https://www.duolingo.com/Redelll

Language Differences

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SRSLY!? Any Danish here?

NOTE: this post doesn't intend to offend or to discourage any language learner. In addition, every language has its own beauty and level of easiness or difficulty.

Please excuse any error/s in this entry.Some people just love finding mistakes.Hi Erven_R ^-^

June 13, 2015

69 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave
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I'm French. I never realized that quatre-vingt-dix-sept actually meant that. facepalm

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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The things you learn on Duolingo, example number 62588368... ;-)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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I once shared a house with a girl from Quebec and another Chinese girl. We were talking over dinner about languages and I brought up the peculiarities of counting in French and gave some examples, including 97. It was very funny to see her go to argue that it wasn't at all peculiar and then see this light go off in her face. She was the same as you - had never consciously thought it through before.

I think this only goes to show that thinking a lot about a language you are learning is not really necessary.

Got to say I am seriously impressed by the Danish 97. Didn't know about that one.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave
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Exactly. Letting a language become second nature is more "productive" than thinking too much about it.

I agree. The Danish system must be complex!

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/LeVieuxSieur

Nonante-sept (90 +7) would be way more logical to use than quatre-vingt-dix-sept (4x20+10+7), as they actually already do in Belgium and Switzerland (and maybe some other parts of the world as well, I don't know much about that).

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lazouave
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But it sounds soooo weird to us... :p

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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bahahaha I love this!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mads-lime
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The Danish numeral system doesn't make any real sense, and I don't know how people thought this would be a good idea... unless it was some secret plot from the 1600s to set us apart from Sweden, lol. If that is the case, it was a success!

Fun facts: The word for twenty is also the word for "thieves". The spelling of "fir tree" in Danish makes it a "forty tree" - "fyrretræ", but luckily we have special pronunciation and the amazing vowel æ to "prevent confusion" between that and the number fortythree; "treogfyrre" - three and forty. The word for twelve, "tolv" sounds exactly the same as the word for "toll/customs", "told". The spelling of 19, "nitten" is the same as the word for a losing lottery number.

Okay, now I sure am glad I was thrown into this from the very beginning. I seriously applaud anyone who is learning Danish on here, you have my highest respect.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wstockall
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>The spelling of 19, "nitten" is the same as the word for a losing lottery number.

Is cribbage popular in Denmark? A "19 hand" in crib means you got nothing, since that score is impossible to achieve.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mads-lime
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I don't think so...I have never heard of it, what kind of game is it? The number 19 and the losing number do not have anything to do with each other, by the way, they're just spelled the same way :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wstockall
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Cribbage is a card game for two to four players.

Are you saying the word is somehow different than the number? Spelled the same but pronounced differently or something like that?

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/mads-lime
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Yeah sorry, that's what I mean. Same spelling, different pronunciation. And also I meant that the number 19 doesn't carry negative connotations like "a losing lottery number" does :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MFiftyOne

http://www.olestig.dk/dansk/numbers.html

Seems to be accurate. Glad I'm only learning the second worst system…

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/lumisade
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A Scandinavist language reform movement tried to get the 20-based forms replaced by 10-based like Norwegian and Swedish have. With absolutely no success.

I'm torn between "It's pretty cool that they stick to their system which is probably hundreds of years old and just a part of the Danish culture." and "Wtf is wrong with you, Denmark?"

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoThelan
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Wow, that is complicated! As someone who is learning French, not Danish, I was expecting French to be the most difficult. But Danish is a complete curveball! How do you even explain that to a child? As an adult, I only barely understand wha'ts going on!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MultiLinguAlex
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If you've never heard it before, search for Toki Pona and try to express one billion in this language. Have fun but beware, age is unfortunately limited... ;-)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoThelan
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I might later on today! Although, my mind is working pretty slowly right now. I'm almost sure that your last sentence was some kind of a warning, but I can't quite figure it out. Kinda like I'm pretty sure that 7 + (-1/2 + 5) * 20 is a number, too!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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It's not completely true for French. Some countries say nonante sept (97) like Switzerland

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/InsaneCule
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AKA: The French are ridiculous, but the Swiss can't deal with that.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Redelll
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French spoken in France considered as the standard. I think so.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/oskalingo
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No, it's the standard French in France.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
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How do those countries say 80?

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JoThelan
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Quatre-vingts is standard French. The Swiss use huitante. However, 80 is a bit irregular, as it is the only one where -s- is added to vingt. The rest use a singular vingt: quatre-vingt-un, quatre-vingt-deux, quatre-vingt-trois, etc.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
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Ah, c'est interessant. Merci!

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CosmoKaiza
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In Switzerland we can say either quatre vingt, octante, huitante. It really depends but I usually say quatre vingt or huitante PS : Huitante is more logic than quatre vingt (4x20)

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
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Thanks - huitante is definitely more logical! As I've only ever learned French French, I'd not come across it before.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thraenthraen
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Wait, why is Japanese 9 x 10 but German and Swedish 90? I don't know German and Swedish well, but I'm assuming the creator of this meme probably would have written 90 + 7 for English, but "ninety" is just a shortened way of saying nine tens or 9 x 10. "90 + 7" would imply that you can't separate that into a smaller unit. To me, 9 x 10 + 7 is far easier than needing to memorise entirely separate (as in unrelated, not following the -ty pattern which is an abbreviated way of saying x10, basically) vocabulary all the way up to 90 or higher. Does Japanese do something that significantly different than Germanic languages in the way it expresses multiples of ten?

