Lesson 8: Numbering in Akan (Twi) | How to Count in Akan (Twi)

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Our last two lessons under the Twi vocabulary module explored some Twi vocabulary for foods and some Ghanaian dishes/meals. Today, we are going to learn how to count in Twi. This lesson will also form a basis for a later lesson on how to tell time in Twi.

The numbering system in Akan (Twi) is quite simple to grasp. I’ll try to give tips on how to proceed after each set. Let’s not waste time, we’ve got some counting to do.

First, you need to memorise the following.

Video Lesson (Counting 1 – 10)


Number Twi English
0 ohunu/hwee zero
1 baako one
2 mmienu two
3 mmiɛnsa three
4 ɛnan four
5 enum five
6 nsia six
7 nson seven
8 nwɔtwe eight
9 nkron nine
10 edu ten


Number ten in Twi is ‘Edu’, correct? Now, proceeding to the next set of numbers (eleven to nineteen), we do away with all vowel prefixes. So ‘edu’ becomes ‘du’, ɛnan becomes ‘nan’, enum becomes ‘num’. Now, from eleven to nineteen, we simply attach the appropriate number to ‘du’.


Video Lesson (Counting 11 – 20 + Tenth Numbers)


Number Twi English
11 dubaako eleven
12 dumienu twelve
13 dumiɛnsa thirteen
14 dunan fourteen
15 dunum fifteen
16 dunsia sixteen
17 dunson seventeen
18 dunwɔtwe eighteen
19 dunkron nineteen
20 aduonu twenty


For the next set (twenty-one to twenty-nine) we add the appropriate number to ‘aduonu (twenty)’. This time, however, we separate them in writing, i.e. we do not combine them into a single word as we did with the previous set.


Number Twi English
21 aduonu baako twenty-one
22 aduonu mmienu twenty-two
23 aduonu mmiɛnsa twenty-three
24 aduonu nan twenty-four
25 aduonu num twenty-five
26 aduonu nsia twenty-six
27 aduonu nson twenty-seven
28 aduonu nwɔtwe twenty-eight
29 aduonu nkron twenty-nine
30 aduasa thirty


The next sets of numbers (31-40, 41-50, 51-60, 61-70, 71-80, 81-90, 91-100) employ the same mechanism as the previous set. So, what we need to do is memorise the names of the tens (tenth numbers), and simply add the appropriate numbers to them. Let’s look at numbers thirty-one to forty.


Number Twi English
31 aduasa baako thirty-one
32 aduasa mmienu thirty-two
33 aduasa mmiɛnsa thirty-three
34 aduasa nan thirty-four
35 aduasa num thirty-five
36 aduasa nsia thirty-six
37 aduasa nson thirty-seven
38 aduasa nwɔtwe thirty-eight
39 aduasa nkron thirty-nine
40 aduanan forty


I hope the mechanism is quite clear now. The next step is very important. I’m going to give you a tip which, hopefully, will help you to memorise the tenth numbers easily. Let’s check out numbers two to nine again: mmienu, mmiɛnsa, ɛnan, enum, nsia, nson, nwɔtwe, nkron. Take note of the parts that I’ve boldened. The tenth numbers are (roughly) formed by attaching the boldened parts to ‘du’ (the root of the number ten). Granted, other morphophonological processes are involved but this tip should be enough to aid you in the memorisation process.

Now let’s count in tens.


Number Twi English
10 edu ten
20 aduonu twenty
30 aduasa thirty
40 aduanan forty
50 aduonum fifty
60 aduosia sixty
70 aduɔson seventy
80 aduɔwɔtwe eighty
90 aduɔkron ninety
100 ɔha hundred


Next, numbers one hundred and one (101) to one hundred and ten (110). We state the number ‘Ɔha (hundred)’, introduce the conjunction ‘ne (and)’ and add the appropriate number.


Number Twi English
101 ɔha ne baako one hundred and one
102 ɔha ne mmienu one hundred and two
103 ɔha ne mmiɛnsa one hundred and three
104 ɔha ne nan one hundred and four
105 ɔha ne num one hundred and five
106 ɔha ne nsia one hundred and six
107 ɔha ne nson one hundred and seven
108 ɔha ne nwɔtwe one hundred and eight
109 ɔha ne nkron one hundred and nine
110 ɔha ne du one hundred and ten


Let’s continue.


