# Re: Unihan number types and values

From: Arne Goetje (arne@linux.org.tw)
Date: Thu Dec 02 2010 - 20:20:45 CST

• Next message: Arne Goetje: "Re: Unihan number types and values"

On 12/03/2010 08:53 AM, Kenneth Whistler wrote:
>
>> Right, but older Chinese texts and tables don't use the Arabic numerals
>
> Well, they use all kinds of numeric stuff.
>
> I'm looking at an old(ish) Chinese encyclopedia -- 20th century, but
> old fashioned enough that it is set vertically and all the
> entries are in *classical* Chinese, not vernacular. Full of numbers,
> of course, but almost all of them use the traditional Chinese
> style:
>
> 6 + 10 + 3 = 63 (liu-shi-san) (cf. English "six-ty-three" hehe)

Still used, at least in Taiwan. Many announcements and official
documents use this style.

> But if you dig around, you find various numerical oddities. Historical
> date lists introduce the characters U+5EFF nian4 for "20"
> (which also has variants U+5344 and U+3039) and
> U+5345 sa4 for "30", so the days of months get listed:

Still used in Taiwan for the lunar calendar, which is printed on every
better calendar here. Simply for space saving, I guess (2 characters

> 10 + 8
> 10 + 9 (shi-jiu)
> 20 (nian)
> 20 + 1 (nian-yi)
> ...
> 30
> 30 + 1 (sa-yi)
>
> which is another non-decimal-radix system, and which also differs from
> the traditional numerical construction for ordinary numbers.

Please note, that for financial stuff (bank forms, contracts, etc.) we
need to use a whole different set of characters:

零 壹 貳 參 肆 伍 陸 柒 捌 玖 (0-9)
拾 (10), 佰 (100), 仟 (1000), 萬 (10,000), 億 (100,000,000)

Also, the month of January is commonly depicted as 圓月 here.

And the use of full-width decimals is very common in running text and

Just my 2 NT\$.

Cheers
Arne

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