If you are a student looking to learn Arabic Number 1-10, say no more. We have got this, and we will help you not only understand the basics of the Arabic numeral system but also help you memorize the not so difficult counting in Arabic. Some might argue that there are so many types of Arabic in the world, how is one supposed to keep up?
Yes, there are admittedly quite a number of different standard types of Arabic that can be found in different parts of the world where it is spoken as a first language. But, lucky for you, you do not need to learn every form of Arabic in order to be able to count up to nine in Arabic or even further. The Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is the standardized version of Arabic that most people are required to learn and use. And it makes sense to learn only one form of it since it is the official national language of more than 20 countries across the world. Not just that, the Modern Standard Arabic (MSA) is also among the 6 official languages used in the United Nations.
So, if you want to learn numbers and how to count them in Arabic, the words are going to be the same, standard, official, regardless of the form of the language. A fair warning, however, that if you want to move on to the bigger numbers, you will see some differences which might not be as easy to learn. Let’s not waste our time any further and dive into the world of Arabic numbers:
Getting Started (Counting Arabic Number 1-10)
Let’s start from the foundation of every numeral system AKA the counting from one to ten. Once you know how to count the first ten numbers in any language, you can learn to count further fairly easily and quickly.
One to Five
Start with the words for one to five to count up to ten in Arabic. Repeat all the words for instance 2 in Arabic or 5 in Arabic until you know them by heart. Here’s 1 to 5 in Arabic:
- One = Wahid (واحد).
- Two = Itnan (إثنان).
- Three = Talata (ثلاثة).
- Four = Arba’a (أربع).
- Five = Hamsa (خمسة).
Note: In the number five, the letter h has a guttural pronunciation. It is like letting out a strong breath from the back of the throat as you pronounce it.
If you have trouble pronouncing the words, we have added a table below in the article to help you with the pronunciation.
Six to Ten
Once you’ve nailed down the first five Arabic numbers, it is time to tackle the next 5. Practice them until you memorize them, for example, 6 in Arabic or 8 in Arabic, and then compile all 10 together:
- Six = Sitta (ستة).
- Seven = Sab’a (سبعة).
- Eight = Tamaniya (ثمانية).
- Nine = Tis’a (تسعة).
- Ten = Ashra (عشرة).
Here is a table with all the numbers from one to ten with their numerals, Arabic spellings, romanized forms, and pronunciations:
Number | Numeral | Arabic |
Romanized |
Pronunciation |
1 | ١ | وَاحِد | Wahid | Waah-heet |
2 | ٢ | اِثْنَان | Ithnan | Ihth-naan |
3 | ٣ | ثَلَاثَة | Thalathah | Theh-lah-theh |
4 | ٤ | أَرْبَعَة | Arbaʿa | Ahr-uh-bah-ah |
5 | ٥ | خَمْسَة | Hhamsa | Hahm-sah |
6 | ٦ | سِتَّة | Sitta | Siht-tah |
7 | ٧ | سَبْعَة | Sabʿa | Sehb-uh-ah |
8 | ٨ | ثَمَانِيَة | Thamaniya | Theh-mah-nee-yuh |
9 | ٩ | تِسْعَة | Tisʿa | Tihs-anh |
10 | ١٠ | عَشَرَة | Ashar | Ahsh-ahr-rah |
Learning the Zero
Zero is called Sifr (صفر) in Arabic and pronounced as “Say-fur”. The concept of zero started in the land of India and Arab and was brought to the world of Europe during the Crusades.
Just like the English language, “zero” is not usually used in reading numbers until and unless you read cardinal numbers for example a debit card number or a phone number.
Recognizing Arabic Numerals
The Western numerals are commonly considered “Arabic” numerals but the numerals used in Arabic are actually known as Hindu-Arabic numerals, because of their origination from India.