Number Twi English
111 ɔha ne dubaako one hundred and eleven
112 ɔha ne dumienu one hundred and twelve
113 ɔha ne dumiɛnsa one hundred and thirteen
114 ɔha ne dunan one hundred and fourteen
115 ɔha ne dunum one hundred and fifteen
116 ɔha ne dunsia one hundred and sixteen
117 ɔha ne dunson one hundred and seventeen
118 ɔha ne dunwɔtwe one hundred and eighteen
119 ɔha ne dunkron one hundred and nineteen
120 ɔha ne aduonu one hundred and twenty


What we are doing is simply adding the numbers we’ve covered so far to ‘Ɔha ne (hundred and)’. Let’s cover one more set.


Number Twi English
121 ɔha ne aduonu baako one hundred and twenty-one
122 ɔha ne aduonu mmienu one hundred and twenty-two
123 ɔha ne aduonu mmiɛnsa one hundred and twenty-three
124 ɔha ne aduonu nan one hundred and twenty-four
125 ɔha ne aduonu num one hundred and twenty-five
126 ɔha ne aduonu nsia one hundred and twenty-six
127 ɔha ne aduonu nson one hundred and twenty-seven
128 ɔha ne aduonu nwɔtwe one hundred and twenty-eight
129 ɔha ne aduonu nkron one hundred and twenty-nine
130 ɔha ne aduasa one hundred and thirty


You get the idea. Let’s now count in the hundreds (100, 200, 300, … 1000). This is also easy. First, we form the plural of  ‘Ɔha’ by replacing its ‘ɔ-’ prefix with ‘a-’ to get ‘Aha’. We then attach to it (Aha) the boldened parts of the numbers mmienu (two), mmiɛnsa (three), ɛnan (four), enum (five), nsia (six), nson (seven), nwɔtwe (eight), nkron (nine). If you recall, we did same when we were counting in tens much earlier.


Number Twi English
100 ɔha one hundred
200 ahanu two hundred
300 ahasa three hundred
400 ahanan four hundred
500 ahanum five hundred
600 ahansia six hundred
700 ahanson seven hundred
800 ahanwɔtwe eight hundred
900 ahankron nine hundred
1,000 apem one thousand


To proceed from the number one thousand (1000), we follow the same process we used earlier to count from the number one hundred (100).


Number Twi English
1,001 apem ne baako one thousand and one
1,002 apem ne mmienu one thousand and two
1,003 apem ne mmiɛnsa one thousand and three
1,004 apem ne nan one thousand and four
1,005 apem ne num one thousand and five
1,006 apem ne nsia one thousand and six
1,007 apem ne nson one thousand and seven
1,008 apem ne nwɔtwe one thousand and eight
1,009 apem ne nkron one thousand and nine
1,010 apem ne du one thousand and ten


We continue.


Number Twi English
1,011 apem ne dubaako one thousand and eleven
1,012 apem ne dumienu one thousand and twelve
1,013 apem ne dumiɛnsa one thousand and thirteen
1,014 apem ne dunan one thousand and fourteen
1,015 apem ne dunum one thousand and fifteen
1,016 apem ne dunsia one thousand and sixteen
1,017 apem ne dunson one thousand and seventeen
1,018 apem ne dunwɔtwe one thousand and eighteen
1,019 apem ne dunkron one thousand and nineteen
1,020 apem ne aduonu one thousand and twenty
1,021 apem ne aduonu baako one thousand and twenty-one
1,022 apem ne aduonu mmienu one thousand and twenty-two
1,023 apem ne aduonu mmiɛnsa one thousand and twenty-three
1,024 apem ne aduonu nan one thousand and twenty-four
1,025 apem ne aduonu num one thousand and twenty-five
1,026 apem ne aduonu nsia one thousand and twenty-six
1,027 apem ne aduonu nson one thousand and twenty-seven
1,028 apem ne aduonu nwɔtwe one thousand and twenty-eight
1,029 apem ne aduonu nkron one thousand and twenty-nine
1,030 apem ne aduasa one thousand and thirty
1,040 apem ne aduanan one thousand and forty
1,050 apem ne aduonum one thousand and fifty
1,060 apem ne aduosia one thousand and sixty
1,070 apem ne aduɔson one thousand and seventy
1,080 apem ne aduɔwɔtwe one thousand and eighty
1,090 apem ne aduɔkron one thousand and ninety
1,100 apem ne ɔha one thousand one hundred
1,200 apem ne ahanu one thousand two hundred
1,300 apem ne ahasa one thousand three hundred
1,400 apem ne ahanan one thousand four hundred
1,500 apem ne ahanum one thousand five hundred
1,600 apem ne ahansia one thousand six hundred
1,700 apem ne ahanson one thousand seven hundred
1,800 apem ne ahanwɔtwe one thousand eight hundred
1,900 apem ne ahankron one thousand nine hundred
2,000 mpem mmienu/mpenu two thousand


