Learn about Numbers in Javanese – Vocabularies and Examples

There are a lot of topics when we learn a new language. One of the crucial thing that we have to learn is numbering. In learning English, numbering is taught before the children get to learn in school. In this case, the parents or caregiver take a role. What about learning another language? It applies as well. for example when we want to learn Javanese. Learning numbers in Javanese is the basic.

However, Javanese is not as simple as English. It is more complex. Although Javanese has a lot of dialects, but when it comes to number, Javanese people still has the same number.
So, where is the complexity?

In Javanese, there are three ways to utter number. They are Jawa Kuna or Jawa Kawi, Jawa Krama, and Jawa Ngoko. The use of the numbers in Javanese depends on the situation, listener, and social status.

  • Jawa Kawi

1 = eka
2 = dwi
3 = tri
4 = catur
5 = panca
6 = sad
7 = sapta
8 = astha
9 = nawa
10 = dasa

Jawa Kuna or Jawa Kawi is ancient Javanese. But Javanese people barely use Jawa Kawi. They usually use Jawa Krama and Jawa Inggil. It is difficult to find someone count in Jawa Kawi. However, if someone want to utter number in Jawa Kawi, they can go to palace especially of Java ruler called Keraton.

It is because Jawa Kawi is spoken by elite. There are few Keraton in Java such as Keraton Mangkunagaram, Keraton Ngayogyakrta Hadiningrat, Keraton Sumenep, and Keraton Kesepuhan. People in Keraton use Jawa Kawi in ritual, religious ceremony, and wedding ceremony. Let’s learn more about Learn Javanese Alphabet

In this case, they utter number in Jawa Kawi in very formal situation. Jawa Kuna also can be found in temple and inheritance of the ancient kingdom like Majapahit.

Here’s the example of Jawa Kawi.

Dwi Naga Rasa Tunggal. It is symbol of Keraton Yogyakarta that means 1682. This year is actually the year of establishment of Yogyakarta palace. 

  • Jawa Krama

1 = setunggal
2 = kaleh
3 = tiga
4 = sekawan
5 = gangsal
6 = enem
7 = pitu
8 = wolu
9 = songo
10 = sedasa
11 = sewelas
12 = kalehwelas
13 = tigowelas
14 = sekawanwelas
15 = gangsalwelas
16 = nembelas
17 = pitulas
18 = wolulas
19 = songolas
20 = kalehdasa

Jawa Krama is spoken by all Javanese people. It is not only for elite. Jawa Krama is used when a speaker talks to someone who is older, someone with higher social status, and in formal situation. It shows respect and politeness to the listeners. The kids must talk in Jawa Krama when they talk to their parents or grandparents even they only utter number. Let’s take a look on Javanese slang words

Here’s the example of use Jawa Krama in uttering number.

Buyer : Pinten regane gendhin punika? ( How much is the sugar cost?)
Seller : Sekawanwelas ewu. ( Fourteen thousand.)

The conversation above happens when a buyer asks for the price. The buyer uses Jawa Krama because they just meet or in other words there is no closeness between them. Let’s learn more about Javanese Swear Words

  • Jawa Ngoko

1 = siji
2 = loro
3 = telu
4 = papat
5 = lima
6 = enem
7 = pitu
8 = wolu
9 = songo
10 = sepuluh
11 = sewelas
12 = rolas
13 = telulas
14 = patbelas
15 = limolas
16 = nembelas
17 = pitulas
18 = wolulas
19 = songolas
20 = rongpuloh

Let’s learn how to address people in Javanese The last one is Jawa Ngoko. Javanese people use Jawa Ngoko in informal situation. They utter this when they talk to someone who has the same age as them. Besides, people are comfortable when they speak to someone who is close to them in Jawa Ngoko.

It also applies when they utter number. In this case, Jawa Ngoko is uttered when the speaker and listener has the same age and social status.

Here’s the example of Jawa Ngoko.

Rahma : Tanggal lairmu kapan? ( When were you born?)
Bayu : Siji September 2000. ( First of September 2000)

The examples above is the conversation between friends. As it can be seen, the situation is informal.
Grandmother : Kelas piro kowe? ( What grade are you in?) informal way.
Bayu : Kulo kelas gangsal. ( I am in fifth grade.) formal way.

The conversation happens between the grandmother and her grandchild. The grandmother asks in Jawa Ngoko, while the grandchild answer in Jawa Krama. There is a switch in Javanese. It happens because the grandchild has to show respect to someone who is older than him. Indeed, hope the theory about numbers in Javanese is useful for you.