Counting: numerals and quantifier words

In previous lesson about nouns we discussed that Nûrlâm does not differentiate between singular and plural nouns, and we learned how to clarify that noun is singular using the articles. But while nouns are plural by default, like “uruk” probably means more than one “orc”, it's recommended to clarify that noun is plural anyway. We can specify the exact quantity using the numerals or use the words substituting exact numbers with words referring to uncertain quantity or amount (such words are called “quantifiers”).

Please remember, that some nouns in Nûrlâm are uncountable (the dictionary usually marks them in the comments). You can't specify exact quantity with numbers (including indefinite artice “ash”) for uncountable nouns, but you still can use quantifiers, and these words may be translated as plural (e.g. “ghâsh” may mean “fire” or “fires”, but you can't say “krâk ghâsh” = “five fire(s)”).


Simple numbers used to specify the exact quantity are called “cardinal numbers”.

Number Black Speech
1 ash
2 krul
3 krig
4 hant
5 krâk
6 ink
7 udug
8 skri
9 krith
10 nuk
100 tusk
1000 mink

The word “nar” may be used for “zero”, but it's not really a numeral, but rather a quantifier word (see below). It is not used in big numbers.

Cardinal numbers are placed before the noun, and unlike languages like Finnish and Russian the noun doesn't change when quantity is specified. Examples: “five orcs” ⇒ “krâk uruk”, “three rings” ⇒ “krig nazg”

Bigger numbers

Numbers from 11 to 19 are formed by saying something like “ten” and digit right after that. Nûrlâm do not have special words for 11 and 12. But as the word for “ten” is “nuk” and many numbers start with “k-”, the result uses only one “-k-”, similarly like compound word “nazgûl” is made from “nazg” and “gûl”.

Number 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19
Black Speech nukash nukrul nukrig nukhant nukrâk nukink nukudug nuskri nukrith

Multiples of ten (20 – 90) are formed as <multiplier>nuk:

Number 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
Black Speech krulnuk krignuk hantnuk krâknuk inknuk udugnuk skrinuk krithnuk

Hundreds are formed regularily as <multiplier>tusk (except 400 = “hantusk”). Similarly thousands are made as <multiplier>mink. Millions can be expressed as <multiplier>minkmink (lit. thousands of thousand). The word “one” = “ash” is usually when saying “one hundred/thousand/million”.

The word “agh” (and) separates every exponent of ten except in numbers from 11 to 19.


To translate the number 32768 into Nûrlâm we express it as: (3 * 10 + 2)x1000 + 7×100 + 60 + 8. Thus it becomes “krignukh agh krul mink agh udugtusk agh inknuk agh skri”.

To translate number 1917 ⇒ 1000 + 9×100 + 17 ⇒ mink agh krithtusk agh nukudug.


Quantifier words are used to express uncertain amount or quantity. They are usually1) placed before the noun, just like numbers. Common quantifier words include: “mak” (many, much), “mik” (little), “mûd” (some, few, several), “nar” (no, none), “ûk” (all). Nûrlâm uses the same quantifier words for countable and uncountable nouns. E.g. “mak uruk” = “many orcs”, “mak push” = “a lot of shit”, “mak hrizg” = “much pain”. Please note that quantifiers shall not be used with definite article suffix “-um”, for example “all the pain” should be translated just as “all pain” (“ûk hrizg”) or using word “za” (“ûk za hrizg”).

New words

  • agh (and)
  • hrizg (pain)
  • hant (four)
  • ink (six)
  • kon (any)
  • krâk (five)
  • krig (three)
  • krith (nine)
  • krul (two)
  • mak (many, much, a lot of)
  • mik (little)
  • mink (thousand)
  • mûd (some, few, several)
  • nar (no, none, zero)
  • nuk (ten)
  • skri (eight)
  • tug (single, only)
  • tusk (hundred)
  • udug (seven)
  • ûk (all)

Exercise 1

Translate the following phrases into Nûrlâm:

  1. a lot of blood
  2. all the filth
  3. eight trolls
  4. four slayers
  5. little shit
  6. nine wraiths
  7. one ring
  8. some sorcery
  9. one thousand warriors
  10. two towers

show answers

show answers

  1. mak ghâsh
  2. ûk dug / dugûk / ûk za dug / za dugûk
  3. skri olog
  4. hant dog
  5. mik push
  6. krith gûl
  7. ash nazg
  8. mûd dush
  9. mink mauh
  10. krul lûg

Exercise 2

Translate from Nûrlâm into English:

  1. ink lag
  2. kon tark
  3. krâk lûg
  4. krig golug
  5. nar nîn
  6. nuk rod
  7. tug burz
  8. tusk uruk
  9. udug hont
  10. za hrizg

show answers

show answers

  1. six swords
  2. any man
  3. five dragons
  4. three elves
  5. no water
  6. ten mountains
  7. only darkness
  8. one hundred orcs
  9. seven eyes
  10. this pain

Exercise 3

Translate big numbers into Nûrlâm, or from Nûrlâm into numbers:

  1. 21
  2. 42
  3. 69
  4. tusk agh hantnuk agh hant
  5. 666
  6. 911
  7. 1024
  8. krithmink agh ash
  9. 100500
  10. krigminkmink

show answers

show answers

  1. krulnuk agh ash
  2. hantnuk agh krul
  3. inknuk agh krith
  4. 144
  5. inktusk agh inknuk agh ink
  6. krithtusk agh nukash
  7. mink agh krulnuk agh hant
  8. 9001
  9. tuskmink agh krâktusk
  10. 3000000

See also

but not always, we'll return to this in a few lessons
lessons/counting.txt · Last modified: 2023/09/22 18:04 by morgoth