Friday, January 23, 2009

Indian numerals are used instead of Arabic numerals

Indian numerals are used instead of Arabic numerals
Originally uploaded by BoydJones

I would like to learn more about this - why does the Arab world use Indian numerals whereas the West uses Arabic numerals?


Anonymous said...

indians and arabs were great mathematicians. close cultural ties? why don't you ask one of your arabic colleagues? i'm just an ignorant american.

nibaq said...

Its from trading with India. The Gulf countries also didn't have their own mint and were using Indian rupees as their currency since it was a standard currency you could use anywhere and be accepted.

rjhintz said...

So, let me ask a naive question, besides license plates, are Indian numerals used in official and commercial settings pervasively? Is this throughout the ME? (One comment said Gulf. I'm not sure what the common understanding is of the scope of "Gulf."))

How about in (non Arab) Iran? How about when dealing with western companies? Which way does the translation go? (starts as X and is translated to Y)

I'm assuming in science, Arabic numerals are used exclusively, but, as with the other items, I'm pretty ignorant.