RE: [Fwd: Number separators]

From: Christopher John Fynn (
Date: Sun Nov 05 2000 - 15:15:08 EST

 Ram Viswanadha [] wrote:

> does anyone know of any other systems that group digits
> other than in groups of threes?

Dzongkha (Bhutanese) & Tibetan traditionally follow a digit grouping
similar to the Indic one:

100 gchig brgya [one hundred]
1,000 gchig stong [one thousand]
10,000 gchig khri [one myriad]
1,00,000 gchig 'bum [one lakh]
10,00,000 sa ya gchig [one million]
1,00,00,000 bye ba gchig [one crore]
10,00,00,000 dung phyur gchig [ten crores]
.... etc., etc., etc.,

(Though in the "Tibetan Autonomous Region" they may now use whatever number
grouping is generally used in the PRC).

There are Dzongkha and Tibetan terms for orders of numbers going up to
astronomical figures (and beyond). Mostly these are translations of
originally Sanskrit terms. A whole list of both may be found in Sarat
Chandra Das' Tibetan-English Dictionary.

In these languages the normal digit group separator was a space not a
comma - though commas are now often used with traditional digits in modern
Dzongkha and Tibetan documents.

Dzongkha also sometimes uses a vigesimal system :-) - and instead of saying
fractions in the form "one and a half" they use the form "half less than

With both languages page or rather folio numbers are usually written out in
words though some numbers are written in an abbreviated form. Since only the
front of each folio is numbered you also end up with half the total number
you would in a "normal" page numbering system.

- Chris

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