Eastern Arabic numerals
The Eastern Arabic numerals, also called Arabic–Hindu numerals, are the symbols used to represent numerical digits in conjunction with the Arabic alphabet in the countries of the Mashriq (the east of the Arab world), the Arabian Peninsula, and its variant in other countries that use the Persian numerals in the Iranian plateau and Asia.
The numeral system originates from an ancient Indian numeral system, which was re-introduced in the book On the Calculation with Hindu Numerals written by the Islamic Golden Age mathematician and engineer Khwarazmi, whose name was Latinized as Algoritmi.[note 1]
These numbers are known as ʾarqām hindīyyah (أَرْقَام هِنْدِيَّة) in Arabic. They are sometimes also called Indic numerals in English. However, that is sometimes discouraged as it can lead to confusion with Indian numerals, used in Brahmic scripts of India.
Each numeral in the Persian variant has a different Unicode point even if it looks identical to the Eastern Arabic numeral counterpart. However, the variants used with Urdu, Sindhi, and other South Asian languages are not encoded separately from the Persian variants.
Written numerals are arranged with their lowest-value digit to the right, with higher value positions added to the left. That is identical to the arrangement used for Western Arabic numerals, even though Arabic script is read from right-to-left. Columns of numbers are usually arranged with the decimal points aligned.
Negative signs are written to the right of magnitudes, e.g. −٣ (−3).
In-line fractions are written with the numerator and denominator on the left and right of the fraction slash respectively, e.g. ٢/٧ (2/7).
The symbol decimal mark, as in ٣٫١٤١٥٩٢٦٥٣٥٨ (3.14159265358).is used as the
The symbol thousands separator, e.g. ١٬٠٠٠٬٠٠٠٬٠٠٠ (1,000,000,000).may be used as a
In Arabic-speaking Asia as well as Egypt and Sudan both kinds of numerals are used alongside each other with Western Arabic numerals gaining more and more usage, now even in very traditional countries such as Saudi Arabia. The United Arab Emirates uses both Eastern and Western Arabic numerals.
In North Africa (excluding Egypt and Sudan), only Western Arabic numerals are now commonly used. In medieval times, these areas used a slightly different set (from which, via Italy, Western Arabic numerals derive).
- Other Latin transliterations include Algaurizin.
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- "Glossary of Unicode terms". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- "Glossary". Retrieved 2 September 2015.
- Menninger, Karl (1992). Number words and number symbols: a cultural history of numbers. Courier Dover Publications. p. 415. ISBN 0-486-27096-3.