “nul”.

4. inga johanson 28 November 2011 at 22:52 #

One way to teach how to count in esperanto, ask how many musicians are need in
a duet
a trio
a quartet
a quintet
a sextet
a septet
an octet
a nonet

5. Chuck Smith 30 November 2011 at 13:52 #

Brilliant insight, thanks!