This post is based on Practical Marshallese by Peter Rudiak-Gould, a freely distributed, full-length textbook for learning the native language of the Marshall Islands. It has been used since 2004 as the official language manual for all volunteers in the WorldTeach Marshall Islands program, and it has formed the basis of language classes for Americans at Kwajalein Atoll. The 102 short lessons describe the grammar of the language in practical and familiar terms, and a glossary presents 1500 useful words.
The following are the numbers of Marshallese. Occasionally you will see old versions of some of the numbers, such as jiljilimjuon for seven, but these are almost never used today, and not worth learning.
|1 juon (pronounced ‘juōn’)||11 joñoul juon (pronounced ‘joñoul juōn’)||10 joñoul||100 jibukwi||1000 juon tọujin (pronounced ‘juōn tọujin’)|
|2 ruo||12 joñoul ruo||20 roñoul||200 rūbukwi||2000 ruo tọujin|
|3 jilu||13 joñoul jilu||30 jilñoul||300 jilubukwi||3000 jilu tọujin|
|4 emān||14 joñoul emān||40 eñoul||400 eabukwi or ābukwi||4000 emān tọujin|
|5 ḷalem||15 joñoul ḷalem||50 lemñoul||500 limabukwi||5000 ḷalem tọujin|
|6 jiljino (pronounced ‘jijino’)||16 joñoul jiljino (pronounced ‘joñoul jijino’)||60 jiljinoñoul (pronounced ‘jijinoñoul’)||600 jiljinobukwi (pronounced ‘jijinobukwi’)||6000 jiljino tọujin (pronounced ‘jijino tọujin’)|
|7 jimjuon||17 joñoul jimjuon||70 jimjuoñoul||700 jimjuonbukwi||7000 jimjuon tọujin|
|8 ralitōk||18 joñoul ralitōk||80 ralitoñoul||800 ralitōkbukwi||8000 ralitōk tọujin|
|9 ratimjuon||19 joñoul ratimjuon||90 ratimjuoñoul||900 ratimjuonbukwi||9000 ratimjuon tọujin|
|10 joñoul||20 roñoul||100 jibukwi||1000 juon tọujin||10000 joñoul tọujin|
As you can see in the second column, to make number likes 14 or 35, you simply say the word for the tens column and then the word for the ones column. For example:
For numbers like 156 or 3892, just add together the words like in English:
|rūbukwi eñoul jilu||two hundred/forty/three||two hundred and forty-three|
|jilu tọujin ralitōkbukwi roñoul ḷalem||three/thousand/eight hundred/twenty/five||three thousand eight hundred and twenty-five|
The following are some phrases that use numbers. They are useful not only for conversation but also for practicing the numbers you have learned.
|Jete awa?||how many/time||What time is it?|
|Jete awa kiiō?||how many/time/now||What time is it now?|
|Jete awa ippaṃ?||how many/time/with you||What time do you have?|
|Ruo awa||two/hour||Two o’clock|
|Ruo awa joñoul minit||two/hour/ten/minute||2:10|
|Ruo awa jimattan||two/hour/half||Half past two|
|Joñoul minit ñan ralitōk awa||ten/minute/to/eight/hour||Ten to eight|
|Joñoul minit jān ralitōk awa||ten/minute/from/eight/hour||Ten after eight|
|Jete aṃ iiō?||how many/your/year||How old are you?|
|____ aō iiō||____/my/year||I am _____ years old|
|Jete wōṇān?||how many/price-its||How much does it cost?|
|Jete wōṇān ____ ?||how many/price-of/____||How much does ____ cost?|
|Jiljino taḷa||six/dollar||Six dollars|
|Lemñoul jāān||fifty/cent||Fifty cents|
|Jiljino taḷa lemñoul jāān||six/dollar/fifty/cent||$6.50|
- A:Iọkwe in raelep.
- B: Iọkwe iọkwe. Ej et mour?
- A:Elukkuun eṃṃan. Etaṃ?
- B: Eta in Tonika.
- A:Jete aṃ iiō kiiō?
- B:Roñoul aō iiō.
- A:Jete awa ippaṃ?
- B: Juon awa jimattan
- A:Koṃṃooltata. Iọkwe eok.
- B: Iọkwe.
- A: Good afternoon.
- B: Hello. How are you?
- A: Great. What’s your name?
- B: My name is Tonika.
- A: How old are you now?
- B: I’m twenty years old.
- A: What time do you have?
- B: Half past one.
- A: Thanks a lot. Goodbye.
|ak or akō||but, what about, or (when asking questions)|
|ñe ej jab||or (when expressing the idea of one or the other)|
|juon||one, a, an|
|jān||from, off, than|
|ñan||to, for, in order to|
|awa (from English)||hour, time, time of the day, o’clock|
- Glossary of Useful Words from Practical Marshallese
- Lesson 1: The letters and sounds of Marshallese
- Lesson 2: Beginning Marshallese Phrases
- Lesson 3: Numbers, time, age, and price
- Lesson 4: Marshallese Words from English
- Lesson 5: Marshallese Subject Pronouns
- Lesson 6: Verbs that work like adjectives
- Lesson 7: The present tense
- Lesson 8: The Past Tense
- Lesson 9: The future tense
- Lesson 10: Near future tense
- Lesson 11: Location
- Lesson 12: Object pronouns
- Lesson 13: The emphatic pronouns
- Lesson 14: Negatives
- Lesson 15: Wrapping up pronouns and tenses
- Lesson 16: Yes/No questions
- Lesson 17: Do you know?, Yes I know, No I don’t know
- Lesson 18: Can you?, Yes I can, No I can’t
- Lesson 19: Wh-questions
- Lesson 20: More about wh-questions
- Lesson 21: Definite and Indefinite Articles, and Plurals
- Lesson 22: Possessives
- Lesson 23: House of, time of, place of
- Lesson 24: With
- Lesson 25: I like, I don’t like
- Lesson 26: There is, there are, there are many
- Lesson 27: I have, you have, I don’t have, you don’t have
- Lesson 28: I have a pencil with me
- Lesson 29: I have one, I have two, I have many
- Lesson 30: Do you have?
- Lesson 31: Not yet and never
- Lesson 32: Perfect Past
- Lesson 33: Negative Perfect Past
- Lesson 34: Perfect Past Questions
- Lesson 35: Adverbs
- Lesson 36: Comparatives in Marshallese
- Lesson 37: After, before
- Lesson 38: More about questions
- Lesson 39: Which fish, what kind of fish, you and who else?
- Lesson 40: Conditionals in Marshallese
- Practical Marshallese