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In this lesson you will learn:
*how to count from 0-100.
*about the measure word gai 个.


Let’s count from 0-15 in Teochiu:

空 0 kang 1
蜀 1 jek 8
两 2 no 6
三 3 sa` 1
四 4 si 3
五 5 ngou 6
六 6 lak 8
七 7 chek 4
八 8 boit 4
九 9 gao 2
十 10 jap 8
十一11 jap(4) ek 4
十二12 jap(4) yi 6
十三13 jap(4) sa`1
十四14 jap(4) si 3
十五15 jap(4) ngou 6

Teochiu numbers run on a system of “tens” just like English and other Chinese dialects.

THE 1&2 RULE: Jek/Ek/Jik and No/Yi

The numbers 1 and 2, jek and no are only used for counting out the numbers one and two. So that's why when saying 11 and 12, ek and yi are used instead. The rule is that whenever counting any numbers besides 1 and 2, that have 1 or 2 in them, you should use ek and yi. This rule does not apply to hundreds and thousands or other numbers beginning with 1 or 2: jik bet (one hundred), no chai` (one thousand) (this will be covered later in the lesson too.) If this rule confuses you, I suggest just memorizing which numbers use jek/no and ek/yi.

*Note how jek/jik are represented by 蜀, whereas ek is represented by 一. Also, 两 represents no, while 二 represents yi.


How do you say:

蜀1 jek 8
两2 no 6
十一11 jap(4) ek 4
十二12 jap(4) yi 6
二十一21 yi(7) jap(4) ek 4
二十二22 yi(7) jap(4) yi 6


Measure words are classifiers that come before noun objects. For example, sheets of paper, floors of a building, or cups of water. Lets use our number in phrases measure word phrases.

三个人 sa`1 gai(7) nang5. Three people.

Gai 个 is the measure word for people (and the general measure word for most things if you forget the proper one). Teochiu always uses measure words to tell the listener what type of thing the speaker is referring to. Another example:

四个日 si(5) gai(7) yik8. Four days.

Be aware that when referring to 1 or 2 of something, you should use jik and no.

蜀个人 jik(4) gai(7) nang5. One person.
两个日 no(7) gai(7) yik8. Two days.

*Notice that Jik is to enumerate things, Jek is for counting, and Ek is for numbers 11 and in counting 1.


Now try to guess how to say the numbers 16-20. These are not too tricky:
十六 16 jap(4) lak8
十七 17 jap(4) chek4
十八 18 jap(4) boit4
十九 19 jap(4) gao2
二十 20 yi(7) jap8

You see how the Teochiu way to say “20” is literally “two tens”? This goes for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, and 90 too! You're doing great! Keep going!

三十 30 sa`1 jap8
四十 40 si(5) jap8
五十 50 ngou(7) jap8
六十 60 lak(4) jap8
七十 70 chek(8) jap8
八十 80 boit(8) jap8
九十 90 gao(6) jap8

To say 31-39, we keep the “sa` jap” part and just add the number at the end. For practice let’s try the following numbers:

三十一 31 sa`1 jap(4) ek4
三十二 32 sa`1 jap(4) yi6
三十三 33 sa`1 jap(4) sa`1

We do the same for 41, 42, and 43.

四十一 41 si(5) jap(4) ek4
四十二 42 si(5) jap(4) yi6
四十三 43 si(5) jap(4) sa`1

See how the 1 and 2 were ek and yi (rather than jek and no?)

From 44-99 the number system stays the same:

四十七 47 si(5) jap(4) chek4
四十八 48 si(5) jap(4) boit4
五十 50 ngou(7) jap8
六十五 65 lak(4) jap(4) ngou6
七十五 75 chek(8) jap(4) ngou6
八十二 82 boit(8) jap(4) yi2
九十一 91 gao(6) jap(4) ek4
九十九 99 gao(6) jap(4) gao2

And finally:

一百 100 jik(4) bet4

(notice how we use jik rather than ek or even jek, for 100)