It’s really important to know your Yoruba Numbers when learning the Yoruba Language, this will help you when going to the tailor, buying things at the market or generally expressing the number of things that you want.
Before we get into Yoruba numbers you need to know something. There are two sets of numbers that you can use in Yoruba, these numbers are the “Standard” Yoruba Numbers and the Cardinal Yoruba Numbers.
The first set of numbers that we shall go through are the Cardinal Yoruba Numbers as you may come across them quite a lot in Yoruba speech, the are usually used to say the number of something.
Five pens, six books, two cows e.t.c
Cardinal Yoruba Numbers
Kan – One
Of course the first number that we shall go through in Yoruba is the number one which is Kan.
You pronounce Kan phonetically as ‘con’ (like the con from from the word ‘constrain’).
If you have one of anything just say the object followed by the number one, the infographic below shows you how to say this.
Méjì – Two
Moving swiftly on to the number two in Yoruba which is Meji.
Méjì is pronounced phonetically as ‘may-jee’.
Mẹ́ta – Three
The number three in Yoruba is Mẹ́ta.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-tah’
Mẹ́rin – Four
The number four in Yoruba is Mẹ́rin.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-reen’.
Márùn – Five
The number five in Yoruba is Márùn.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘mah-roon’.
Mẹ́fà – Six
The number six in Yoruba is Mẹ́fà.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-fah’.
Méje – Seven
We’re almost at ten!
So the number seven in Yoruba Méje.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘may-jay’.
Mẹ́jọ – Eight
The number eight in Yoruba is Mẹ́jọ.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-joh’
Mẹ́sàn – Nine
The number nine in Yoruba is Mẹ́sàn.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-son’.
Mẹ́wàá – Ten
The number ten in Yoruba is Mẹ́wàá.
Which is pronounced phonetically as ‘meh-wah’
Now we shall move on to the “standard” version of Yoruba Numbers. These numbers are not used to say how much of an object there is (e.g. five pens, six books or three cows) but are used in other instances such as in calculations.
“Standard” Yoruba Numbers
The standard number one in Yoruba is oókan.
Phonetically the number one would be pronounced ‘oh-con’.
The standard number two in Yoruba is eéjì.
Phonetically the number two would be pronounced ‘ay-jee’.
The standard number three in Yoruba is ẹẹ́ta.
Phonetically the number three would be pronounced ‘eh-tah’.
The standard number four in Yoruba is ẹẹ́rin.
Phonetically the number four would be pronounced ‘eh-reen’.
The standard number five in Yoruba is aárùn.
Phonetically the number five would be pronounced ‘ah-roon’.
The standard number six in Yoruba is ẹẹ́fà.
Phonetically the number six would be pronounced ‘eh-fah’.
The standard number seven in Yoruba is eéje.
Phonetically the number seven would be pronounced ‘ay-jay’.
The standard number eight in Yoruba is ẹẹ́jọ.
Phonetically the number eight would be pronounced ‘eh-joh’.
The standard number nine in Yoruba is ẹẹ́sàn.
Phonetically the number nine would be pronounced ‘eh-son’.
The standard number ten in Yoruba is ẹẹ́wàá.
Phonetically the number ten would be pronounced ‘eh-wah’.
Here are some examples of some of the Maths equations that you can do with “Standard” Yoruba Numbers
5 – 1 = ẹẹ́rin
4 – 2 = eéjì
And that’s it!
These are the some of the most important numbers in Yoruba, you can see a summary of the Cardinal Yoruba Numbers and the Standard Yoruba Numbers below
|English||“Standard” Yoruba Numbers||Yoruba Cardinal Numbers|
As you can see from the table above, the Cardinal Yoruba Numbers are essentially the “Standard” Yoruba numbers with the first letter removed and replaced with an ‘M’ (except for oókan).
For more numbers in Yoruba check out some of these sites.
Yoruba Numbers from 1-20 on my languages.org
Yoruba Number from 1-100 on omniglot.com