Re: Hangzhao numerals

From: Akerbeltz Alba (
Date: Fri Sep 03 1999 - 17:04:49 EDT

----- Original Message -----
From: Tom Emerson <>
To: Unicode List <>
Sent: Friday, September 03, 1999 8:56 AM
Subject: Hangzhao numerals

> Unicode 2.1 contains what it calls the "Hangzhou numerals" in the range
> U+3021 -- U+3029 (with three more added in Unicode 3.0).
> I'm wondering if someone could explain what the "Hangzhou numerals"
> are/were: what is their origin?
> When/how were/are they used? About all I know is that Hangzhao is the
> capital of Zhejiang province.
> I looked in Daniels' and Bright's "The World's Writing Systems" but didn't
> see these characters in the chapters on Chinese or numerals.
> Thanks in advance,

I am not familiar with the term Hangzhou numerals, thought I know the
numerals themselves having learned them from my Cantonese gardnfather. He
used to think of them as strictly Cantonese numerals, though he might have
been mistaken about this. They are a set of numerals of which only few bear
any resemblance to the "normal" numerals". They are used on markets to give
the prices of items for sale.
By putting indicators for the "scale" the same numerals can be either below
one currency unit, between 1-9 or above 10, e.g. 0.35 HK$ 3.50HK$ or 35HK$
would be represented by the numeral three on the left and the numeral 5
I have attached the numerlas 1-10 plus the example 3.50HK$
About the name, my grandpa referred to them as "Cantonese numbers" and "Fa
Mah Jih" , a quick look into my dictionary gives a name I haven't seen
before "Seung Mah" = "shop units"



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