Alternative numbers to avoid confusion

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Dymn, Jan 3, 2019.

  1. Dymn

    Dymn Senior Member

    Catalonia
    Catalan (native) & Castilian
    Does your language have any particular digit that may, in a noisy setting, be mixed up with another one and is thus given an alternative name? For example on the phone or when reading out loud a number code, or in military parlance?

    For example in German instead of zwei "two" which may be mistaken as drei "three", they would use zwo, which is originally the feminine form of the number. In Mandarin, instead of "one", which sounds similar to 七 "seven", they'd use yāo. Do you know any more examples?

    Thanks
     
  2. AnythingGoes Senior Member

    English - USA (Midwest/Appalachia)
    In American English "niner" replaces nine in military and aviation communications. "Fife" for five exists, but is much less widely used.
     
  3. Demiurg

    Demiurg Senior Member

    Germany
    German
    Also in German (radio communication): fünef = fünf (five), neugen = neun (nine).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2019
  4. KalAlbè

    KalAlbè Senior Member

    Sampa but always repping NY/1804
    American English & Kreyòl Ayisyen
    In Brazilian Portuguese it's common to use "meia" for six "seis" when, for example, giving out a phone number.

    E.g. 641 = meia quatro um instead of seis quatro um.

    It comes from meia-dúzia (literally half a dozen).
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2019
  5. jimquk New Member

    English
    In English, we typically don't read out phone numbers as in many languages as for example "forty-two, sixty-one, ninety-five. It is likely to be misheard as 422 621 925. Also, although we typically begin phone numbers saying O (as in letter O), it is advised to say zero elsewhere, as O can be misheard as 4.

    The biggest problem in English is distinguishing the -teens from the -ties, as thirteen, thirty. In face to face speech, native speakers usually have no problem, but over the phone .... it's a good idea on the phone or when speaking with a non-native to confirm: thirty three zero, thirteen one three.
     
  6. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    Hungarian
    In Hungarian, kétszáz (200) and hétszáz (700), or kétezer (2,000) and hétezer (7,000) sound confusingly similar.
    To avoid confusion, we say kettőezer, where "kettő" is a longer form of "two", which is normally used on its own (e.g. when counting: egy, kettő, három).
    Instead of "hétszáz", we often say "hetesszáz", where "hetes" means "the number seven".
     

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