Kung Fu – Mandarin & Cantonese Numbers

This page will help you to count in Chinese for Kung Fu. This Chinese martial arts uses many Mandarin or Cantonese words based on where a specific Kung Fu style was developed. Mandarin is the official language of China and Cantonese is the native language for many southern Chinese. Mandarin terms are often used by northern Chinese martial arts and Cantonese words are used by the instructors of many southern Chinese martial arts styles.

Chinese numbers are used in Kung Fu for many training purposes such as counting during stretching and performing forms (taolu). We have also added videos below that teach the proper pronunciation of Chinese numbers in Mandarin and Cantonese. For other Kung Fu terms and words (i.e. Chinese names for kicks and punches), visit the Kung Fu Terminology page.

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Kung Fu Numbers – Counting in Mandarin

  • 1 – Yi (sounds like E)
  • 2 – Er (sounds like R)
  • 3 – San
  • 4 – Si
  • 5 – Wu
  • 6 – Liu
  • 7 – Chee
  • 8 – Ba
  • 9 – Jiu
  • 10 – Shi
  • 11 – Shi-Yi (10 and 1)
  • 12 – Shi-Er
  • 13 – Shi-San
  • 14 – Shi-Si
  • 15 – Shi-Wu
  • 16 – Shi-Liu
  • 17 – Shi-Chee
  • 18 – Shi-Ba
  • 19 – Shi-Jiu
  • 20 – Er-Shi (2 and 10)

Kung Fu Numbers – Counting in Cantonese

  • 1 – Yat (like the boat)
  • 2 – Yee
  • 3 – Saam (like “saw” with a “M” at the end”
  • 4 – Sei (like “say”)
  • 5 – Ng (like “mm”)
  • 6 – Luk
  • 7 – Chaat
  • 8 – Baat
  • 9 – Gaau
  • 10 – Sup
  • 11 – Sup Yat (10 and 1)
  • 12 – Sup Yee
  • 13 – Sup Saam
  • 14 – Sup Sei
  • 15 – Sup Ng
  • 16 – Sup Luk
  • 17 – Sup Chaat
  • 18 – Sup Baat
  • 19 – Sup Gaau
  • 20 – Yee Sup (2 and 10)

How to Count in Mandarin

How to Count in Cantonese