Just asking/commenting out of sincere curiosity about numbering systems. Thanks for sharing!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MFiftyOne

In Japanese you say it like this: kyu ju sichi

kyu = 9, ju = 10, sichi = 7

In German it is siebenundneunzig

sieben = 7, und = and, neunzig = 90, (neun = 9, zehn = 10)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thraenthraen
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Thanks! Based on that then, my suspicion is correct. I'd write "kyu ju" and "neunzig" both the same way—9 x 10. If anything, Japanese seems simpler. It's still base 10, but without the need to remember that zehn/ten becomes -tig/-ty when multiplied by another number.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/MFiftyOne

One could argue that "neunzig" is a single word for 90 whereas in Japanese the words for 9 and 10 are reused, obviously.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Elorac72
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I agree. Learning how to form the 'x 10' in languages like German and French (at least up to 70) is an extra step when you're initially learning. Knowing that the pattern is to add -zig is of course easier than learning completely irregular numbers, but it's not as easy as saying neun zehn. Especially as neunzehn is actually 19!

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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Well, Hindi has 100 separate words for the numbers 1-100 (and 0 of course). Just saying... :P

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/annika_a
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Are the words actually desperate, or is that an auto correct speaking? :-)

The numbers skill must be taking up about half of the upcoming Hindi tree!

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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You know, you made me realise why I hate myself for not checking what I write at the end :} Whatever, yes, the words are different. But then, it follows a pattern. like X + Y0 (eg 4 + 40 = 44?). And there are different patterns for the numbers ending in nine. It's -1 + X0. For example 'unaasi' which is made up of 'un' (meaning 'one less') and 'assi' (eighty), meaning 79. :P You see what should be 'unassi' is 'unaasi'? That's literally because 'unassi' doesn't sound musical :P We have soooo many exceptions like these that we actually don't have numbers which follow the regular pattern (no really). Eg (all these follow a pattern; but the exceptions make them rather seperate [not desperate ;) ] words) 'chavaalis' = 'chaar' (four) + 'chaalis' (forty. many times the numbers which come in the end lose the first consonant, in this case 'ch'); 'unnees' = 'un' (one less) + 'bees' (twenty); 'ikkees' = 'ek' (one. pronounced eyk) + 'bees' (twenty); 'satattar' = 'saat' (seven) + 'sattar' (seventy); then comes the whole lot of exceptions - 89 till 99. 89 is not -1+90, it's 9+80 (I don't know why. Probably 'unnabbhe' doesn't sound great) i.e. 'navaasi' = 'nau' (nine) + 'assi' (eighty); 90 is 'nabbhey'; 91 is 'ikyaanve' = 'ek' (one) + .... "nabbhe"? (doesn't seem like it... exception!)

  • ek - 1
  • do - 2
  • teen - 3
  • chaar - 4
  • paanch - 5
  • chheh - 6
  • saat - 7
  • aath - 8
  • nau - 9
  • das - 10
  • gyaarah - 11 (exceptions [hah! :P] : 11-18)
  • baarah - 12
  • terah - 13
  • chaudaa - 14
  • pandraah - 15
  • solaa - 16
  • satraa - 17
  • athaaraah - 18
  • unnees - 19
  • bees - 20
  • ikkees - 21
  • baais - 22 (the twos generally don't take the suffix anything near 'do', it's something like 'b' always)
  • teyis - 23
  • chaubees - 24
  • pachchis - 25
  • chhabbis - 26
  • sattaais - 27
  • atthaais - 28
  • unattis - 29
  • tees - 30
  • ikattis - 31
  • battis - 32
  • taintis - 33
  • chauntis - 34
  • paintis - 35
  • chhattis - 36
  • saintis - 37
  • adtis - 38
  • unchaalis - 39
  • chaalis - 40
  • iktaalis - 41
  • bayaalis - 42
  • taintaalis - 43

okay I could go on and on till hundred... but that's too long. It's night and i should be sleeping but i was bored. But while writing this I got sleepy... I'll continue this maybe sometime. By the way, the script is different, devanagari, I used latin, the closest to the pronunciation :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/thraenthraen
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Hm, looking at just 1-43, I think there is a pattern somewhat similar to German here, actually, just with more irregularities. I did find this though, which says:

>Hindi cardinal numbers up to 100 have no specific standardization. Up to 20, the numbers are unique. After that each tenth number (such as 30, 40 etc) is unique. The rest of the numbers take the form of prefix of incremental digit and the base of preceding tenth number. However these prefixes and bases vary slightly and in a random manner.

