numbers (writing direction)

Discussion in 'العربية (Arabic)' started by kalina, Sep 27, 2006.

  1. kalina

    kalina Member

    Hello! Quick question....

    In Arabic : are groups of numbers written from right to left or left to right?
    1-3 .. 4-6 .. 7-9 .. 10-12 ...........


    .......... 12-10 .. 9-7 .. 6-4 .. 3-1
    Which is correct? I know numbers are written left to right, but is that the same for an example like this?

    Thank you!
  2. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    US English/Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Welcome to the Arabic forum. :)

    Groups of numbers like the ones in your post are written from right to left.

    English: 1-3, 4-6, 7-9, 10-12,...

    Arabic: ١-٣، ٤-٦، ٧-٩، ١٠-١٢،...
  3. eliot 96801 Senior Member

    English (USA)
    What about a telephone number, if I'm using Western Arabic? For example, the number 1-800-123-4567. In the middle of a right-to-left text in Arabic, would this be...
  4. be.010 Senior Member

    Arabic (Syrian)

    Telephone numbers (particularly) are written in Arabic from left-to-right, even if they contain groups (and no matter what numeric system is used...)

    So 1-800-123-4567 is the right form...
  5. shsheng New Member

    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    The number "123456789" display in Arbic, like "My number is 123456789", the translate is "رقم هاتفي هو 123456789", the number display left to right?
  6. barkoosh Senior Member

    Yes, numbers are displayed and spelled from left to right in Arabic.
  7. إسكندراني

    إسكندراني Senior Member

    أرض الأنجل
    عربي (مصر)ـ | en (gb)
    Depending on which application this is, it may be better to use 'eastern' numerals
  8. skommer New Member

    Dutch - The Netherlands
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hi all,

    I'm a designer and currently working on an interface that should also work in Arabic. I already discovered that the script is written right to left, but that numbers are written left to right.

    Now I have to display flight numbers, which consist of letters and numbers, so now I'm confused.

    For example, the flight number is KL1234.

    Do I write 1234LK or LK1234? Or does it stay KL1234?

    Thanks for your help!
  9. AndyRoo Senior Member

    Hi, it would stay KL1234.
  10. Cerillo New Member

    Washington, USA
    English - American
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Good day all,

    I have no experience with the Arabic language (unfortunately) and am in need of your assistance. Our clinic is creating taglines (brief notices) of the availability of language access services upon request for a variety of languages, including Arabic. The one thing I do know about Arabic is that it is written right to left, which has me confused.

    The following is a sample tagline provided by the Department of Human and Health Services in which I need to insert the phone number 1-509-525-3720.
    (warning, it appears I can't paste from the Word Document into the forum with it messing up the organization of the statement).

    ملحوظة: إذا كنت تتحدث اذكر اللغة، فإن خدمات المساعدة اللغوية تتوافر لك بالمجان. اتصل برقم 1-xxx-xxx-xxxx

    (the x's represent digits and should be following [from the left side] the number 1)

    would the number be organized as 1-509-525-3720, 3720-525-509-1, or 0273-525-905-1?
  11. apricots

    apricots Senior Member

    English - US
    Numbers in Arabic read left to right just like English.
  12. Cerillo New Member

    Washington, USA
    English - American
    In that case, are numbers left to right while words are right to left?
  13. apricots

    apricots Senior Member

    English - US
    Yup! Even when using Eastern Arabic numerals.
  14. cherine

    cherine Moderator

    Alexandria, Egypt
    Arabic (Egypt).
    Just to confirm: the digits order of the number is the same in Arabic as in English (and other languages). The number as a whole should come to the left of the sentence.

    P.S. This part اذكر اللغة doesn't make sense, it's a literal translation of (mention/state the language) you may need to replace it with Arabic. And المساعدة اللغوية isn't clear (linguistic help), if you want to say "help in Arabic", then go for المساعدة باللغة العربية or المساعدة بالعربية.
  15. Dan East New Member

    English USA
    [Moderator's Note: Merged with a previous thread]
    Hello. When specifying a time in Arabic with units, what is the correct placement of the number relative to the text? Does it go on the left or right? Specifically, the text "5 minutes". I have some translated text, however text editors seem to always reformat and move the number to the left, which has me concerned that it really belongs on the right. Even here, for example, I cannot copy / paste or edit Arabic such that the numeric digit is on the right - the editor moves it to the left no matter what I try. For example: "5 دقائق" The 5 was on the right in the source text but was moved to the left when I copied it.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 2, 2016
  16. AndyRoo Senior Member


    The 5 should be on the right of the word.

    On this forum we can use the rtl tag, which gives:
    5 دقائق

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