Reading decimal numbers

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hello, I wonder how less common languages read decimal numbers.
    Do you use any special way like all Slavic languages and Hungarian or you just follow the English way (three point six...)Thanks

    3.25 three and twenty-five hundredth / or the more common 3 point 25 [point and its counterpart is used in Romance and Germanic languages]
    3.5 three and five tenth / 3 point 5

    While in Hungarian and in Slavic languages word "whole" is used after the integer part:

    3,25 három egész huszonöt század [3 whole 25 hundredth]

    3,25 tři celé dvacetpět setin [3 wholes 25 hundredth]

  2. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    3,25= üç tam yüzde yirmi beş [3 whole 25 in 100] / üç virgül yirmi beş [3 comma 25]
  3. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Hi Encolpius (long time no see)

    In Greek:

    3,25 «τρία και εικοσιπέντε εκατοστά» ['tri.a ce ikosi'pende ekato'sta] --> lit. three and twenty five hundredths*
    «τρία κόμμα εικοσιπέντε» ['tri.a 'koma ikosi'pende] --> lit. three comma twenty five**

    3,5 «τρία και πέντε δέκατα» ['tri.a ce 'pende 'ðekata] --> lit. three and five tenths*
    «τρία κόμμα πέντε ['tri.a 'koma 'pende] --> lit. three comma five**
    «τρεισήμισι [tri'simisi] (masc. & fem.) - «τριάμισι» [tri'amisi] (neut.) --> lit. three-half***

    * More formal and scientific
    ** Informal speech/vernacular language
    *** Most popular colloquialism

    Please note that
    (i) we use decimal comma and not point, which is formally called «υποδιαστολή» [ipoði.asto'li] (fem. noun) < Hellenistic Gr. «ὑποδιαστολὴ» hŭpŏdĭăstŏlḕ (fem.) --> mark to divide words from one another
    (ii) it's tenths / hundredths - plural and not singular.
  4. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French:

    3,25 = trois virgule ving-cinq (literally: three comma twenty-five)
    3,5 = trois virgule cinq (literally: three comma five) or trois et demi (literally: three and half)
  5. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Wow, that's fantastic...I wonder how about Arabic or Persian, now...
  6. learnerr Senior Member

    Russian: generally, in two ways.
    1. Восемь целых двадцать пять сотых ("eight integers twenty five hundredths")
    2. Восемь двадцать пять ("eight twenty five"); 8,06 = "восемь ноль-шесть" ("eight zero-six")
    3. Восемь с четвертью ("eight with a quarter")
    The first one is seldom used colloquially. The second is never written. With special numbers, like this one, other ways happen to be possible, like the third one of the listed for the example number, but never the words for "comma" or "dot" appear in the name.
  7. ahmedcowon Senior Member

    In Arabic, we also use comma not point:
    ٣,٢٥ = /thalaatha faasel khamsa wa ʿishroun/ ثلاثة فاصل خمسة وعشرون (three comma twenty-five)
    ٦٫٠٠١ = /sitta faasel sifr sifr waaħed/ ستة فاصل صفر صفر واحد (six comma zero zero one)

    Another way to say it but is only used with tenths not hundredths:
    ٣,٥ = /thalaatha wa khamsat aʿshaar/ ثلاثة وخمسة أعشار (three and five tenths)

    In Egyptian Arabic, we say:
    ٣,٢٥ = /talata we khamsa we ʿishreen min miyya/ (three and twenty-five from hundred)
    ٦٫٠٠١ = /sitta we waħed min alf/ (six and one from thousand)
  8. arielipi Senior Member

    In hebrew we use either comma or dot, but mostly dot is for numbers, weight while comma is for temperature.
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Dutch: 3,25 - drie komma vijfentwintig (drie gehelen [wholes] is very uncommon, vijfentwintig honderdsten [hundredths] is not quite uncommon). OK ?
  10. Codinome Shlomo Senior Member

    Portuguese (Brazil)
    Portuguese: 3,25 -> três e vinte e cinco (lit.: three and twenty five) or três e vinte e cinco centésimos (lit.: three and twenty-five hundredths).
    There is also: três vírgula vinte e cinco (lit.: three comma twenty five)
  11. bibax Senior Member


    The word celé is an adjective (fem. plur. nom. in Encolpius' example), it means 'whole, entire, unbroken'. It stands for celá část (fem.) = whole/entire part (Lat. pars integra, also feminine, by sheer chance), the noun část (= part) is usually omitted.

