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# What languages do not use the 'numerical alphabet' that we are all so used to: 1, 2, 3, etc.?

Question #95944. Asked by crazycube. (May 22 08 1:49 AM)

kthnos

The Celtic one.

http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Forum/7280/celtcnum.html

 May 22 08, 2:11 AM
author

There is also the Maya numerical system, which is different from ours.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maya_numerals

The Piraha culture in the Amazonas does not have numbers at all.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/spiegel/0,1518,414291,00.html

 May 22 08, 7:47 AM
richard_n413

Most use the Arabic system... i.e. 1,2,3 etc. This is known as the decimal, or to base ten, system, and there are many others: binary, quaternaty, octal, hexadecimal - all of which use some or all of the numbers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,0 and A,B,C,D,E,F.

Then there is Roman numerals: I,V,X,L,C,D,M.
There are also others on wikipedia - take a browse!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Numeral_system

 May 22 08, 9:43 AM
queproblema

I was waiting for Arpy or GG17 to mention the Hebrew system. I would guess modern-day Israelis use Arabic numerals--how galling!

Response?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_numerals

 May 23 08, 1:18 PM
Arpeggionist

Hebrew uses Arabic numerals. Though they are not to be found in ancient texts (mainly because they were only introduced a few hundred years ago).

 May 24 08, 7:58 PM
queproblema

I'll just paste this in from my link above.

"The system of Hebrew numerals is a quasi-decimal alphabetic numeral system using the letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

"In this system, there is no notation for zero, and the numeric values for individual letters are added together. Each unit (1, 2, ..., 9) is assigned a separate letter, each tens (10, 20, ..., 90) a separate letter, and each hundreds (100, 200, ..., 900) a separate letter."

As far as I know, of the ancient languages only Chinese had distinct symbols for numbers.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_numerals

Notice the box entitled "Numeral systems by culture" to the right on the page above for more details. "Arabic" numerals were devised in India by about 500 CE.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabic_numerals

 May 24 08, 10:49 PM

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