words for numbers in Slavic languages

Like English, the Slavic languagesPlanetmathPlanetmath derive most of their words for integers from a few words for the numbers 1 to 9 and selected powers of 10.

Also like English, the teens 10<n<20 get their own irregular words which don’t follow the pattern established for 20<n<100. However, these words are irregular in different ways among the different languages. Note also the special Russian word for 40, whereas most of the other Slavic languages use a word which is obviously “four tens.”

The Slavic languages developed from Old Russian and Church Slavonic, adapting the Greek alphabet for their own purposes, coming up with the Cyrillic alphabet.

Modern Russian is of course written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which is still used for some of the other slavic languages. PlanetMath has facilities for including Russian text in entries, however, for the sake of easier comparison, I’ve decided to transliterate the Russian words to the Roman alphabet. Note however that I’ve tried to do so as a speaker of some Slavic language would do, and not as an English-speaker.

If it’s not too much of a digression, I’d like to mention that the Slavic languages using the Roman alphabet are fairly consistent about using “c” only for a “ts” sound (any other sound being indicated by the additionPlanetmathPlanetmath of a diacritical mark). The cited books have much more detailed information on pronunciation than can be given here.

In the following table, the first word given is the cardinal (e.g., “twelve”), and if a second word is given, it’s the ordinalMathworldPlanetmathPlanetmath (e.g., “twelfth”).

n Russian (translit.) Polish Serbo-Croat Slovene
0 nul’ zero nula nič
1 odín, perviy jeden, pierwszy jedan, prvi ena, prvi
2 dva, vtoróy dwa, drugi dva, drugi dva, drugi
3 tri, trétiy trzy, trzecy tri, treći tri, tretje
4 četire, četvyortiy cztery, czwarty četiri, četvrti štiri, četrti
5 pyat’, pyatiy piȩć, pia̧ty pet, peti pet, peti
6 šest’, šestóy sześć, szósty šest, šesti šest, šesti
7 sem’, sedimóy siedem, siódmy sedam, sedmi sedem, sedmi
8 vosém’, vosemóy osiem, ósmy osam, osmi osem, osmi
9 devyat’, devyatiy dziewiȩć, dziewia̧ty devet, deveti devet, deveti
10 desyat’, desyatiy dziesiȩć, dziesia̧ty deset, deseti deset, deseti
11 odinnadcat’, odinnadcatiy jedenaście, jedenasty jedanaest, jedanaesti enajst, enajsti
12 dvenádcat’, dvenádcatiy dwanaście, dwunasty dvanaest, dvanaesti dvanajst, dvanajsti
13 trinádcat’, trinádcatiy trzynaście, trzynasty trinaest, trinaesti trinajst, trinajsti
14 četirnádcat’, četirnádcatiy czternaście, czternasty četrnaest, četrnaesti štirinajst, štirinajsti
15 pyatnádcat’, pyatnádcatiy piȩtnaście, piȩtnaśty petnaest, petnaesti petnajst, petnajsti
16 šestnádcat’, šestnádcatiy szesnaście, szesnasty šestnaest, šestnaesti šestnajst, šestnajsti
17 semnádcat’, semnádcatiy siedemnaście, siedemnasty sedamnaest, sedamnaesti sedemnajst, sedemnajsti
18 vosemnádcat’, vosemnádcatiy osiemnaście, osiemnasty osemnaest, osemnaesti osemnajst, osemnajsti
19 devyatnádcat’, devyatnádcatiy dziewiȩtnaście, dziewiȩtnaśty devetnaest, devetnaesti devetnajst, devetnajsti
20 dvadcat’, dvadcátiy dwadzieścia, dwudziesty dvadeset, dvadeseti dvajdeset, dvajdeseti
21 dvadcat’ odín dwaddzieścia jeden, , dwudziesty pierwszy dvadeset i jedan enaindvajdeset
30 tridcat’, tridcatiy trzydzieści, trzydziesty trideset, trideseti trideset
40 sorok, sorokovóy czterdzieści, czterdziesty četrdeset, četrdeseti štirideset
50 pyat’desyat’ piȩćdziesia̧t, piȩćdziesia̧t pedeset petdeset
60 šest’desyat sześćdziesia̧t, sześćdziesia̧ty šezdeset šestdeset
70 sem’desyat siedemdziesia̧t, siedemdziesia̧ty sedamdeset sedemdeset
80 vocem’desyat osiemdziesia̧t, osiemdziesia̧ty osamdeset osemdeset
90 devyanósto dziewiȩćdziesia̧t, dziewiȩćdziesia̧t devedeset devetdeset
100 sto sto, setny sto, stoci sto, stoti
200 dvesti dwieście, dwusetny dvesta dvesto
300 trista trzyście, trzysetny trista tristo
1000 tisyača tysia̧c, tysiȩczny hiljada, hiljaditi tisoč
2000 dve tisyači dwatysia̧ce dve hiljade
1000000 millión milion milijun milijon

In Serbo-Croat, they say “comma” where we would say “point,” reflecting the European preference for the decimal comma instead of our decimal point. For example, 3.5 = “tri koma pet.” The fractions in Serbo-Croat are as irregular as in most other languages. A few examples:

12 polovina
13 trećine
14 četrvina
1100 stotinka


  • 1 Anonymous, Serbo-Croat Phrasebook Bristol: Hadder & Stoughton Ltd. (1982): 77 - 79
  • 2 Hania Forss, Polish Phrase Book Lincolnwood: NTC Publishing Group (1996): 114 - 117
  • 3 Della Thompson, ed., Oxford Russian Starter Dictionary. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Title words for numbers in Slavic languages
Canonical name WordsForNumbersInSlavicLanguages
Date of creation 2013-03-22 17:33:04
Last modified on 2013-03-22 17:33:04
Owner PrimeFan (13766)
Last modified by PrimeFan (13766)
Numerical id 8
Author PrimeFan (13766)
Entry type Topic
Classification msc 00A99