Practical International Data Management Online

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Practical International Data Management - Numbers

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Most cultures use Arabic numerals to express numbers, and use the decimal counting system. There are two major differences between cultures: the naming of numbers and the punctuation marks used as separators. For example, whereas in the United Kindom and The Unites States the number one million may be written 1,000,000.00, with commas as the thousand separator and the full stop as the decimal point, in many European cultures it would be writte 1.000.000,00, with the full stop as a thousand separator and the comma as a decimal point.

Naming can also cause confusion, as this table (taken from Practical International Data Management External shows:

Number Name in the United States Name in the United Kingdom In Dutch (translated) In Portuguese (translated) In Spanish (translated) In Croatian (translated) In French (translated)
1 000 000 million million million       million
1 000 000 000 billion billion / one thousand million miljard (thousand million) mil milhoes (thousand million mil millones (thousand million) milijarde (thousand million) milliard (thousand million)
1 000 000 000 000 trillion trillion/billion billion   billón (billion)   billion
1 000 000 000 000 000 000 quintillion trillion trillion       trillion

Separators

The format in which numbers may be written differs by culture/country. Differences are mainly in the separators used to indication thousands and decimals.

Negative Numbers

Negative numbers can be displayed in several ways: using the negative sign (before or after the number), using brackets/parentheses or printing them in red, often depending on context. For example:

   -123
   123-
   (123)
   [123]
   123

Numbers in different scripts

Numbers are written differently in different scripts. For example:

Script Example numbers
Latin 0123456789
Arabic ٠‎ ١‎ ٢‎ ٣‎ ٤‎ ٥‎ ٦‎ ٧‎ ٨‎ ٩
Bengla ০ ১ ২ ৩ ৪ ৫ ৬ ৭ ৮ ৯
Chinese and Japanese 〇 一 二 三 四 五 六 七 八 九 十
Devanagari ० १ २ ३ ४ ५ ६ ७ ८ ९
Gujarati ୦ ୧ ୨ ୩ ୪ ୫ ୬ ୭ ୮ ୯
Gurkukhi ੦ ੧ ੨ ੩ ੪ ੫ ੬ ੭ ੮ ੯
Hebrew א ,ב ,ג, ד, ה, ו, ז, ח ,ט
Kannada ೦ ೧ ೨ ೩ ೪ ೫ ೬ ೭ ೮ ೯
Korean 일 이 삼 사 오 육 칠 팔 구 or 하나 둘 셋 넷 다섯 여섯 일곱 여덟 아홉
Malayalam ൦ ൧ ൨ ൩ ൪ ൫ ൬ ൭ ൮ ൯
Odia ୦ ୧ ୨ ୩ ୪ ୫ ୬ ୭ ୮ ୯
Tami ௦ ௧ ௨ ௩ ௪ ௫ ௬ ௭ ௮ ௯
Telugu ౦ ౧ ౨ ౩ ౪ ౫ ౬ ౭ ౮ ౯
Thai ๐ ๑ ๒ ๓ ๔ ๕ ๖ ๗ ๘ ๙
Tibetan ༠ ༡ ༢ ༣ ༤ ༥ ༦ ༧ ༨ ༩

They might contain different number sets - some scripts, for example, have a separate glyph to indicate the number 10.

Digit grouping

Note that not all cultures group digits in groups of three, for example:

   1,203,254.25

Hindi, for example, groups digits in twos except for a three-digit grouping to denote hundreds:

   12,03,254.25

For more information see docs.microsoft.com/en-us/globalization/locale/number-formatting External

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