Scandinavia and the World
Just a Number

Just a Number

So, uh, yeah. We have the same number system as everybody else, but we say the numbers a bit funny here in Denmark. Swedes and especially Norwegians love to make fun of that.

In case you’re wondering what numbers Denmark is saying it’s:
10 cows, 34 pigs, 52 chickens, 193 eggs, 261 nuts, which he then changes to 371 nuts.

Not even Danes will recognize these numbers the way I wrote them in English, but I was being an extreme pronunciation nazi and writing them almost exactly like they’re said in Danish.

The thing that really confuse our Northern neighbors is that with a number like 52 we don’t say “fifty two” but “two and fifty” which sounds like “two fifty”. And our word for fifty sounds like “half sixty” and 90 sounds like “half fives” and it just goes on like that.

You are allowed to be confused. And Norway had to put up with that for 300 years. :XD:

Sweden Denmark Norway
17th June 2010
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4 years ago #9397253        

After trying to understand the danish numeral system, my three brain cells ended up with two hating each other and refuse to work, and the third got locked up in an insane asylum.

2 years ago #9613613        

Well. The Danish system makes sence once you get aquaintet with its original meaning: it's a 20-based system.
We usually say 'one and a half' meaning 1.5
Back in the day we used to say 'half two' meaning 1.5
(We still do that when we talk about what time it is).
100 = 5x20
50 = halvtresens tyve (half three twenty)
60 = tressens tyve (three twenty)
70 = halvfjersens tyve (half four twenty)
80 = firsens tyve (four twenty)
90 = halvfemsens tyve (half five twenty)

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3 years ago #9458979        

Sister France would like to have a word with Denmark.


4 years ago #9438337        

In finnish it would go like: 99 is nine tens nine, 79 seven tens nine, 32 three tens two, same in Mandarin and Japanese

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3 years ago #9517802        

The Danish system is only a little weird once you get to 50. Before 50 it's just like the German counting system. After 50, the numbers are said like an equation only abbreviated keeping in mind there is always a multiplication of 20. for example 56 is seksoghalvtreds which = 6+((3 - 0.5)x 20)=56. Halvtreds in this case is implying 3 minus 1/2 of one (or 0.5). Another example 87. Syvogfirs = 7+(4X20) =87. Notice there is no halvs because 80 is evenly divisible by 20. Nioghalvfems is 99. 9+((5 - 0.5) x 20) = 99 And so on and so on.

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9 months ago #9795341        


1 year ago #9741374        

A direct translation from the Finnish word for 34 would be "three tens four".

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2 years ago #9595418        

I get four thirty and the like because of German, but starting with 52 things got really confusing

3 years ago #9588511        

And somehow Norway managed to survive about three centuries with this system. Bless him.

3 years ago #9577111        

It's like the french!
French: Sixty-seven, Sixty-eight, Sixty-nine, Sixty-ten....
Other Languages: *stares*
French: *Stares back*
French:....Sixty-eleven, sixty-twelve, sixty-thirteen....
French: ...sixty-sixteen, sixty-ten-seven...
Other Languages: *Shutting eyes*
French: ....Sixty-ten-eight, Sixty-ten-nine...
Other Languages: *Hands over face*
French: ....Four twenties :) Four twenties one...

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