Basic Numbers

one | benn |

two | ñaar |

three | ñett |

four | ñeent |

five | juróom |

six | juróom-benn |

seven | juróom-ñaar |

eight | juróom-ñett |

nine | juróom-ñeent |

ten | fukk |

eleven | fukk ak benn |

twelve | fukk ak juróom-ñeent |

twenty | ñaar-fukk |

twenty-one | ñaar fukk ak benn |

thirty | ñett-fukk |

forty | ñeent-fukk |

fifty | juróom-fukk |

sixty | juróom-benn-fukk |

one hundred | téeméer |

one hundred one | téeméer ak benn |

two hundred | ñaari téeméer |

one thousand | junni |

one thousand five hundred ninety-nine | junni ak juróomi téeméer ak juróom-ñeent-fukk ak juróom-ñeent |

Examples of using numbers:

Benn waxtu moo jot. | It’s one o’clock. |

Ñaari waxtu moo jot. | It’s two o’clock. |

Benn waxtu teggalna fukki miniit ak juróom. | Quarter past one. |

Benn waxtu ak xaaj. | Half past one. |

Juróom ñetti waxtu des na fukki miniit ak juróom. | Quarter to eight. |

Tey la fukkeeli fan ak juróom ci weeru desaambar. | It’s December 15th. |

Mangi fii ba fukki fan. | I’m here for 10 days. |

Mangi fii ba ñetti ay bés. | I’m here for three weeks. |

Mangi fii ba ñaari weer. | I’m here for two months. |

Benn, benn yoon tike ba Tambakunda. | One, one-way ticket to Tambacounda. |

Fan la volu Air France juróom ñaar di eggsi? | Where does flight Air France 07 arrive? |

Begg naa luwe kat-kat (quatre–quatre). | I’d like to hire a 4WD (4×4). |

Ñaata lay jar suma ko bëggee luwe ñetti fan? | How much is it for three days? |

Dinaa fii nekk ñaari fan. | I’d like to stay for two nights. |

Wooteek ñetti miniit, ñaata lay jar? | How much does a three-minute call cost? |

Waxtu bu nekk, ñaari téeméer (dërëm) la. | 1000 CFA francs per hour. |

Téeméer (dërëm) la mën. | I’ll give you 500 CFA francs. |

Wolof numbers are basically counted in groups of five. The numbers one through five (and ten) are the main numbers in the Wolof numeric system, all other numbers up to one-hundred are based on these numbers.

Wolof numbers are combined together to form new numbers. For example the number twelve in Wolof is *fukk ak ñaar* (10 & 2), which when added together equals twelve. With the exception of six through nine and all numbers divisible by ten, except for ten, up to one-hundred, such as twenty, thirty, forty, etc. all Wolof number combinations include the Wolof word* ak* which means ‘and’ or ‘with’.

When a larger number precedes a smaller number the numbers are added. For example the number sixteen in Wolof is *fukk ak juróom benn* (10 & 6 or 10 & 5 &1) which when added together equals sixteen. All numbers up to nineteen are in this order.

When a smaller number precedes a larger number then the numbers are multiplied. For example the number forty in Wolof is *ñeent fukk* (4 & 10) which when multiplied equals forty. All numbers above twenty are in this order.

Wolof number combinations above twenty (except for 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 & 90) call for both addition and multiplication. For example the number thirty-two in Wolof is *ñett fukk ak ñaar* (3 & 10 & 2), if written as a mathematical equation it would be 3 x 10 + 2 = 32.

**Calculating Wolof numbers**:

Number Order | Process (replace >, < & ak with the appropriate operation) |

## > # | add (## + #) |

# < ## | multiply (# x ##) |

# < ## ak # | multiply, add (# x ## + #) |

## > # < ## ak ## > # | add, multiply, add, add (## + # x ## + ## + #) |

**Key to above table**:

Symbol | Explanation | What to Do |

## | larger number in relation to following number | add to following # |

# | smaller number in relation to following number | multiply by following ## |

> | indicates a larger number precedes a smaller number | replace with + |

< | indicates a smaller number precedes a larger number | replace with x |

ak | Wolof word used for addition | replace with + |

**Converting English numbers to Wolof**:

(This only works for numbers 21 & higher and not for numbers evenly divided by 10.)

1. Take the number you want to convert to Wolof & divide by 10. (For example: **sixty eight**; **68** ÷ **10** = **6**.**8**)

2. Take the whole number before the decimal, convert to Wolof & put ‘fukk ak’ after it. (Continuing example: **6** = **juróom benn**; **juróom benn fukk ak**)

3. Multiply the number that you dropped the decimal from by 10 & subtract from original number you wish to convert. (Continuing example: **6** x **10** = **60**; **68** – **60** = **8**)

4. Convert this remaining number to Wolof and place after the ‘fukk ak’ for the complete Wolof number. (Continuing example: **8** = **juróom ñett**; **juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett**)

Following the above steps and example we were able to convert **sixty-eight** (English) into **juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett** (Wolof).

To convert a Wolof number to English follow these steps:

As in the example above we will start with **juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett** and work backwards to end up with **68**. (Obviously we already know the answer, but this exercise is for when you don’t know what the English translation of a Wolof number is and you want to figure it out.)

**juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett** (**#** > **#** < **#** ak **#** > **#** i.e. **juróom** is a greater number than **benn** which is less than **fukk** and **juróom** again is greater than **ñett** — or — **5** > **1** < **10** & **5** > **3**)

Take the separate digits that we broke **juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett** into (**5**, **1**, **10**, **5**, **3**) and add and multiply them together according to the order described in the first table above — which would be **5** + **1** x **10** + **5** + **3** — so **5** + **1** = **6** x **10** = **60** + **5** = **65** + **3** = **68**.

