"En siffra"

Translation:A digit

December 6, 2014

35 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/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.

April 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mmontag

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

August 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Jamesallenpalmer

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

April 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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. :)

April 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Adam372126

A.sztuchlik@gmail.com and 4r

February 18, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/Namor_Votilav

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

March 12, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/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

May 1, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Lunaballaxo

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

August 3, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/Ethanxman

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

December 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/Anders91

It's a digit in a number, 1, 2, 3, etc.

December 6, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/andankert

I would also say digit is a better translation, figure seems not right

December 15, 2014

https://www.duolingo.com/bradleyturumbar

Yes, as an english speaker, I would expect a figure to mean an entire tally or a total. A figure would be "120,987" and a digit would be one of the numbers that makes up "120,987"

January 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/friswing

Well, 'siffra' could be the whole number as well as one of the digits. If someone asks you 'tänk på en siffra' ('to think of a number' = e.g. a magician doing a trick), you don't have to restrict yourself.

February 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/shurhaian

There is the saying "figure eight," but other than that I would generally agree.

February 2, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/shadyyy47

I agree, digit would be better here. I imagine figure as a shape or a character here, not as a digit.

February 10, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Adrianxu_

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

May 6, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/AikateriniSt

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

May 31, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/FunSprint

Sounds kind of like chiffre too

June 11, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/kwonnnn

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

June 12, 2016

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

So, it can mean both, digit and figure?

August 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/SummerSolemnly

Yes.

October 30, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/EduardoAzeredoS

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

September 19, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/bigswedeej

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

November 8, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anders91

Strictly numeric. It can not be used to describe shape or form.

December 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Thorfinn1960

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

December 20, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MarksAaron

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

December 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Anders91

No, that would be chiffer.

December 28, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/jarrettph

Cipher was accepted though!

August 22, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

September 1, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/LeePassmore

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

December 20, 2016

https://www.duolingo.com/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"

April 10, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/22879

Hur olika är "siffra" och nummer?

June 16, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/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.

October 29, 2017

https://www.duolingo.com/purplelotus88

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

February 15, 2019

https://www.duolingo.com/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...?

April 20, 2019
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