So to me, THAT is 7 + 90, not what German does. Thanks for the insight! Have some lingots. :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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Exactly, as I said, it follows the pattern x + y0, but the changes for combining the word make them very irregular. Too much irregular, i.e., there is no normal number which just follows the pattern. And yes that's what I meant, the base of the number y0 and the suffix of x (there are suffixes for 1-9 in hindi, yes. For example 'ik' for 'ek' [1], 'ti'/'tri' for 'teen' [3], 'chau' for 'chaar' [4] etc.)

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Sarah-Cheung
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I don't think I would ever be able to learn all of them... :/

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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Don't worry! Practice just ;P

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratyush.
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In fact, Hindi will have a separate skill for Fractions also. Like number, fractions also have special names. Hindi has special words and constructions for fractions: 1/2,2/3,1/3,1/4,3/4,1/10,5/4,5/2, 1/2+x,1/4+x,-1/4+x.

But number are not going to take whole tree, because there are a lot of words: There are 32 words in family, 10 words for directions ( E,W,N,S,NE,SE,SW,NW, above the plane,down the plane). And then there are two kinds of who, where, which etc one to use in the beginning of question (where is it?) and one for in the middle of sentence (this is where it is.)

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Arnauti
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Yeah, the Swedish word for 90 is nittio, 9 is nio and 10 is tio, so it's easy to see how nittio is made up of nio and tio, even though it has changed slightly when it became a word. It gets easier to say that way, so…

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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Exactly! Easier to say that way! That's the exact case in Hindi... though, the irregularities are... TOO MUCH. :P

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Usagiboy7
Mod
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Just curious where the picture came from. I'd like to tweet it but I want to include the source. :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/JingF1
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I learned about the Danish way of saying numbers from this video (highly recommended if you're interested in numbers in different languages!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l4bmZ1gRqCc

It's fascinating how some languages express numbers in very "convoluted" ways from our perspective, but for the native speakers it's just second nature.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Tamuna10
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lol us Georgians count the same as French xD really funny post, thanks (y)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Doraver
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I'm gonna be an exchange student in Denmark in less than 2 months. I'm getting afraid.. :D

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GC1998
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Here is a really good video by Tom Scott which explains a few of the strange number systems. (Including Klingon I believe)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/CeoDruidechta
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That reminds me: I was disappointed by the Klingon number system. In general, Klingon is designed to be weird, and it is composed of a bunch of the rarest linguistic elements drawn from languages all over the world. I think that is what really makes Klingon interesting to so many people. The strange grammar and sounds make it uniquely fun to practice. But the number system... is base 10. Supposedly Klingons once had a base 3 system, but switched to the more common base 10. Boring. :(

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/GC1998
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Yeah, I'm a little disappointed by this too. Not even a shred of interesting.

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
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I learned two things: the Danish number system and that the Finnish "yhdeksänkymmentä" (combining nine and the partitive of ten) is apparently more complex than the Finnish "yhekskyt" (YHdEKSänKYmmenTä). But all this pales in comparison with the Finnish "ysisei" (shortened 9+shortened 7).

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/KaraGraceBlue

Oh, funny. When Danish children learn counting, do they count with both their fingers and toes? :D

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Stigjohan
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Yes, if you think too hard of the origins of the number words, you might get confused. But if you just learn five words (halvtreds, treds, halvfjerds, fjerds, halvfems) as direct translations of the words fifty, sixty, seventy, eighty, ninety, it's really just as easy as German :)

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/VioletteNoire
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Hebrew has actually quite a compact way of counting.

5759 - ה'תשנ"ט Sounds like "Ha Tashnat" (Five thousand seven hundred and fifty nine)

ה'תש"ס - 5760 Sounds like "Ha Tashas" (Five thousand seven hundred and sixty)

(Both can be shortened to just 'Tashnat' and 'Tashas')

97 would be צ"ז And it would sound like "Tsaz"

June 14, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratyush.
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You should add Hindi also. There it's just 97 : P . (In Hindi there are a HUNDRED WORD for each number from 1 to 100, each of them is unique. ^_^ )

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/scarcerer
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I don't know about that. Most of the numbers are pretty obvious combinations with only slight variation in spelling (I would say Hindi belongs to the 7+90 group with German). What is unusual about your system is when you say X9. Instead of 20+9, 9+20 or whatever, you seem to say -1+30 or something like that.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/wyqtor
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Interesting. I guess the Romans got their number system, writing 9 as IX instead of VIIII, from the same ancient Indo-European source that the Indians used for actually naming the numbers.

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/aaditsingh8
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There is a slight variation... For every two digit number ending in 9, the system says -1 + x. But one exception. For 89, and just for 89, it's 80 + 9 and not -1 + 90 :P

June 13, 2015

https://www.duolingo.com/Pratyush.
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yeah, it's like that. But they are different suffix for each decade, and these suffix are only used for these number and then their prefix part are not always regular. I called them each unique, you have to remember each. You can guess from hearing but cant make them by simply joining them. Those multiples of 10 are different and suffix of them is also somewhat different from them. But yes, in mechanism it is same a German. And Then these 100 are used to describe bigger number, after thousand, it moves like 100 thousand, 100,00thousand. 45767993821 = (5+40)1000000000+(7+60)10000000+(-1+80)100000+(3+90)1000+(8)100+(1+20).

June 13, 2015
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