    The entire expression is fully declinable, e.g. se třemi celými [částmi] a dvacetipěti setinami = with 3 whole [parts] and 25 hundreths (all words after the preposition se 'with' are in instrumental), in Latin (non-Classical, of course) it would be: cum tribus integris [partibus] et viginti quinque centesimis [partibus].
  12. Treaty Senior Member

    In Persian there are two trends:

    1. For easily readable decimal digits we use the fraction reading:
    3.25 or ۳/۲۵ = سه و بیست و پنج صدم se [h]o bīst-o panj sadom (three and twenty-five hundredth)
    3.0025 or ۳/۰۰۲۵ = سه و بیست و پنج ده هزارم se [h]o bīst-o panj dah hezrom (three and twenty-five ten-thousandth)

    2. Otherwise, we read the number after calling the delimiter:
    3.25 or ۳/۲۵ سه ممیز بیست و پنج se momayyez bīst-o panj (three delimiter twenty five) or سه ممیز دو پنج se momayyez do panj (three delimiter two five).

    An exception is .5 which is normally called as half:
    3.5 or ۳/۵ سه و نیم se [h]o nīm (three and half).

    Note that fore-slash is used for the decimal number in Persian. Instead, for division we use ÷ or simply the fraction horizontal line.
  13. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hello Thomas, you, too, must admit it is an interesting comment....another language which knows the word "whole" in that case...BUT...what do you mean by uncommon? Have you ever heard it or used it???
  14. arielipi Senior Member

    Same applies in hebrew where until around 20 we say e.g. 1/6/15 one and 6 fifteenth, we also say it on round 10's basis: 10, 100, 1000, etc.
  15. OneStroke Senior Member

    Hong Kong, China
    Chinese - Cantonese (HK)
    In Chinese, 1.35 = 一點三五 一点三五, lit. 'one point three five'
  16. Holger2014 Senior Member

    3,25 - drei Komma zwei fünf [lit. three comma two five]
    3,5 - drei Komma fünf [lit. three comma five]
  17. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Quite same as Japanese:

    3.25 = san ten ni go(san=3, ten=point, ni=2, go=5, so it is, three point two five)
    3.5 = san ten go(three point five)
  18. marco_2 Senior Member

    A Polish version is similar to the Czech one:

    3,25 - a full expression: trzy całe przecinek / i dwadzieścia pięć setnych

    In everyday practice we say: trzy i dwadzieścia pięć setnych.
  19. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    I have a question about the languages reading the decimal numbers as if reading a fraction.
    How do you read it when you come across big decimal numbers such as 3.596942 or 1.23039257? (I think you don't read it this way "one point ninety-eight thousand six hundred fifty-three hundred-thousandth[1.98653]")

    In this case is it close to the way Japanese or Chinese does?
  20. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Interesting and useful question 810senior.

    Hungarian --- 3,1415926 (pi) [három egész egy négy egy öt kilenc kettő (not: két) hat; ie.: three whole one four one..etc]
  21. bibax Senior Member

    Czech: it depends on mental laziness.


    jedna celá [část] devadesát osm tisíc šestset padesát tři stotisícin;

    one entire [part] ninety eight of-thousands six-of-hundreds fifty three of-hundred-thousandths;

    NB: of-thousands means genitive plural;

    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  22. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    It Greek too depends on mental laziness:
    1,98653 = «ένα ακέραιος και ενενήντα οκτώ χιλιάδες εξακόσια πενήντα τρία εκατοστά του χιλιοστού» [ˈena aˈceɾe.os ce eneˈninda oˈkto çiˈʎaðes ek͡saˈkosi.a peˈninda ˈtri.a ekatoˈsta tu çiʎoˈstu] --> one whole and ninety-eight thousand six hundred and fifty-three hundredths of-thousand
    But informally I'd just say: «ένα κόμμα ενενήντα οκτώ εξήντα πέντε τρία» [ˈena ˈkoma eneˈninda oˈkto eˈk͡sinda ˈpende ˈtri.a] --> one comma ninety-eight sixty-five three
  23. Armas Senior Member

    In Finnish

    3,25 is said most often kolme pilkku kaksikymmentäviisi = three comma twenty-five, or kolme kaksikymmentäviisi = three twenty-five. The latter is common when talking about money.
    As for 1,98653, at least I say each digit separately, one comma nine eight six five three.

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