Venetian numbers

If you want to hear Venetian being spoken, the best thing to do is to hang around on one of the bridges over the regular gondola routes and listen to the gondoliers as they pass underneath.

Yesterday, I heard what could be considered a textbook lesson in counting as a conversation between two gondoliers contained all the numbers up to ten as they discussed their work schedule for the coming ten days.

Venetian numbers are similar to Italian ones but there are significant differences especially the numbers two, due in Italian but do in Venetian; five, cinque (chink-way) in Italian but sinque (sink-way) in Venetian; and ten, dieci (DI-e-chi) in Italian but diese (di-AY-say) in Venetian.

So, if you’ve ever wandered around Venice and wondered about street names such as Campo do pozzi (Square with the two wells) or Calle do spade (Two swords street), now you know.

Here’s the full list, 1-10.

Number Italian Venetian
1 uno un, uno
2 due do
3 tre tre
4 quattro quatro
5 cinque sinque
6 sei sie
7 sette sete
8 otto oto
9 nove nove
10 dieci diese

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