Numbers in Tswana

Learn numbers in Tswana

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

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 Tswana?

The Tswana language (SeTswana) belongs to the Niger–Congo languages family, and more specifically to the Bantu branch. It is official in Botswana, and also spoken in South Africa (where it is co-oficial with ten other languages: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu), in Zimbabwe (where it is co-official with fifteen other languages: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Xhosa and Venda) and semi-official in Namibia (alongside Afrikaans, German, Herero, Khoekhoe, Kwangali, Ovambo, and Lozi, besides the official language, English). SeTswana counts about 4 million speakers.

List of numbers in Tswana

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

  • 1) nngwe
  • 2) pedi
  • 3) tharo
  • 4) nne
  • 5) tlhano
  • 6) thataro
  • 7) supa
  • 8) robedi
  • 9) robongwe
  • 10) lesome
  • 11) lesomenngwe
  • 12) lesomepedi
  • 13) lesometharo
  • 14) lesomenne
  • 15) lesometlhano
  • 16) lesomethataro
  • 17) lesomesupa
  • 18) lesomerobedi
  • 19) lesomerobongwe
  • 20) masome a mabedi
  • 30) masome a tharo
  • 40) masome a mane
  • 50) masome a matlhano
  • 60) masome a thataro
  • 70) masome a supa
  • 80) masome a robedi
  • 90) masome a robongwe
  • 100) lekgolo
  • 1,000) sekete
  • one million) milione
  • one billion) bilione
  • one trillion) terilione

Numbers in Tswana: Tswana numbering rules

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

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

  • Digits from zero to nine are rendered by specific words, namely lefela [0], nngwe [1], pedi [2], tharo [3], nne [4], tlhano [5], thataro or tshela [6], supa [7], robedi [8], and robongwe [9].
  • Tens are formed by stating the plural form of the ten word (masome, plural of lesome), followed by the word a, then the multiplier digit prefixed by ma-, except for ten itself: lesome [10], masome a mabedi [20], masome a tharo [30], masome a mane [40], masome a mathlano [50], masome a thataro [60], masome a supa [70], masome a robedi [80], and masome a robongwe [90].
  • Compound numbers are formed by stating the ten, then the unit separated with a space (e.g.: masome a mabedi supa [27], masome a supa tlhano [75]).
  • Hundreds are formed by stating the plural form of the hundred word (makgolo, plural of lekgolo), followed by the word a, then the multiplier digit, except for one hundred: lekgolo [100], makgolo a mabedi [200], makgolo a tharo [300], makgolo a nne [400], makgolo a thlano [500], makgolo a thataro [600], makgolo a supa [700], makgolo a robedi [800], and makgolo a robongwe [900].
  • Thousands are formed by stating the plural form of the thousand word (dikete, plural of sekete), followed by the word tse, then the multiplier digit, except for one thousand: lekgolo [1,000], dikete tse pedi [2,000], dikete tse tharo [3,000], dikete tse nne [4,000], dikete tse thlano [5,000], dikete tse thataro [6,000], dikete tse supa [7,000], dikete tse robedi [8,000], and dikete tse robongwe [9,000].
  • Higher scale numbers are: milione (106, million), bilione (109, billion), terilione (1012, trillion), kwatirilione (1015, quadrillion), kwintilione (1018, quintillion)…
  • Multilingual mathematics dictionary grade R (pdf)
  • Numbers in different languages