# Re: Tamil number system

Date: Sun May 21 2000 - 04:24:33 EDT

Can someone explain to me how Tamil numbering system work ?
Unicode 3.0 have define 12 numerals for Tamil. How do they present a number ?
In the book "Writing Systems of The World", Akira Nakanish, ISBN 0-8048-1654-9, page 58. It said
Numerals
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 100 1,000
Tamil numerals have no sign for zero; thus, [1,000][9][100][8][10] 1980. Now only Arabic figures are used.
I cannot figure out the exact algorithm/rule from this example. I would like some Tamil experts provide helps to me to understand it.
1. Is that true that the 1 of the most significant digit will be omit so 1980 is [1,000][9][100][8][10] but not [1][1,000][9][100][8][10] ?
U can represent it in both way

2. How about number > 9999 ? Is there numeral character for 10,000 ? 100,000 ? Or you *reuse* the [10], [100], [1,00] numeral characters? If so, how ?
This system of numbering is used in very olden days. This type of numbering convension is very similar to the old Chinese numbering system. And you are correct in reusing [10] and [100] and [1000]. The only difference is that in Thamizh (Tamil) the writing direction is left to right while in Chinese it is from top to bottom.

3. What it will look like for the following number
a. 1980 -> [1,000][9][100][8][10] (example for expected answer format) or 1[1000]9[100]8[10]
b. 2980 -> 2[1000]9[100]8[10]
c. 11 -> [10]1 or 1[10]1
d. 456,987 -> 4[100][1000]5[10][1000]6[1000]9[100]8[10]7
e. 450,000 ->4[100][1000]5[10][1000]
f. 450,002 ->4[100][1000]5[10][1000]2

Thanks for your interest shown towards Thamizh (Tamil) language... which is one of the very old, rich language in the world.