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Question About Other Languages

 
 
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 12:52 pm
Don't know why I was thinking of this but are numbers written (as in 1,2,3...) the same in every language? I know they are spelled out differently. But am I just stupid or are they the same everywhere?
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Type: Question • Score: 5 • Views: 1,941 • Replies: 19
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 12:54 pm
http://www.omniglot.com/language/numerals.htm

roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 12:55 pm
@Bella Dea,
1,2, 3 seems standard for those using the same alphabet, like Spanish and German.
0 Replies
 
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 01:12 pm
@chai2,

So, if you sit a maths examination in complex Chinese, how do they know if you're right or wrong? Rolling Eyes
roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 04:46 pm
@McTag,
Easy. You get a big red X if it's wong.
0 Replies
 
ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 04:47 pm
@chai2,
ooh, that's a very cool website!
0 Replies
 
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 05:09 pm
@Bella Dea,
mayan numeral system

http://www.mathdaily.com/lessons/upload/thumb/e/e3/200px-Mexico.MayaNumeralTable.01.png
0 Replies
 
JTT
 
  2  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 08:58 pm
@Bella Dea,
Because English is the world language for business, Bella Dea, every country, at least in its business sector, would understand and be able to use our system of numerals. But there are other symbols for numbers in other languages.
Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 10:05 pm
@Bella Dea,
I assume you're familiar with Roman numerals, Bella? You know -- I, II,III, IV, V, VII etc, etc. X is ten, C is 100 and so forth, That's just one example of a totally different system, even though it still uses a base-10. What we use today are called Arabic numerals because it was supposedly the Arabs who invented this system and introduced it to the Europeans during the Middle Ages. However, knowing these so-called "Arabic" numerals ain't gonna do ya a bit of good if you're visiting a country where Arabic is the major language. They use an entirely different set of squiggles. I discovered this when I was visiting Damascus, Syria some years ago.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Wed 15 Oct, 2008 10:07 pm
@Bella Dea,
Btw, JTT is absolutely correct in saying that in financial transactions the Arabic numerals have become standard worldwide just like the Christian calendar.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 12:44 am
@JTT,
JTT wrote:

Because English is the world language for business, Bella Dea, every country, at least in its business sector, would understand and be able to use our system of numerals.


Actually, it has less to do with the English language but with the invention of the printing press.
The use of Roman and Arabic was accepted differently (I have some books from 16th century, which hardly use any Arabic numerals but for the printing date, another from 18th century which uses Roman numerals quite often [but not as page numbers, too]. Wont bother you with photos.)
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 12:52 am
@Walter Hinteler,
I just looked through the newer book again: the author/printer uses Roman numerals there mainly for dates (only), even for notes in the margin (which isn't done in the older books I have).
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Thu 16 Oct, 2008 02:39 am
Apparently it was common throughout the ancient med basin to use letters for numbers as we see in Roman numerals. There are also claims that numerical representations of entire phrases and sentences were meaningful at one time:

http://www.biblecode.com/

0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2008 06:45 am
I knew I could count on you guys! That is really interesting! Thanks!
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2008 06:56 am
@Bella Dea,
Numbers are similar and in most cases nearly identical within our own Indo-European family of languages, English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Russian etc. Between any two families of languages they are not similar or related other than possibly for borrowing.
0 Replies
 
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Fri 17 Oct, 2008 07:02 am
Here's one for anybody into history of languages...

At some early point within our Indo-European family at least there was something about the number eight which was associated with the day time so that the word for "night" became "no eight" in many if not most of the languages; i.e. the idea is the same in the various languages but the word itself varies with "eight" as it is spoken in each of them:

'night' -- English
Nacht -- German
nuit -- French
noch -- Russian etc. etc.
saab
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2008 11:45 am
@gungasnake,
I don´t understand the no eight becoming night in most Indo-European languages.
No eight in German would be kein acht
No eight in Swedish would be ingen atta (first a should be written with an o above) Night is natt in Swedish.
In Danish it would be ingen otte - even better ingen ottetal. Night is nat in Danish
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2008 03:51 pm
@gungasnake,
That's interesting, but doesn't seem true:
greek: οκτω,
latin: octo,
goth. ahtau,
Old High German ahtô,
Middle High German ahte,
etc. etc.

Nacht (night) is in Old High German and Middle High German the same: naht.

Just as one example ...
gungasnake
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2008 09:50 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
night = no eight/no light;
german: nacht = nein acht; (nacht = night, nein = no, acht = eight)
spanish: noche = no ocho; (noche = night, ocho = eight)
italian: notte = no otto; (...)
french: non huit = nuit (...)
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Sun 19 Oct, 2008 10:26 pm
@gungasnake,

That seems too far-fetched to be credible.
0 Replies
 
 

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