Number names

Different cultures have different traditional numeral systems used for writing numbers and for naming large numbers.

Although most traditional number systems are based on the decimal numeral system, there are many regional variations, including:

  • Western system: based on thousands, with variants (see below)
  • Indian system: crore, lakh (see Indian numerals)
  • Japanese system: based on ten-thousands (see below)

Duodecimal numbers have only been used consistently in a few cases. One example of duodecimal numerals is in use in the Chepang language of Nepal. However, their influence can still be seen in many cultures, such as in the imperial system of units, and the former British system of pounds, shillings and pence.

In many Asian languages, the great redundancy of English number words is avoided.

For very large (and very small) numbers, traditional systems have been superseded by the use of scientific notation and the system of SI prefixes. Traditional systems continue to be used in everyday life.

Systems of numerals:

See also:



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