Plural forms of foreign currency

Discussion in 'English Only' started by K-Au English, Jun 30, 2008.

  1. K-Au English Junior Member

    Thailand, Thai
    Dear all,

    According to my knowledge, we always use plural form of English currency such as pounds, dollars, but I have just found one sentence of a Thai grammar book using Thai currency, that is, "bath". " Three thousand bahts is too high for this camera." So, which way is correct, would you please tell me?

    Regards,

    K-Au English
     
  2. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    What exactly is your question, K-Au English?

    Do you want to know whether all foreign currencies can be made into plural forms by adding 's'?

    Also, the Thai currency is Baht

    We use the plural form when more than one unit is involved. We would say One Dollar, One Pound, but Two Dollars, Two Pounds
     
  3. K-Au English Junior Member

    Thailand, Thai
    Dear Sir,
    Then, "Three bahts" is okay, sir.

    Regards,

    K-Au English
     
  4. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    For my money, I'd say 3 baht, 4 yuan, and 5 yen, but 10 rubles and 8 rupees. This is probably a matter of personal taste.
     
  5. mtmjr

    mtmjr Senior Member

    California/Ohio (US)
    English (US)
    I agree, your examples do sound better without the "s".
     
  6. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    Now that you have mentioned it bibliolept, yes, I would also choose 4 yuan, mainly because saying yuans seems too taxing somehow...
     
  7. mjscott Senior Member

    Maybe this would better be served if moved to a cultural forum, rather than English only....
     
  8. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    And, in their time, I'd say 9 lira and 10 francs.... Certainly there would be some influence from the pluralization in the original languages.
     
  9. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    Your example is at variance with your supposition, at least as far as lire are concerned. This is a matter of habit, perhaps influenced by euphony. I know of no real or purported "rules" that govern our way of forming the plural of foreign currency names.

    In AE we tend to use yen and yuan for both singular and plural, as we do with baht. Escudos, pesetas, francs, and other pre-Euro currencies had an s stuck on the end when they became plural. Italian lira/lire? I have always used the latter, but I imagine some people might have said liras or even lira.
     
  10. bibliolept

    bibliolept Senior Member

    Northern California
    AE, Español
    I do know that the plural of lira is lire, but in English I might have easily said either lire or lira and would probably write lire. I meant simply that in the case of lira/lire, the fact that there is no "s" in the original pluralization might influence me in choosing to avoid the "s" when pluralizing lira in English.

    I don't know of any rule either: I think that the pluralization in the language of origin can be a factor. Mellifluousness and habit are far more significant factors, I'm sure.
     
  11. gasman Senior Member

    Canada, English
    Is it possible to ask when, in a group from all over the world, is a currency foreign?
     
  12. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    EEUU-inglés
    When it's not from an English speaking place. This forum is monolingual, English, so we are discussing the ways English speakers form the plurals of what are, for them, foreign currencies.

    My two pence.
     
  13. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Jerusalem
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    English-speakers usually pretty much massacre our Israeli currency. The base is the sheqel. Our plural is shqalim, admittedly hard for non-Hebrew speakers to get their tongues around, so we are resigned to "shekels". The sheqel is worth 100 agorot (singular, agora). For some reason, many English speakers don't mess around with agoras and go straight to agorots.
     
  14. gasman Senior Member

    Canada, English
    "Agora" struck my fancy, and demonstrates the continuity of history in the area quite remarkably. The ancient Greeks, Persians, and goodness knows who else, held sway over the area for centuries, but their markets were called "agora" as far as I remember. Now here is the term still in use in a related field!
     
  15. pepperfire Senior Member

    Canada - English & French
    It has been my experience that we English have a very good habit of historically bastardizing whichever language did not suit our needs. But then, we do that with history books too. :)

    I suppose that's off topic, but on topic... I had no idea that Lire was the plural of Lira and thus would have said 20,000 Lira.
    Francs, dollars, Euros, but Yen, Yuan and indeed Bahts.

    Just my two cents
     

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