The number language is always considered a way of communicating the ideas to be communicated. It would be difficult for anyone to imagine communicating information in written form without numbers. But how does it work? That question has been asked in almost all languages, and it has remained the same since ancient times. Let us see the basics that help us to say numbers in 5 languages.

What Is A Number?

A numbering system, if you want to communicate something with other people, has a number. Below you will see ways how to say numbers in different languages. For example, ‘3’ means three, if we have written three words like ‘3d’, “I will eat this tomorrow.” Now let us translate it into five languages. Since I am not an expert in any language, I will use English.

English Numbering System:

In the context of English, we can write any word. While writing anything in English, we have two ways to do it in different forms. We can either use a simple term like 3 or a compound word like 3-d. Here are some of the common uses.

  • 3 (with dashes) : 3/ (with dash ) /
  • 3/ : 3/ /
  • 3/ (with dash) 2: 3/2: (with dash) 1: 1/1: 1/
  • 1/ 1: // 3/

When we get our letter ‘3’ in the first words, we call them words. When we write ‘3-d, we just write our letter 3 and dash to denote the fact that this letter is followed by another letter. Because of these two cases, we can say three words followed by another word, which is also written. In English, we say three letters ‘3d’ followed by another letter which is also written at the end of each sentence.


In Hindi, we use two characters ‘3,’ followed by a character which is also written at the end of every sentence, and we call those words phrases. This way, we can say three words followed by another word and there is no need to show its content.


In Swahili, when we write the letter 3, we use the letter K and then our letter D in both places of words. When we read the next word, our letter D is also in the middle of the speech. When such a word comes up, it is followed by another word followed by the letter E and then our letter D again. What we are saying here is K and D can be repeated twice and written again. At the end of every sentence, the letter E is followed by D.


In Bangla, sometimes we use a combination of uppercase and lowercase, but we cannot change their order as they contain the alphabetic words. Hence, we can say only the English word ‘3’ and use the entire sentence instead of using K or D. Also, we cannot repeat the order of the words even after we add the last word. So, we use a word called ‘3d,’ which is followed by the word ‘d,’ and then our last word ‘d,’ followed by the final word which is ‘3.’


In Urdu, we have similar terms as numbers in all languages. Just like English, Arabic, French, etc., they too use numbering systems that are not the same.


Arabic numbers are based on figures which are also known as figures of accounts. One account may be kept with every thousand units. As per Persian rule, the smallest unit of account was Rs. 600; hence, the Arabic words ‘100,000 (for 300 units)’ and so on in the English language.

You will notice the difference between the following words and numbers in your native tongue and in the fifth language you are learning.

Arabic Words Vs English Words:

The above chart clearly shows that if we have three words such as ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’, they are translated respectively. If we translate these words into Arabic, then they will be represented with figures. For example from our list of words, we have 4 figures of accounts which include 1000, 400, 900, 500, 1000. For example, 100, 600, 900, 800, 000, which means that 100 accounts will be held in 1000 units. Similarly, 200, 400, 700, 900, and 2,000, which means that if we translate 100 accounts to 100 units, they will be held in 200 units.

The same thing happens if we look at the Arabic number system. If we use 100, then it has to go up to 500, which is equivalent to 200, and because after that, the figure reaches 700, which will eventually go to 2,000 which is equivalent to 3,000 units.

In Arabic, I have mentioned figures of accounts to make clear the system we use. Now let us try translating these two sentences (‘A man, who lives alone for more than 50 years and ‘I want to eat.’), into the English language.

A man who lives alone for more than 50 years, wants food.

Both these sentences above belong to the same concept. Even if they are about the same thing, they belong to totally different concepts which belong to completely different languages. Therefore, if we want to translate these sentences into English, we will have to rewrite everything and start from scratch again. In the process of writing a story, there are many stories as well as incidents when one needs to write down something and translate it into English. Most of this works well while writing the stories. But, while writing a story, our minds would often wander even though we know exactly what to write.


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