Words for decimals like 0.5, 1.5, etc

El Ganador

Senior Member
India - Hindi and English
In Hindi, there are special words for 1/2, 3/2 and 5/2 (also for certain other small non-whole numbers like 3/4, 5/4, but I won't list them here).

आधा (aadhaa) for 1/2, comes from a Sanskrit word meaning the same
डेढ़ (DeRh) for 3/2, comes from a Sanskrit word meaning 'half less than 2'
ढाई (Dhaaii) for 5/2, comes from a Sanskrit word meaning '[two full] and half of the third'

For other 'half' words, 'साढ़े' is used with the number, writing 'साढ़े तीन' = 'three and a half', 'साढ़े चार' = 'four and a half', etc. However, the words for 1/2, 3/2, and 5/2 are never written using 'साढ़े'.

What are some special numbers in other languages that have their own word for them (a word unique from the usual way to write fractions in your language)?
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  • I'm not aware of any such words in Spanish, but I find that fascinating. Another reason (as if I needed any others ;)) to learn Hindi!
    I'm not sure if you're referring to 'fractions' or to 'decimals'.

    You write '0.5' which I interpret in my form of English as 'nought point five'. (Other possibilities are, 'zero point five' or just, 'point five'). However, later you reference this as 'a half', which to me is '1/2'.

    Happy to help the best I can in Welsh and English upon clarification. :)
    Sorry for the unclarity.

    In Hindi, both the fraction and decimal are called this (which is why I used them interchangeably), but I guess I'm looking for fractions here.

    I have edited my post to reflect this.
    What are some special numbers in other languages that have their own word for them
    Russian seems to be more boring. :) 1/2 is половина (polovína), 1,5 is полтора (poltorá, from Old Russian "a half of three"). 1/3 and 1/4 have special words derived from numerals (basically, those are ancient feminine ordinal numerals) but not identical to modern ordinal numerals (which are used otherwise): треть (trét') "one third" and четверть (chétvert') "quarter"; cf. третья (trét'ya) "the third one, f." and четвёртая (chetvyórtaya) "the fourth one, f.". 1/4 and 1/8 also have an additional array of derived nouns for them. Четвертина (chetverína) "a quarter" is outdated/dialectal in the base form, but diminutives четвертинка (chetverínka) and четвертушка (chetvertúshka) are used quite frequently. Восьмушка (vos'múshka) "a little eighth" is another diminutive of that kind (with the producing noun having been pretty much forgotten).
    In Slovenian, 0.5 is polovica, or just pol in attributive usage. We have a rarely used word for 1.5 which is poldrugi (half-second), and you could also feasibly say poltretji (half-third) for 2.5, but for higher than that it just doesn't sound like something that actually exists.
    In French, 1/2 is "un demi" (lit. "one half"), and so are 3/2 "trois demis" and 5/2 "cinq demis".