N'Ko script numbers ("There are 12345 eggs")

I am working on a hobby project on the backwaters of Unicode and have got to the “NKo” block (U+07C0-07FF). I’m fascinated by the right-to-left nature of numbers in the N’Ko script and would like to find an example phrase in Manding (standardized unified koiné) to go alongside the following:

There are 12345 eggs = English
Υπάρχουν 12345 αυγά = Greek
يوجد ١٢٣٤٥ بيضة = Arabic
יש 12345 ביצים = Hebrew

Something like

??? ߁߂߃߄߅ ??? = N’Ko

In N’Ko writing, the digits of “12345” are apparently presented right-to-left “߁߂߃߄߅” unlike almost all other systems. Is this (still) true? Are the N’Ko numerals (still) used in preference to Arabic numerals? What would the example phrase be? Have I asked more than one question?

Thank in advance,
Ian, Cambridgeshire, UK


Hi Ian! Thanks for posting this in the Forum :slight_smile:

To say the equivalent of “There are 12345 eggs” in Manding written in N’ko, it would look likely look something this:

߁߂߃߄߅ ߞߟߌ߫ ߦߋ߫ ߦߋ߲߬

{12345 kili ye yen}

Lit. ‘12345 egg are.located there’

(I cover the grammar of such a sentence in episode 11 of Basic Bambara; you just need to substitute ye for the situative copula in general in N’ko texts)

As for your other questions (yes, you have kind of stretched the one question - one post principle, but it makes sense in this case, it seems)

  • Yes, N’ko numerals/digits are written right to left just like the rest of the writing system.
  • Yes, N’ko numerals are used in N’ko texts. I don’t think that I have ever seen Latin or Arabic script numerals mixed in-line into an N’ko text.
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Thank you, Coleman. That’s very helpful. ߷

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