Why “Twenty-One” and not “Twenty-One”?

by time news

2023-12-11 13:23:46

Languages ​​are sometimes strange – German also has its own peculiarities. One is the order in which we form higher number words. Where the English says “twenty-one” for 21 and thus places the ten in front of the one in exactly the same way as the numbers are arranged in the reading direction, we say “twenty-one”. When it comes to hundreds, however, we jump again and don’t say “twenty-one hundred” to 121. That’s inconsistent, but at least relevant, because it’s not about 2100.

There is an accusation that this number formation makes it more difficult for foreigners from language areas that use it like English to get used to German business life – and the suspicion that it also hinders native German children in learning to use numbers. In fact, German fourth graders at least performed well in the “Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study” (TIMSS) from 2015 in terms of arithmetic, they do worse than those in other EU and OECD countries. However, it is only beginning to be researched whether and to what extent this has something to do with the “warped”, not “positional value” way of writing numbers in German.

#TwentyOne #TwentyOne

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