"En siffra"

Translation:A digit

December 6, 2014

33 Comments
This discussion is locked.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glennebanan

Ah ha! A Swedish word with an Arabic etymology. 'Sifr' means 'zero,' but it's also apparently where we got the word 'cipher,' which loosely could mean a figure. Interesting.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mmontag

The etymology tips in the comments are a great learning boost. Thanks!


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Jamesallenpalmer

There are viking runes carved into the marble at the Hagia Sophia. Maybe Halfdan went back to Sweden and told them about zero?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Glennebanan

Haha, hmm, I like the theory, but whichever Halfdan it was, Hagia Sophia was definitely still a Greek Orthodox cathedral at the time. Although who knows all the knowledge that was shared back then and with whom. :)


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Namor_Votilav

Sounds like russian "цифра" and means exactly "digit"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/dxrsam

Indeed. And these cognates are traceable to the Arabic sifr (empty). https://en.m.wiktionary.org/wiki/%D1%86%D0%B8%D1%84%D1%80%D0%B0


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Lunaballaxo

Also like Polish "cyfra" which is digit as well.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kovi311902

And in slovak we have CIFRA


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Ethanxman

Is this like a digit figure like Spanish's cifra or like what?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/adrianxu_

Its basically that , cifra is digit , so siffra is cifra.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AikateriniSt

It's like in Hebrew as well ספרה ספרות.. the digits that make up a number


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/FunSprint

Sounds kind of like chiffre too


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/kwonnnn

I was about to point that out too. Looks like this word has travelled through many languages.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/bigswedeej

I assume this is strictly numeric and not a woman's figure?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Thorfinn1960

I wondered that too...any guidance here chaps?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/g.uh

So, it can mean both, digit and figure?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/EduardoAzeredoS

It reminds me quite a lot 'cifra' from Portuguese, which is generally used to refer to a huge amount of money.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/purplelotus88

A cipher literally. Amazing how this Arab loan word has travelled around Europe.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MarksAaron

Could it be used in the sense of English "cypher", as in cryptography?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/mbRDt7

Basically, the Arabic 'sifr' meaning zero has traveled through many languages as stated above, some forms mean zero, some mean figure. Helpful etymology tip.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/SagiEzov

Probably related to the Hebrew word with the same meaning ספרה (sifra) which is derived from the root S-F-R which means: "count"


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Kim197311

My answer of "a number" was accepted, but the official translation was "a digit" . In math, however, these do not have the same meaning, so I'm at a bit of a loss...?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/RevShirls

It is number in the sense of the actual numeral/digit itself. I tend to translate it as numeral.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LeePassmore

how would you say...'a figure of your imagination'


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/AmbassadorTigger

... Do you mean "figment"?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JYH6UtXB

For whatever it's worth, Google Translate says "en figur av din fantasi."


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/22879

Hur olika är "siffra" och nummer?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JoakimEk

The "correct" use (as far as I know) is:

"En siffra" (digit) is a single digit, like 7.

"Ett tal" (figure) is just any number of an infinite scope, something in math, and it can have decimals, e.g "3.14" or "3,14" if we use decimal comma which one are supposed to in Sweden, but computers have blurred that rule a bit.

"Ett nummer" (number) is one in a set of enumerated numbers, like phone number or lottery number.

In reality though, usage overlaps, and both siffra and nummer are used for any figure in some situations and/or by some people.

Also "nummer" is sometimes used for things with more than digits. For example "ett artikelnummer" (an item number/po number) can sometimes be e.g "ap1-724" with letters etc.

And I might as well include "ett belopp" (amount) that is used only for amount of money.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/JYH6UtXB

Can it also mean a finger, thumb or toe?


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/friswing

digit, yes. Siffra, no.


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/CurtLarsso

Digit represents an electrinic number. På svenska bi säger siffra Och på engelska man säger number. Vi säger också nummer på svenska

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