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    Re: language and spatio-temporal orientation
    From: Peter Hakel
    Date: 2010 Jul 26, 11:38 -0700
    This touches upon one class of differences between the Czech and Slovak languages, which are otherwise close to the point of mutual intelligibility (at least for those of us old enough to remember the old Czechoslovak federation).

    In Czech both "twenty-four" and "four-and-twenty" forms are used, the latter ("German" form) more frequently (it does roll of the tongue a bit better).  In Slovak we exclusively use the former; I can think of only one rather amusing exception in being promised "five-and-twenty" when I was misbehaving as a child. :-))  Perhaps the long history of the modern Czech Republic as a part of the German ("Holy Roman") empire, and that of Slovakia outside of it (as a part of old Hungary) is responsible for this difference.

    Another difference comes for numbers between 1100 and 1900.  Again, in Czech both "(one) thousand (one) hundred" and "eleven hundred" forms are used, the latter being more common, while in Slovak we only use the former.  In both languages the "one" is dropped/silent, unless you are writing a check/cheque.  I found it therefore interesting that in English (US) the "eleven hundred" form is quite common and this pattern is (unlike in Czech) used all the way up to 9900 (whole thousands excepted).  Saying 4500 as "five-and-fourty hundred" in Czech is indeed a bit too convoluted.

    French speakers (Antoine?) can perhaps comment on the names between 80-99, and confirm/deny that in some versions of French (Quebec, Louisiana?) the "textbook" pattern of 99=4x20+19 is replaced with the more "usual" ninety-nine.


    Peter


    From: Robin Stuart <robinstuart@earthlink.net>
    To: NavList@fer3.com
    Sent: Mon, July 26, 2010 10:11:40 AM
    Subject: [NavList] Re: language and spatio-temporal orientation

    Marcel,
    Your assertion:
    "The Arabic language is written from right to left but not the numbers; they are written from left to right" contains the implicit assumption that numbers must be stated from largest to smallest digits. This is not the case even in European languages; 24 is still vierundzwanzig in German and four-and-twenty is early English usage ( see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eastern_Arabic_numerals),

    Regards,
    Robin Stuart
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