There are only a few words for numbers in the Yerata1 language. Here are all of them, in random order:

imu tere nuopo rowintom
rowintom rowintom
imu tere nuopo re nuopo
rowintom re nuopo
imu tere nuopo
imu tere nuopo rowintom rowintom
imu tere nuopo rowintom re nuopo
imu tere rowintom

Translate to English.

Note: Although the puzzle appears to be very broad, there is only one solution that results in a naturalistic system feasible in a human language.

1: The data is taken from a real language, but its name and the number words have been changed so that the solution cannot be found online.


1 Answer 1


I believe this is...

a base 5 numeral system, also known as quinary

The numbers would be:

1 = nuobo
2 = rowintom
3 = rowintom re nuopo
4 = rowintom rowintom
5 = imu tere nuopo
6 = imu tere nuopo re nuopo
7 = imu tere nuopo rowintom
8 = imu tere nuopo rowintom re nuopo
9 = imu tere nuopo rowintom rowintom
10 = imu tere rowintom

I guess the words mean:

nuobo / nuopo = 1
rowintom = 2
imu (or tere) = 5
re = and
tere (or imu) = times

Thus "imu tere nuopo rowintom re nuopo" would mean "5 times 1 (and) 2 and 1", that is 8.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ That was fast, nicely done! "imu tere" (or "eno para" in the original language, Warupu) actually means "hand" - so, "one hand" = 5, "two hands" = 10. $\endgroup$
    – Doorknob
    Aug 6, 2018 at 23:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was about to propose Nunggubuyu (or Wubuy) which was listed in the Wikipedia article about quinary. Thanks for this puzzle @Doorknob. It was especially interesting as it was based on true facts. $\endgroup$
    – xhienne
    Aug 6, 2018 at 23:55

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