Numbers in Swahili

Learn numbers in Swahili

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

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 Swahili?

Swahili (Kiswahili) is a Bantu language from the Niger-Congo family. Spoken in the Mozambique Channel area, it is the national language of Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, and Comoros (as Comorian), and it is also spoken in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Mayotte, Mozambique, Oman, Rwanda, and Somalia, where it counts about 5 million first language speakers, and 30 million second language speakers.Due to lack of data, we can only count accurately up to 100,000 in Swahili. Please contact me if you can help me counting up from that limit.

List of numbers in Swahili

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

  • 1) moja
  • 2) mbili
  • 3) tatu
  • 4) nne
  • 5) tano
  • 6) sita
  • 7) saba
  • 8) nane
  • 9) tisa
  • 10) kumi
  • 11) kumi na moja
  • 12) kumi na mbili
  • 13) kumi na tatu
  • 14) kumi na nne
  • 15) kumi na tano
  • 16) kumi na sita
  • 17) kumi na saba
  • 18) kumi na nane
  • 19) kumi na tisa
  • 20) ishirini
  • 30) thelathini
  • 40) arobaini
  • 50) hamsini
  • 60) sitini
  • 70) sabini
  • 80) themanini
  • 90) tisini
  • 100) mia moja
  • 1,000) elfu moja
  • one hundred thousand) laki

Numbers in Swahili: Swahili numbering rules

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

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

  • Digits and numbers from one to nine are specific words, namely moja [1], mbili [2], tatu [3], nne [4], tano [5], sita [6], saba [7], nane [8], and tisa [9]. Only the digits from one (moja) to five (tano), as well as eight (nane) agree with the name class, the others being invariable.
  • The tens are kumi [10], ishirini [20], thelathini [30], arobaini [40], hamsini [50], sitini [60], sabini [70], themanini [80], and tisini [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed by saying the ten, then the coordinator na (and), and the unit (e.g.: thelathini na tatu [33], themanini na mbili [82]).
  • Hundreds are formed by setting the multiplier digit after the word for hundred (mia): mia moja [100], mia mbili [200], mia tatu [300], mia nne [400], mia tano [500], mia sita [600], mia saba [700], mia nane [800], and mia tisa [900]. When compound, the one multiplier in one hundred is not said (e.g.: mia na moja [101], mia na kumi na moja [111]).
  • Thousands are formed the same way as hundreds, i.e. by setting the multiplier digit after the word for thousand (elfu): elfu moja [1,000], elfu mbili [2,000], elfu tatu [3,000], elfu nne [4,000], elfu tano [5,000], elfu sita [6,000], elfu saba [7,000], elfu nane [8,000], and elfu tisa [9,000]. One hundred thousand is laki [100,000].
  • Each group of numbers is linked to the others with na (and), tens and units, but also hundreds and tens, thousands and hundreds… (e.g.: mia tatu na moja [301], mia sita na hamsini na sita [656], elfu moja na mia nne na thelathini [1,430]).
  • One million is milioni moja.
  • Numbers in different languages