position of "the percent sign"

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by snoopymanatee, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Hello everyone,

    I am curious about the position of "the percent sign" and how it is read in other languages.

    In Turkish, we use the sign before the number and read it like that way:

    %50 --> yüzde elli (lit. percent fifty)

    %70 --> yüzde yetmiş (lit. percent seventy)

    In English, it is used after the number and read like that way:

    50% --> fifty percent

    70% --> seventy percent

    I wonder if it is used and read like in Turkish or English in other languages.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. Tamar

    Tamar Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    In Hebrew it's written and read like in English;

    5% - חמישה אחוזים khamisha akhuzhim - five "percents" (here the word percent is pl.)
    50% -חמישים אחוז - khamishim akhuz - fifty percent (here the word percent is sg.)
    70% - שבעים אחוז - shiv'im akhuz - seventy percent
  3. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Thank you, Tamar.

    But I have to say that it sounds strange to me that 5 is plural, 50 is singular. :)
  4. Tamar

    Tamar Senior Member

    Israel, Hebrew
    It is strange, I really have no idea how come that is.
    I tried to say it as "five percent" and "fifty percents" but it sounds strange.
    You could maybe say "five percent" חמישה אחוז (my mother sitting next to me says it's fine, I think it's okay, but still a little strange).
    50% - only the way I said before, I'm afraid.
  5. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    In Portuguese the percent sign is placed immediately after the number and is read por cento.
  6. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, same as in English and Portuguese:
    5% : cinq pour cent
  7. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek we position it like they do in English, Hebrew, French, Portuguese etc.
    5% : «Πέντε τοις εκατό» ('pende tis eka'to), lit. "five for (pour-per) hundred".
    The «...τοις εκατό» part, is a set expression and an archaism, since it's in the dative case, which has not survived in the modern language («τοῖς», 'tœs: Dative, pl. neuter of the neuter definite article «τὸ»)
  8. Kartof Senior Member

    Bulgarian & English
    In Bulgarian, the word for percent is процент (protsent) and it is positioned after the number. However, when used with a number greater than one, the word changes from the singular to the counting form since it is masculine (and not the plural).

    For example:
    1% : един процент (edin protsent)
    5% : пет процента (pet protsenta)
    50%: педесет процента (pedeset protsenta)
  9. snoopymanatee

    snoopymanatee Senior Member

    Thank you all. :)

    So far, it comes before the number only in Turkish.
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    In PILIPINO it is read the same like in English. 10 %(ten percent) but in Tagalog "Percent"is read as"Bahagdan".Bahagdan is seldom used by PILIPINO. 100% is "isang daang bahagdan".
  11. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Also in Basque.
  12. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    Hi, Snoopy. I, too, had reflected on this topic myself. What I think is, this also has to do with the expression used in said-language. For example, if we take a look at Kartof's contribution on Bulgarian (Post #8), they use the loan expression protsent. It doesn't have its meaning in Bulgarian ~ just a set phrase for the sign: %.

    If, in Turkish, we had borrowed (or ever borrow) the English word Persent, or the French word Pursan, it wouldn't shock me to say: elli persent; yetmiş beş pursan. In fact it would sound much better than the other way around (Persent elli :thumbsdown: ; pursan yetmiş beş :thumbsdown:), even though it doesn't cope with the Turkish syntax.

    For instance the Japanese word for 100 is hyaku. And it would be much more grammatical to read '75%' as: Hyaku-de 75. But they borrowed the expression "Percent", and consequently, they read it as: 75 paasento.

    When it comes to the constructions such as 'X on Y ', I think we should look for the languages that have the syntax: on-Y X, but not only that, also whether or not the language has borrowed the word percent.

    In this, I am curious to hear from Hungarian / Finnish / Estonian speakers as well.
  13. Perseas Senior Member

    Just to add that we often hear "...τα εκατό" instaed of "...τοις εκατό", as well .
  14. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I usually see a number followed by the word százaléka (genitive of százalék, per cent, from száz, hundred) in Hungarian.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  15. francisgranada Senior Member


    50 % - ötven százalék (fifty per cent)
  16. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Inteersting thing to learn you put it in front of the number. So you also say: °C 25?
  17. Rallino Moderatoúrkos

    No, we write 25°C, but we say the celsius first: 25 santigrat derece.
    But this is completely different. It'sa 'unit', and there's no difference between saying 5 degrees or 5 apples. "Percent" is a different story.
  18. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    x,25% - x och en kvarts procent (x and a quarter of a percent), sometimes you can hear en kvarts procentenhet (a quarter of a percent unit), for example when talking about the interest of a loan
    1% - en procent
    15% - femton procent

    Procent is always singular in Swedish.
  19. inorez New Member

    English - World
    In Basque, the sign goes before the number.

    "Ehun" is 100 in Basque, "-(e)ko" is a genitive suffix. Combine the two and you get "ehuneko", meaning "percent".

    For example: 5% (five percent) = %5 (ehuneko bost) [note: the number is not declined].
  20. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    Now I am really interesting how it works in Arabic...
  21. vianie Senior Member

    Hello to all,

    In Slovak, there's a little thing making the difference of two lexical categories.

    8 ° - osem stupňov (eight degrees)
    - osemstupňový (adjectival form is written without the space)

    7 % - sedem percent (seven percent)
    7% - sedempercentný (adj.)

    Slovak is the only Slavic language using the Latin word for % and not the Germanised one (prozent, procent...)
  22. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Bắc Kinh
    Wu Chinese & Italian
    In Italian it's placed after the number, and is read per cento.
    5% - cinque per cento

    In Chinese it's written after the number in maths symbols; but pronounced before, and written before in hanzi.
    5% - 百分之五- literally: 100 parts' 5. This is pronounced exactly the same as the fraction 5/100.

    In Singaporean Chinese, they use the loanword 八仙 (in Mandarin ba1 xian1; in Hokkien dialect pronouced similar to the English per cent).
    5% - 五八仙

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