The Hindu-Arabic numbers consist of 10 digits that represent the numbers zero, and one to nine:
٩ ٨ ٧ ٦ ٥ ٤ ٣ ٢ ١ ٠
Just like the English language, these 10 numbers are combined to make other numbers. For instance, in English, 10 would be a combination of the numbers 1 and 0. The same is applicable to the number ten in Arabic: ١٠
Keep in mind that you write and read Arabic right to left. However, you write and read the numerals from left to right, just the way you read in English. A fun fact is that in countries like Syria, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, and Lebanon, the Arabic numerals are often used in combination with Western numbers.
Proceeding to Advanced Levels
It is time to move on to the higher numbers:
Learning the Tens
To make the “tens” of the numbers from 1 to 10, you have to add the “un” suffix to the base digit. All the words for the even tens are made by substituting the last syllable of the first digit with the “un” (suffix). So, let’s see the tens of the Arabic language:
- Twenty = Ishrun.
- Thirty = Thalathun.
- Forty = Arba’un.
- Fifty = Khamsun.
- Sixty = Sittun.
- Seventy = Sab’un.
- Eighty = Thamanun.
- Ninety = Tis’un.
Note: For the twenty, for example, take the Arabic word for two, which is Itnan, remove its last syllable, and substitute it with the un. The consonants that are present at the end of the first syllable do change, however, when writing the word with the Western alphabet.
Learning 11 Through 19
Conjugate the number with a form of the Arabic word for 10 for the numbers 11 to 19. Start with the Arabic for the second digit and add the word Ashar (10).
For instance,
13 = Thalatha ‘Ashar
It translates to “three and ten.” Follow the same procedure for all other numbers from 11 to 19.
Moving on to 21 to 99
For the numbers 21 to 99, use the tens Arabic word with the single digit for the numbers under consideration. To make the words for bigger numbers, write the Arabic word for the last digit and add the connector “wa-” and follow it with the proper Arabic word for the tens place.
For instance,
53 = Thalatha wa-Khamsun
It translates to “three and fifty.”
What About the Hundreds?
The Arabic word mi’a is used for hundreds. The Arabic words for even hundreds are made by adding the word mi’a, after the multiplier digit.
So, for instance,
300 = Thalatha Mi’a”
Use the same procedure to make the Arabic words for numbers 21 – 99 to create the words for the hundreds.
How to Practice Arabic Numbers?
Here are some ways with which you can practice your numbers:
- Download counting songs and listen to them to get familiar with the words. You can find many videos on Youtube that are made for children and can help you learn the numbers in Arabic. Moreover, counting videos and songs can also improve your pronunciation of the numbers. Simply speak or sing along the words until you start to sound like the speaker or singer on the video.
- You can also install a mobile application. Search for Arabic counting or multi-language counting apps on the App Store. Most of these apps are free to install. For example, one such app called Polynumial translates numbers to assist you in learning how to count. The app has an Arabic-specific version but it is only available for iOS.
- Repeat the numbers you have learned in Arabic throughout the day as you come across them. As you go out and about your day, you are likely to come across the numbers and use them without thinking about it. So, whenever you see a number, pause, and translate it into Arabic. For instance, try saying your bank balance in Arabic. Or count the number of items in your grocery cart or the points in a sports game in Arabic.
- Use flashcards to improve your Arabic vocabulary as you practice numbers. You can use the basic counting flashcards that are designed for kids to learn numbers and have a certain number of objects on one side and the number in Arabic on the other side. You can easily buy such flashcards at an educational store or online. Another way to access them is via websites that let you save printable flashcards.
- Lastly, try good old trusty Google to search the Arabic word for the number online, and then say it out loud for the rest of the day.
Conclusion
And that is it! That is how you can learn how to count the numbers 1 through 10 in Arabic and then use those numbers to learn higher numbers in the tens and hundreds. It is simple and easy, just like that. If you struggle with memorizing the numbers, just use the tips above to keep your memory fresh!
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