When you read text that is not in your native language and the text contains numbers (written with numbers and not spelled out as words), do you think of the numbers in the language the text is in or in your native language?

this poll brought you by the thought how numerals are often* one of the most arbitrary and complicated area of vocabulary and concepts to learn in another language

(* based on my personal experience)

@Stoori when reading any language, numbers are in turkish (my L1).

when speaking I think of numbers in the language I'm speaking

you can imagine reading out loud can be /fun/ for me

@Stoori Just thinking of the numeral system in Gaelic, it’s interesting that its traditional 20s-based counting (like parts of the French numeral system) is considered confusing enough that people like my son who went through Gaelic-medium education only learned to use the modern, 10s-based system

There are also grammatical changes that people of that generation seem to have made when it comes to numbers in the teens (which they’re only using there and not for 30s, 50s and so on)

@transponderings @Stoori What makes it extra confusing is the different syntax for numbers between 20 and 40. 39 = "19 over 20", but 59 = "2 20 and 19". When I use the old system, I tend to use hacks like "leth-cheud" (half hundred) for 50 rather than "dà fhichead 's a deich" (2 20 + 10). And "ceud ach aon" (100 but 1) for 99 rather than "ceithir fichead 's a naoi deug" (4 20 + 19).

On the plus side, less vocabulary to learn - after 20, the next new number word is 100 in the old system.

@Anna Nicholson

Very interesting to read. Is there vocabulary in your language(s) for maths concepts such 'tangent', 'differential', or are English words used?

@Stoori curiously I can fairly easily understand the spoken numbers (such as telephone numbers) on a Dutch pirate radio station and even a Bayern greaser on a YouTube video talking about "hundadzwanzga" (120) grit sandpaper (used to repair some alloy wheels), but when reading its 50% whether I read the number in the original language or in English..

@Stoori The year is mille neuf cent quatre-vingts cinq

@bartholin thus a long time has passed since i last was going up in the wheel

@Stoori On a related note, if I memorise a sequence of digits or numbers in one language, I find it difficult to recite it in a different language. That's probably not surprising.

@Stoori In English, which I am more fluent, I think of numbers in English quite naturally. For other languages that I can read a little bit, it doesn't come as easily and I might read numbers in Portuguese.

Also, for loose names and expressions I might just read the number in Portuguese - like say, the game Civilization Cinco instead of Civilization Five. It's like, proper names don't "count" as speaking a foreign language by themselves.

@Stoori it depends, very long numbers I usually count them in my native language, but for normal daily life numbers, I just read them randomly.

@Stoori Very much a ‘mostly’ there, because to some extent it depends on the language and how fluent I am in its number system.

@Stoori There’s definitely a little bit of self-coercion going on when I’m reading an L2 language – when numbers are written using numerals, my brain really wants to take the easy path by switching to L1

But I like to practise reading them as fluently as I can in the language of the surrounding text – and I would always do that if reading aloud to someone else (which doesn’t happen very often!)

@Stoori It depends on the language: if I only understand a bit of it they are definitely read in my native language, Italian, or possibly the other language I'm fluent in, English.

English, it depends, sometimes it's English, sometimes Italian.

And then for some random reason sometimes I read numbers in German when there is no German in the context, even if German definitely qualifies as “I only understand a bit”.

@Stoori mostly in the language of the text if I speak it well, otherwise in a random language I do speak well.

@Stoori For me it's so random I can't even vote in the poll. It's also a place where I try to catch myself and use less EN and more FR.

Unrelated but 

@Stoori I remember for math classes because I reacted slowly to numbers the teacher thought I was dumb and untalented

Unrelated but 

@joyfuluselessness i'm sorry to hear that :(

why must some teachers be so inconsiderate?

Unrelated but 

@Stoori I guess it’s just because they are not used to having students whose mother tongue are not French. It was quickly proven otherwise with my grades though.
I find the number (especially phone numbers) the most stressful part of a day to day conversation when I first get into a language

@Stoori despite the influency i tend to read number in french better than in english, because my french teacher trained me to do so much more than my english teachers ever did

@Stoori I try to do my best with reading the numbers in the language of the text but most of the time I revert back to my native tongue

@Stoori For my response "mostly in the language of the text", I usually use it as an opportunity to practise. But sometimes I'm lazy and read them in english 😅

@Stoori Ok, I have a number line that is formed of vaguely defined points in a transparent and slightely curved diagonal from the down left to the upper right. they also have colors. but in portuguese which is my native I have the names associated with them easily, but not in english and spanish or norwegian and i almost always have a delay when trying to recite them.

@Stoori learning a numeral system in a new language generally is really difficult to me, maybe cause i have my own way of seeing the number which I more used to associate with portuguese numbers. but also I see the same colors regardless of the language I'm reading or reciting

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