Duolingo is the most popular way to learn languages in the world. Best of all, it's 100% free!

# Spanish Numbers

I was translating a news article last night, and although I am fully aware that the use of the comma and decimal in English and Spanish are backwards, I had a bit of trouble. The number in question was written as 1.600 millones, which I translated as 1,600 millions, or 1.6 billion. Is this correct, or does it mean 1.6 million instead?

3 years ago

I'm pretty much sure that is 1.6 billion because in english there are no such a thing like a thousand of millions.

One english billion = 1,000,000,000

One spanish billion = 1.000.000.000.000

3 years ago

writchie4
• 25
• 20
• 16
• 15
• 1828

This is dead-on. In Spanish, it takes 6 decimal places to move on to the next unit name, instead of the 3 we're used to in English. Whereas in English we'd only see the numbers 1-999 used before "million", in Spanish you'd see anywhere from 1-999.999 "millones".

Take a look toward the middle of this page. It's got a pretty good description of how "big numbers" are written in Spanish.

3 years ago

pabos95
• 12
• 12
• 11
• 10
• 9
• 4
• 4
• 3
• 2

What english speakers call billion in spanish is "mil millones". This is also a problem many spanish speakers face when learning english.

3 years ago

RHM3
• 19
• 12
• 9

Thanks for that. When I listen to Spanish news, the term "mil millones" always confused me. I always wondered by they didn't just call it a billion. Now I know.

3 years ago

pabos95
• 12
• 12
• 11
• 10
• 9
• 4
• 4
• 3
• 2

Of nothing :)

3 years ago

knos15
• 25
• 11
• 5
• 2
• 2

I believe that you are correct WackyJack.

3 years ago

It's 1,600 millones, which in English is 1.6 billion. A Spanish billón, however, is a million millions, what English calls a trillion. (English used to have both meanings of billion, a thousand millions or a million millions, but it eventually standardized on a thousand millions.)

3 years ago