And on it continues.

Let’s now count in the thousands.


Number Twi English
1,000 apem one thousand
2,000 mpem mmienu/mpenu two thousand
3,000 mpem mmiɛnsa three thousand
4,000 mpem nan four thousand
5,000 mpem num five thousand
6,000 mpem nsia six thousand
7,000 mpem nson seven thousand
8,000 mpem nwɔtwe eight thousand
9,000 mpem nkron nine thousand
10,000 mpem du ten thousand


In ten thounsands:


Number Twi English
10,000 mpem du ten thousand
20,000 mpem aduonu twenty thousand
30,000 mpem aduasa thirty thousand
40,000 mpem aduanan forty thousand
50,000 mpem aduonum fifty thousand
60,000 mpem aduosia sixty thousand
70,000 mpem aduɔson seventy thousand
80,000 mpem aduɔwɔtwe eighty thousand
90,000 mpem aduɔkron ninety thousand
100,000 mpem ɔha one hundred thousand


In hundred thousands:


Number Twi English
100,000 mpem ɔha one hundred thousand
200,000 mpem ahanu two hundred thousand
300,000 mpem ahasa three hundred thousand
400,000 mpem ahanan four hundred thousand
500,000 mpem ahanum five hundred thousand
600,000 mpem ahansia six hundred thousand
700,000 mpem ahanson seven hundred thousand
800,000 mpem ahanwɔtwe eight hundred thousand
900,000 mpem ahankron nine hundred thousand
1,000,000 ɔpepem one million


In millions:


Number Twi English
1,000,000 ɔpepem one million
2,000,000 ɔpepem mmienu two million
3,000,000 ɔpepem mmiɛnsa three million
4,000,000 ɔpepem nan four million
5,000,000 ɔpepem num five million
6,000,000 ɔpepem nsia six million
7,000,000 ɔpepem nson seven million
8,000,000 ɔpepem nwɔtwe eight million
9,000,000 ɔpepem nkron nine million
10,000,000 ɔpepem du ten million


In ten millions:


Number Twi English
10,000,000 ɔpepem du ten million
20,000,000 ɔpepem aduonu twenty million
30,000,000 ɔpepem aduasa thirty million
40,000,000 ɔpepem aduanan forty million
50,000,000 ɔpepem aduonum fifty million
60,000,000 ɔpepem aduosia sixty million
70,000,000 ɔpepem aduɔson seventy million
80,000,000 ɔpepem aduɔwɔtwe eighty million
90,000,000 ɔpepem aduɔkron ninety million
100,000,000 ɔpepem ɔha one hundred million


In hundred millions:


Number Twi English
100,000,000 ɔpepem ɔha one hundred million
200,000,000 ɔpepem ahanu two hundred million
300,000,000 ɔpepem ahasa three hundred million
400,000,000 ɔpepem ahanan four hundred million
500,000,000 ɔpepem ahanum five hundred million
600,000,000 ɔpepem ahansia six hundred million
700,000,000 ɔpepem ahanson seven hundred million
800,000,000 ɔpepem ahanwɔtwe eight hundred million
900,000,000 ɔpepem ahankron nine hundred million
1,000,000,000 ɔpepepem one billion


Whew! Quite extensive, isn’t it?


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8 Responses
  1. Rachel

    Thanks for this lesson! Based on the rules we’ve learned, would one trillion be ɔpepepepem? Also, how would these numbwra be said in monetary terms, like one thousand ghana cedis and twenty-seven pesewas?

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