Numbers in Acholi

Learn numbers in Acholi

Knowing numbers in Acholi is probably one of the most useful things you can learn to say, write and understand in Acholi. Learning to count in Acholi may appeal to you just as a simple curiosity or be something you really need. Perhaps you have planned a trip to a country where Acholi is the most widely spoken language, and you want to be able to shop and even bargain with a good knowledge of numbers in Acholi.

It's also useful for guiding you through street numbers. You'll be able to better understand the directions to places and everything expressed in numbers, such as the times when public transportation leaves. Can you think of more reasons to learn numbers in Acholi?

The Acholi language (also known as Acoli and Lwo) belongs to the Nilo-Saharan family, and more specifically to the Luo languages of the Western Nilotic branch. It is a Southern Luo dialect spoken in Uganda and South Sudan by the Acholi people, and counts about 1,215,000 speakers.Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 99,999 in Acholi. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

List of numbers in Acholi

Here is a list of numbers in Acholi. We have made for you a list with all the numbers in Acholi from 1 to 20. We have also included the tens up to the number 100, so that you know how to count up to 100 in Acholi. We also close the list by showing you what the number 1000 looks like in Acholi.

  • 1) acel
  • 2) aryo
  • 3) adek
  • 4) aŋwen
  • 5) abic
  • 6) abicel
  • 7) abiro
  • 8) aboro
  • 9) aboŋwen
  • 10) apar
  • 11) apar wiye acel
  • 12) apar wiye aryo
  • 13) apar wiye adek
  • 14) apar wiye aŋwen
  • 15) apar wiye abic
  • 16) apar wiye abicel
  • 17) apar wiye abiro
  • 18) apar wiye aboro
  • 19) apar wiye aboŋwen
  • 20) pyeraryo
  • 30) pyeradek
  • 40) pyeraŋwen
  • 50) pyerabic
  • 60) pyerabicel
  • 70) pyerabiro
  • 80) pyeraboro
  • 90) pyeraboŋwen
  • 100) miya
  • 1,000) elfu

Numbers in Acholi: Acholi numbering rules

Each culture has specific peculiarities that are expressed in its language and its way of counting. The Acholi is no exception. If you want to learn numbers in Acholi you will have to learn a series of rules that we will explain below. If you apply these rules you will soon find that you will be able to count in Acholi with ease.

The way numbers are formed in Acholi is easy to understand if you follow the rules explained here. Surprise everyone by counting in Acholi. Also, learning how to number in Acholi yourself from these simple rules is very beneficial for your brain, as it forces it to work and stay in shape. Working with numbers and a foreign language like Acholi at the same time is one of the best ways to train our little gray cells, so let's see what rules you need to apply to number in Acholi

  • Digits from one to nine are specific words, namely acel [1], aryo [2], adek [3], aŋwen [4], abic [5], abicel [6] (5+1), abiro [7] (5+2), aboro [8], and aboŋwen [9] (5+4). From the digit names, we can see that the Acholi language follows a quinary numeral system.
  • The tens are formed by the word pyer (plural form of apar, ten) prefixing the multiplier digit, except for ten itself: apar [10], pyeraryo [20], pyeradek [30], pyeraŋwen [40], pyerabic [50], pyerabicel [60], pyerabiro [70], pyeraboro [80], and pyeraboŋwen [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed by saying the ten, then the word wiye (meaning on top of it), and the digit (e.g.: apar wiye acel [11], pyerabic wiye aŋwen [54]).
  • The hundreds are built stating the multiplier digit after the word for hundred (miya), except for one hundred itself when not compound: miya [100], miya aryo [200], miya adek [300], miya aŋwen [400], miya abic [500], miya abicel [600], miya abiro [700], miya aboro [800], and miya aboŋwen [900].
  • The thousands follow the same structure, the word for thousand being elfu, or tuntumiya: elfu [1,000], elfu aryo [2,000], elfu adek [3,000], elfu aŋwen [4,000], elfu abic [5,000], elfu abicel [6,000], elfu abiro [7,000], elfu aboro [8,000], and elfu aboŋwen [9,000].
  • The compound hundreds and thousands both use the coordinator ki (and) to link them to the lower numbers, whether hundreds, tens or units (e.g.: miya acel ki adek [103], miya abicel ki apar wiye aŋwen [614], elfu aŋwen ki miya aryo ki pyerabiro wiye aboro [4,278]).
  • The Essentials of Lwo (Acoli), G. A. R. Savage, 1956
  • Numbers in different languages