[sdiy] Metric OT rant -how about that billion thing?

Steve Begin Steve.Begin at pwgsc.gc.ca
Tue Aug 13 16:01:05 CEST 2002

French is close to that too if I remember correctly (I never really have much opportunity to work with numbers in french).

Japanese does something odd with numbers too.  As I remember it, there is a separate word for ten, hundred, thousand, and ten-thousand (unlike the way our term "ten-thousand" is made up of two terms combined).

So if you translated directly for one-hundred-thousand, they'd say ten-ten-thousand.
Not quite sure if that really made sense...er...I should probably give up now...but I've got time to kill so it's like this

10 = juu
100 = hyaku
1,000 = sen
10,000 = man
100,000 = juu-man
1,000,000 = hyaku-man

In practice it doesn't really make much of a difference I'd guess...but it makes it awkward to deal with for somebody who is used to seeing a new unit every three places.

> Steve Begin

-----Original Message-----
From: Rainer Buchty [mailto:buchty at cs.tum.edu]
Sent: Tuesday, August 13, 2002 5:27 AM
To: James Husted
Cc: synth-diy at dropmix.xs4all.nl
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Metric OT rant -how about that billion thing?

On Mon, 12 Aug 2002, James Husted wrote:

> Do the British (and some other Europeans) still consider a Billion to be
> different than we do here in America? I recall at one time they called what
> we call a Billion, a thousand-million (1,000,000,000).

Yep. In Germany we have
	Million		10^6
	Milliarde	10^9
	Billion		10^12
	Billiarde	10^15
	Trillion	10^18
	Trilliarde	10^21

(Haven't seen people talking of Quadrillion and Quadrilliarde,
yet, but this is probably only a matter of time until the national debt
rises high enough...)

Makes me wonder where that -illiarde stuff comes from; but considering
numbers German isn't the most logical language thinking of ones being
spoken before tens turning "twenty-one" into "one-twenty" etc.

> I bet this plays hell with large overseas bank transfers.

It just shows how senseless those exponent units are. If we'd just use
scientific numbering, then there would be no problem.

Although people might look a bit puzzled if their new car costs 3,047 *
10^4 currency units :)



Rainer Buchty, LRR, Technical University of Munich
Phone: +49 89 289-28401, Fax +49 89 289-28232, Room S3240

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