### Re: Stamps motivate us to engage with languages

Posted:

**18 Sep 2020 06:17****Numerals in Mandarin Chinese**

Let's look at

**numerals**in Mandarin Chinese.

An early post in this thread included some introductory discussion of the numerals:

https://www.stampboards.com/viewtopic.php?f=13&t=90529&start=56

We now look at the subject more thoroughly.

Of course, the numeral characters are the same in various forms of Chinese, but their pronunciation

differs if they are pronounced in Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, and so on. I will give the Mandarin

Chinese pronunciations.

**普通话**[pǔtōnghuà] —

*Mandarin Chinese*

**Basic Mandarin numerals**

**一到十**[yī dào shí] —

*one up to ten*

**一**[yī] —

*one*

**二**[èr] —

*two*

**三**[sān] —

*three*

**四**[sì] —

*four*

**五**[wǔ] —

*five*

**六**[liù] —

*six*

**七**[qī] —

*seven*

**八**[bā] —

*eight*

**九**[jiǔ] —

*nine*

**十**[shí] —

*ten*

**Compound Mandarin numerals**

In English and other European languages there are special words for various numbers beyond ten.

In Mandarin Chinese the numbers beyond ten (and below a hundred) are straightforward compounds

of the simple numbers. The principles are readily conveyed by a few examples, as follows:

**十一至九十九**[shíyī zhì jiǔshíjiǔ] —

*eleven to ninety-nine*

**十一**[shíyī] —

*eleven*

**十二**[shíèr] —

*twelve*

**十五**[shíwǔ] —

*fifteen*

**十八**[shíbā] —

*eighteen*

**二十**[èrshí] —

*twenty*

**三十**[sānshí] —

*thirty*

**四十**[sìshí] —

*forty*

**七十**[qīshí] —

*seventy*

**二十一**[èrshíyī] —

*twenty-one*

**三十二**[sānshíèr] —

*thirty-two*

**三十九**[sānshíjiǔ] —

*thirty-nine*

**五十四**[wǔshísì] —

*fifty-four*

**八十七**[bāshíqī] —

*eighty-seven*

**九十九**[jiǔshíjiǔ] —

*ninety-nine*

**Larger Mandarin numerals**

**一百**[yībǎi] —

*one hundred*= 10^2

**一千**[yīqiān] —

*one thousand*= 10^3

**一万**[yīwàn] —

*ten thousand*= 10^4

**一百万**[yībǎiwàn] —

*one million*= 100 x 10^4

**一亿**[yīyì] —

*one hundred million*= 10^8

**十亿**[shíyì] —

*one billion*= 10 x 10^8

**一兆**[yīzhào] —

*one trillion*= 10^12

**Larger Mandarin numerals (examples)**

**二百五十六**[èrbǎi wǔshíliù] —

*256*

**二千二十**[èrqiān èrshí] —

*2020*

Western numerals are widely used. Today's date, for example:

**2020年9月17日**[èrqiān èrshí nián jiǔ yuè shíqī rì]

—

*17 September 2020*

Literally: "2020 year 9 month 17 day".

**Two sets of Mandarin numerals**

The complex numerals are used on cheques, coins and bank notesWikipedia wrote:There are two sets of characters for Chinese numerals: one for everyday writing, known asxiǎoxiěChinese (trad.) 小寫, (simpl.) 小写, lit.—small writing, and one for use in commercial or financial contexts, known asdàxiěChinese (trad.) 大寫, (simpl.) 大写, lit.—large writing. The latter arose because the characters used for writing numerals are geometrically simple, so simply using those numerals cannot prevent forgeries in the same way spelling numbers out in English would. A forger could easily change the everyday characters 三十 (30) to 五千 (5000) just by adding a few strokes. That would not be possible when writing using the financial characters 參拾 (30) and 伍仟 (5000). They are also referred to as "banker's numerals", "anti-fraud numerals", or "banker's anti-fraud numerals".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_numerals

**壹**[yī] —

*one*

**貳**[èr] —

*two*

**叁**[sān] —

*three*

**肆**[sì] —

*four*

**伍**[wǔ] —

*five*

**陸**[liù] —

*six*

**柒**[qī] —

*seven*

**捌**[bā] —

*eight*

**玖**[jiǔ] —

*nine*

**拾**[shí] —

*ten*

**拾壹**[shíyī] —

*eleven*

**拾貳**[shíèr] —

*twelve*

**拾伍**[shíwǔ] —

*fifteen*

**拾捌**[shíbā] —

*eighteen*

**貳拾**[èrshí] —

*twenty*

**叁拾**[sānshí] —

*thirty*

**肆拾**[sìshí] —

*forty*

**柒拾**[qīshí] —

*seventy*

**貳拾壹**[èrshíyī] —

*twenty-one*

**叁拾貳**[sānshíèr] —

*thirty-two*

**叁拾玖**[sānshíjiǔ] —

*thirty-nine*

**伍拾肆**[wǔshísì] —

*fifty-four*

**捌拾柒**[bāshíqī] —

*eighty-seven*

**玖拾玖**[jiǔshíjiǔ] —

*ninety-nine*

**壹佰**[yībǎi] —

*one hundred*= 10^2

**壹仟**[yīqiān] —

*one thousand*= 10^3

**壹萬**[yīwàn] —

*ten thousand*= 10^4

**壹佰萬**[yībǎiwàn] —

*one million*= 100 x 10^4

**壹億**[yīyì] —

*one hundred million*= 10^8

**拾億**[shíyì] —

*one billion*= 10 x 10^8

**壹兆**[yīzhào] —

*one trillion*= 10^12

/RogerE