Gurmukhi Numbers
Learning how to read and write Gurmukhi text . . .
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Numbers 0-9 . . .


The numbers are fairly straightforward and there is not a lot to say about them so here they all are.

   Name Notes 
0ciphar ਸਿਫ਼ਰ The Indians invented zero and here, we have a perfectly round emptiness. 'Cipher' (as in the English word for code) means 'nothing'.0
1ekਇੱਕ When reading this, you are most likely to confuse it with a 9. When writing it, try not to have any protruding line to the right of the top or your ੧ could be confused with a badly written ੮; and, don't make the lower part curve too much to the right for the same reason.1
2doਦੋ No need to learn this one. There is a difference in that the flick off the bottom of ੨ has more vertical movement than the conventional western '2'.2
3tinਤਿੰਨ The same as a '3' but with a flick in the same way as the ੨. A clue as to how this one sounds is in the fact that a ੩ looks a bit like a ਤ3
4charਚਾਰ When reading this, you are most likely to confuse it with an 8. As for remembering what the number sounds like, you are on your own.4
5panjਪੰਜ When reading this, you are most likely to confuse it with a 4. A clue as to how this one sounds is in the fact that a ੫ looks a lot like a ਪ - this is more than just coincidence.5
6ccheਛੇ The easy way to remember how this sounds is that it looks like an 'E' with some sort of accent on it that might just sound like 'ਛੇ'6
7sattਸੱਤ This one even looks a bit like a '7' without the bar in the middle. To remember how it sounds, remember that Punjabi is an Indo-European language and 'satt' as similarities with 'sept' (as in September, originally the 7th month of the year, also 'heptane' with 7 carbon atoms), sept (seven in French) and even 'seven'.7
8atthਅੱਠ When reading this, you are most likely to confuse it with a ੯. The loop at the top of the ੯ is easy to put in but if you are writing an ੮ and do it, you will make a mess of it. To remember how it sounds, remember that Punjabi is an Indo-European language and think of the German for 'eight' - 'acht'8
9naunਨੌਂ When reading this, you are most likely to confuse it with an ੮. To remember how it sounds, remember that Punjabi is an Indo-European language and think of the German for 'nine' - 'neun' (pronounced 'noin') - and compare that with 'naun'8

For the sake of completeness, ten (੧੦) is called 'das' (ਦਸ). Numbers are written with the same place values so units on the right, tens to the left of it and so on.

As far as counting goes, with English, you can pretty much guess what comes next when you get to 14 or so (just add a number sound from one of the first 10 and put 'teen' after it. When you are into the twenties, you can guess it all, right to 100. With Punjabi, forget it. Up until 100, they are all different. Look at the Resources page for more on this.

If you want to practice writing numbers and using them, you can try a Gurmukhi Sudoku puzzle by clicking here.

 
James Linden- Let the Devil Wear Black. Work governments, corruption and death. Memoirs of an analyst.
 
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