Numbers in Malagasy

Learn numbers in Malagasy

Knowing numbers in Malagasy is probably one of the most useful things you can learn to say, write and understand in Malagasy. Learning to count in Malagasy 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 Malagasy is the most widely spoken language, and you want to be able to shop and even bargain with a good knowledge of numbers in Malagasy.

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 Malagasy?

The Malagasy language belongs to the Austronesian family, and more specifically to the East Barito group. Malagasy is divided in two dialectal groups, counting eleven dialects. Standard Malagasy is the Merina dialect, spoken natively by about a quarter of the population of Madagascar. Official national language of the island, and also spoken in the French department of Mayotte, in the Comoros archipelago, it counts about 20 million speakers.

List of numbers in Malagasy

Here is a list of numbers in Malagasy. We have made for you a list with all the numbers in Malagasy 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 Malagasy. We also close the list by showing you what the number 1000 looks like in Malagasy.

  • 1) iray
  • 2) roa
  • 3) telo
  • 4) efatra
  • 5) dimy
  • 6) enina
  • 7) fito
  • 8) valo
  • 9) sivy
  • 10) folo
  • 11) iraika ambin’ny folo
  • 12) roa ambin’ny folo
  • 13) telo ambin’ny folo
  • 14) efatra ambin’ny folo
  • 15) dimy ambin’ny folo
  • 16) enina ambin’ny folo
  • 17) fito ambin’ny folo
  • 18) valo ambin’ny folo
  • 19) sivy ambin’ny folo
  • 20) roapolo
  • 30) telopolo
  • 40) efapolo
  • 50) dimampolo
  • 60) enimpolo
  • 70) fitopolo
  • 80) valopolo
  • 90) sivifolo
  • 100) zato
  • 1,000) arivo
  • ten thousand) alina

Numbers in Malagasy: Malagasy numbering rules

Each culture has specific peculiarities that are expressed in its language and its way of counting. The Malagasy is no exception. If you want to learn numbers in Malagasy 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 Malagasy with ease.

The way numbers are formed in Malagasy is easy to understand if you follow the rules explained here. Surprise everyone by counting in Malagasy. Also, learning how to number in Malagasy 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 Malagasy 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 Malagasy

  • Digits from zero to nine are rendered by specific words, namely aotra [0], iray (iraika when compound) [1], roa [2], telo [3], efatra [4], dimy [5], enina [6], fito [7], valo [8], and sivy [9].
  • Tens are formed by prefixing the word for ten (folo, turned into (m)polo) by its multiplier digit, except for ten itself: folo [10], roapolo [20], telopolo [30], efapolo [40], dimampolo [50], enimpolo [60], fitopolo [70], valopolo [80], and sivifolo [90].
  • Teens are formed by stating the unit first, then the expression amby ny or ambin’ny (meaning in excess of), and the word for ten (folo): iraika ambin’ny folo [11], roa ambin’ny folo [12], telo ambin’ny folo [13], efatra ambin’ny folo [14], dimy ambin’ny folo [15], enina ambin’ny folo [16], fito ambin’ny folo [17], valo ambin’ny folo [18], and sivy ambin’ny folo [19].
  • Compound numbers are formed by stating the unit first, then the word amby (meaning in excess of), and the ten (e.g.: dimy amby roapolo [25], enina amby telopolo [36]).
  • Hundreds are formed by prefixing the word for hundred (zato, turned into (n)jato) by its multiplier digit, except for one hundred: zato [100], roanjato [200], telonjato [300], efajato [400], dimanjato [500], eninjato [600], fitonjato [700], valonjato [800], and sivinjato [900].
  • Thousands are formed by stating the multiplier digit before the word for thousand (arivo), separated with a space, except for one thousand: arivo [1,000], roa arivo [2,000], telo arivo [3,000], efatra arivo [4,000], dimy arivo [5,000], enina arivo [6,000], fito arivo [7,000], valo arivo [8,000], and sivy arivo [9,000].
  • Compound numbers above one hundred are formed by starting with the unit and going up to the higher scale number, linking units, tens and hundreds with the word amby (hence up to 999), and the upper groups with the word sy (and) (e.g.: valo amby efapolo amby telonjato [348], enina amby valopolo sy dimanjato sy roa arivo [2,586]).
  • Higher scale numbers have specific names for each power of ten: alina [10,000], hetsy [100,000], tapitrisa [million, 106], safatsiroa [ten of million, 107], tsitamboisa [hundred of million, 108], lavitrisa or arivo tapitrisa [billion, 109] (litterally, thousand million), alinkisa [ten of billion, 1010] (litterally, innumerable), tsipesimpesenina [hundred of billion, 1011], tsitokotsiforohana (from the expression tsy toko tsy forohana, litterally, an enormous sum of money, a lot) [trillion, 1012], tsihitanoanoa [ten of trillion, 1013], safatsiroafaharoa [hundred of trillion, 1014] (litterally the second 107, or rather 102*7, from faharoa, second), tsitamboisafaharoa [quadrillion, 1015]… safatsiroafahatelo [sextillion, 1021] (litterally the third 107, or rather 103*7, from fahatelo, third), tsitamboisafahatelo [ten of sextillion, 1022]…
  • Le malgache de poche, by Helena Voahanginirina, Assimil (2000)
  • Numbers in different languages