How to Count to 20 in Hawaiian

In this post, discover the fascinating world of Hawaiian numbers. Did you know that Hawaiian has two sets of numbers from 0 to 9? We’ll explore these numbers and learn how to count to twenty together. Let’s start counting in Hawaiian!

What do you need to know about Hawaiian numbers?

Hawaiian, an Indigenous Polynesian language spoken in Hawaii, actually has two sets of numbers from 0-9 – ‘base numbers’ that are used when you’re counting something out.

For example, say you have five pens. If you were counting ‘one, two, three, four…’ then you’d use these base numbers.

However, if you’re summarising how many things there are (so – ‘I have five pens’), then you would use the second set of numbers.

In the uTalk app, we’ve used the first set of numbers, but we’ve added the second set to this post so you’ll know them when you see them. And remember! Only the numbers 0-9 have this second set, so it’s not like you have to learn double the amount of numbers in total.

The numbers 0 – 10

numberHawaiian base numberHawaiian number for summarising quantitynotes
1kahiho’okahithe form ‘ekahi also exists and is used for things like clock time or, optionally, the first item in a set
5lima‘elimathis is closely related to the Māori word rima and the Malay lima

Fun fact: Many Hawaiian words have more than one meaning, and you often have to work out the meaning by context. That means words like lua can mean ‘two’ but also ‘bathroom’, depending on how it is used!

The numbers 11 – 20

Can you see any similarities between these and the numbers one to ten above?

Knowing the base numbers one to ten in Hawaiian gives you some of the building blocks to learn the numbers 11 – 20.


Want to learn more about Hawaiian numbers?

Take a look at this article from one of our Hawaiian speakers, Kaliko! Kaliko’s article goes into detail about the numbers 1 – 100 and includes a link to a video that will help you learn to pronounce them.

And if you want more practice, you can always use the uTalk app! Every number in our app is voiced by a male and female Hawaiian speaker and you can fine tune your pronunciation by recording yourself copying them and then comparing the result. There are also five memory-boosting games for you to play and, as you go through, you’ll find the numbers start coming to you naturally.

The numbers on uTalk don’t just stop at 20, either. Learn to count to up to ten million in Hawaiian!

Interested in giving uTalk a try for free? The numbers one, two, three, and 10 are featured in our Free Starter Words topic, which is available for every language. Want to keep learning? Click this link and get 40% off your next Hawaiian subscription.

Happy language learning!

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