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Hokkien

Counting from 1,000 to the Millions in Hokkien


Counting from 1,000 to the Millions in Hokkien

Published by Ryan from LingoNomad


This is the third lesson of the three-part series of how to count in Hokkien. Before learning how to count from 1,000 to the Millions, be sure to check out how to count from 0 to the hundreds first through the links below! :)

Counting Thousands → ... + Cheng

Here's another new word to remember: Cheng / 千 / Thousand. As per usual, simply add it behind any numbers from 1 to 9 to form numbers in the thousands.

e.g. Nng-cheng / 两千 / Two thousand
e.g. Si-cheng / 四千 / Four thousand
e.g. Lak-cheng / 六千 / Six thousand

Counting in Hokkien is easy, it's basically stacking numbers upon numbers. For example, saying 6,460 in Hokkien will be:

= 6000 + 400 + 60
= Lak-cheng + Si-pah + Lak-cap

Counting Tens of Thousands → ... + Bān

The Hokkien word for "tens of thousands" is Ban / 万.

e.g. Chit-ban / 七万 / Seventy thousand
e.g. Kau-ban / 九万 / Ninety thousand

Saying 79,700 will be:

= 70,000 + 9,000 + 700
= Chit-ban + Kau-cheng + Chit-pah

Alternatively, 79,700 can also be read as:

= 79 x 1000 + 700
= Chit-cap kau x Cheng + Chit-pah

Counting Hundreds of Thousands → ... + Cap-ban, or ... + Pah-cheng

Now, supposedly, there is an exact word to represent "Hundreds of Thousands" in Hokkien: Ek / 亿. However, I have never heard of it being used in Taiwan, Singapore, Penang, or Medan. 

In most cases, to represent hundreds of thousands, people use ... + Cap-ban / ... + 十万. e.g. Pueh-cap-ban / 八十万 / Eight hundred thousand.

In Medan, people typically use ... + Pah-cheng instead of ... + Cap-ban. e.g. Peh-pah-cheng.

Cap-ban and pah-cheng are essentially the same. Numerically, Cap-ban breaks down to 10 (Cap) x 10,000 (Ban), whereas Pah-cheng is 100 (Pah) x 1,000 (Cheng).

Counting Millions → ... + Pah Ban, or ... + Tiau

If you know the Hokkien song: Na-si goa u ch-pah-ban!—then you'd already know how to count in the millions!

Pah-ban / 百万, is numerically formed from 100 (Pah) x 10,000 (Ban).
e.g. Pueh-pah-ban / 八百万 / Eight million
e.g. Go-pah-ban / 五百万 / Five million

Another way to count millions is by using the word Tiau / 兆. Tiau is very often used in Medan Hokkien.
e.g. Sa-tiau / 三兆 / Three million
e.g. Ch-tiau / 一兆 / One million

Your Turn

Try reading these numbers in Hokkien. Feel free to write them out in the comment section below!

  • 5,030
  • 21,908
  • 431,007
  • 9,965,750
  • 395,475,000

Final Review

So that's it! If you have gone through all my three-part blog series on how to count in Hokkien, now you should know how to count from 0 to the Millions! Let's do a final review of everything you should remember:

0: Leng / Khong
1: Cit / Ch / It
2: Nng / No / Ji
3: Sa
4: Si
5: Go
6: Lak
7: Chit
8: Pueh / Peh
9: Kau
10: Cap

Hundreds: ... + Pah
Thousands: ... + Cheng
Tens of Thousands: ... + Ban
Hundreds of Thousands: ... + Cap-ban, or ... + Pah-cheng
Millions: ... + Pah-ban, or ... + Tiau

This article was last updated on Thursday, 9 January 2020, SGT (GMT +8).


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