And there you have it, **juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett** is **68**.

0 | tus toos / dara (zero) |

1 | benn ben (one) |

2 | ñaar nyaar (two) |

3 | ñett nyet (three) |

4 | ñeent nyeynt (four) |

5 | juróom joo∘rohm (five) |

6 | juróom benn (six) |

7 | juróom ñaar (seven) |

8 | juróom ñett (eight) |

9 | juróom ñeent (nine) |

10 | fukk fuk (ten) |

11 | fukk ak benn fuk ak ben (eleven) |

12 | fukk ak ñaar (twelve) |

13 | fukk ak ñett (thirteen) |

14 | fukk ak ñeent (fourteen) |

15 | fukk ak juróom (fifteen) |

16 | fukk ak juróom benn (sixteen) |

17 | fukk ak juróom ñaar (seventeen) |

18 | fukk ak juróom ñett (eighteen) |

19 | fukk ak juróom ñeent (nineteen) |

20 | ñaar fukk (twenty) |

21 | ñaar fukk ak benn (twenty one) |

22 | ñaar fukk ak ñaar (twenty two) |

23 | ñaar fukk ak ñett (twenty three) |

24 | ñaar fukk ak ñeent (twenty four) |

25 | ñaar fukk ak juróom (twenty five) |

26 | ñaar fukk ak juróom benn (twenty six) |

27 | ñaar fukk ak juróom ñaar (twenty seven) |

28 | ñaar fukk ak juróom ñett (twenty eight) |

29 | ñaar fukk ak juróom ñeent (twenty nine) |

30 | ñett fukk / fanweer fan∘weyr (thirty) |

40 | ñeent fukk (forty) |

50 | juróom fukk (fifty) |

60 | juróom benn fukk (sixty) |

61 | juróom benn fukk ak benn (sixty one) |

62 | juróom benn fukk ak ñaar (sixty two) |

63 | juróom benn fukk ak ñett (sixty three) |

64 | juróom benn fukk ak ñeent (sixty four) |

65 | juróom benn fukk ak juróom (sixty five) |

66 | juróom benn fukk ak juróom benn (sixty six) |

67 | juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñaar (sixty seven) |

68 | juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñett (sixty eight) |

69 | juróom benn fukk ak juróom ñeent (sixty nine) |

70 | juróom ñaar fukk (seventy) |

80 | juróom ñett fukk (eighty) |

90 | juróom ñeent fukk (ninety) |

100 | teemeer tey∘meyr (one hundred) |

1000 | junni jun∘nee (one thousand) |

1,000,000 | fukki teemeeri junni fuk∘kee tey∘meyr∘reejun∘nee (one million) |

You may have noticed a few of the numbers had alternate names that don’t follow the regular convention of the other Wolof numbers. These are sort of like slang, in which, they are actual words which have their own meaning but can also be applied to numbers. For example *dara* means ‘nothing’ which is used in place of *tus* for ‘zero’, *fanweer* is a compound word made up of *fan* (day) & *weer* (moon / month) which is used in place of *ñett**fukk* for ’30’.

juróom benn (6) | 5 + 1 |

fukk ak ñaar (12) | 10 + 2 |

fukk ak juróom ñett (18) | 15 + 3 or 10 + 5 + 3 |

ñaar fukk (20) | 2 x 10 |

ñaar fukk ak ñeent (24) | 20 + 4 or 2 x 10 + 4 |

ñaar fukk ak juróom benn(26) | 20 + 6 or 2 x 10 + 5 + 1 |

juróom benn fukk (60) | (5 +1) x 10 |

juróom benn fukk ak juróom(65) | (5 +1) x 10 + 5 |

juróom benn fukk ak juróomñett (68) | (5 + 1) x 10 + 5 + 3 or 6 x 10 + 8, etc. |

Ordinal numbers (first, second, third, etc.) are formed by adding the ending –**éél** (pronounced *ayl*) to the cardinal number. The one exception to this system is “first”, which is **bu** **njëk** (or the adapted French word ‘premier’: **përëmye**).

1st | bu njëk / përëmye |

2nd | ñaaréél |

3rd | ñettéél |

4th | ñeentéél |

5th | juróoméél |

6th | juróom–bennéél |

7th | juróom–ñaaréél |

8th | juróom–ñettéél |

9th | juróom–ñeentéél |

10th | fukkéél |

## Money in Senegal

In Senegal they use the *franc CFA*. But the traditional unit of currency is the *dërëm* which is counted by fives. Usually when dealing with money most people will deal strictly with the French terms for simplicity. If Wolof is used the *dërëm* is implied if not specifically said. So for example *junni* is 5000, not 1000, even though *dërëm* has been left off. The generic Wolof term for money is *xaalis*.

**Converting dërëm to CFA **– When talking money, the number *ñaari teemeeri* (200) is the same as *ñaari teemeeri dërëm* (1000 CFA). To get the CFA equivalent of *dërëm*, take the number of *dërëm* and multiply it by 5, for example, *teemeeri dërëm* – 100 *dërëm* or 100 x 5, is 500 CFA.

500 CFA | teemeeri |

1000 CFA | ñaari teemeeri |

1500 CFA | ñetti teemeeri |

3000 CFA | juróom benni teemeeri |

5000 CFA | junni |

Sometimes **CFA** is written as **FCFA** or just **F**.

A comma is often used to indicate decimals. For example – **1**,**5 **is the same as** 1**.**5**. Also, a period is often used to indicate thousands. For example – **10**.**000 **is the same as** 10**,**000**.

For more on Wolof numbers click here.

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