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Let's Count from 0 to 10 in Hokkien

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For those who know Hokkien well, this will be easy peasy. But for those who wants to learn Hokkien from the ground up, learning how to count is always a good starting point!

Let's Count from 0 to 10 in Hokkien

0. Léng / Khòng (零)

There are two ways to say zero: Léng and KhòngLéng is used for counting something, whereas Khòng is used when reading a series of number.

e.g. Leng hun / 零分 / Zero marks
e.g. Go-khong-lak / 五零六 / 506

1. Ci't / Ch / It (一)

Ci't is used for counting and it's usually pronounced as a short Ch sound when it is followed by other words. The word It is another way to refer to the number 1; meaning the word "first".

e.g. Ch-kai lang / 一个人 / One person
e.g. Te-it lau / 第一楼 / The first floor

2. Nn̄g / Nō / Jī (两 / 二)

There are a few variations of saying the number two in Hokkien. Nn̄g is used especially in Taiwan and Singapore Hokkien, whereas  is commonly used in Penang and Medan Hokkien. Nn̄g and  is used to count, whereas  is equivalent to the word "second".

e.g. Nng-liap nng / 两粒蛋 / Two eggs
e.g. Te-ji kai / 第二个 / The second one

3. Sa (三)

Starting from number 3 onwards, there is no difference between cardinal and ordinal numbers in Hokkien. As a side note:

  • Cardinal numbers are numbers like one, two, three;
  • Ordinal numbers refer to an order, such as first, second, third

To indicate an ordinal number, simply add Te- in front of the number.

e.g. Sa-teng chia / 三台车 / Three cars (uses a cardinal number)
e.g. Te-sa can / 第三站 / The third stop (uses an ordinal number)

4. Sì (四)

e.g. Si-kai gin-na / 四个孩子 / Four children

5. Gō (五)

e.g. Go-liap pheng-ko / 五粒苹果 / Five apples

6. La'k (六)

e.g. Lak-ki chiok / 六支尺 / Six rulers

7. Chit (七)

e.g. Chit-pun chek / 七本册 / Seven books

8. Pueh / Peh (八)

Pueh is typically used in Taiwan and Singapore Hokkien, whereas Peh is commonly used in Penang and Medan Hokkien.
e.g. Pueh-ciak chio / 八只象 / Eight elephants

9. Kàu (九)

e.g. Kau-tiau sok / 九条绳 / Nine ropes

10. Ca'p (十)

e.g. Cap-keng tiam / 十间店 / Ten shops

Pronunciation Guide

Here is an audio guide presenting the pronunciation of the numbers 0 to 10 in Hokkien:

Your Turn

Try reading these series of number in Hokkien:

  • 5-2-3-8-7
  • 1-4-2-0-0
  • 9-4-2-5-5
  • 3-7-6-4-1
  • 0-8-3-2-6

Learn More Hokkien Numbers

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