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Re: Arabic math

From: <Isam.Ayoubi@rubicon.com.jo>
Date: Thu, 28 Feb 2008 10:41:38 +0200
To: "cj" <cj@mb-soft.com>
Cc: www-math@w3.org, www-math-request@w3.org
Message-ID: <OFD842DB38.683B2522-ONC22573FD.002ED57F-C22573FD.002F621C@rubicon.com.jo>
Thanks Carl

Numbers is Arabic language are written in the SAME order as they are in 
Latin languages - simply the 'numbering system' might change from country 
to country.

Meaning:   3.1415926535  would still be written in that order, regardless 
of the direction of text & the number system used 

so in Arabic, the text goes:

 <--(direction of text) (continue the sentence )   3.1415926535  ---> (the 
number goes in this direction) <--(direction of text) (start the sentence 
from here) .1

reason for that is that traditionally, in Arabic, umbers are read from the 
smallest place value up:
321 is read one and twenty and three hundred. 
so it actually follows the direction of the text in the reading & hence 
the writing

That is, the ltr & rtl have nothing to do with the writing of the numbers, 
but has to do with the equation itself

  Dr. Isam S. Ayoubi 
  Managing Partner - Rubicon 
  P.O. Box 5296,  Amman, 11183 - Jordan
  Tel: +962.6.4655 300 or 4655 400 
  Fax: +962.6.4616 800 
  Mob. +962.79.5511332
  email: Isam.Ayoubi@rubicon.com.jo 

"cj" <cj@mb-soft.com> 
Sent by: www-math-request@w3.org
02/27/08 09:58 PM


Arabic math

Your presentation on Arabic math notation is excellent.

However, I have one issue that I think is important, and I do not see that
you have addressed it there.

It has to do with ltr and rtl presentation of Arabic numbers.  The most
obvious example I have thought of is this sentence:

The circumference of a circle is 3.1415926535 times the diameter.

If an Arabic writer translates that sentence into Arabic, the wording 
flowing from right to left.  But if it is required that the value of pi is
presented left-to-right, then the writer would have to skip ahead AN
UNSPECIFIC AMOUNT OF SPACE in order to then write the value in the space.
That seems immensely illogical and inconvenient to me.  I would think that
all Arabic writers would necessarily write that sentence, words and 
from right-to-left.  In other words, after that writer writes the Arabic
words for "circle is", he would next write the 3 immediately to the left 
it, then the punctuation (whether decimal or comma) then the 1, etc.

It is the only logical way where an Arabic writer would not have problems 
providing appropriate space for the number value.  When he is done writing
down the numeric value, with the final 5, at the left-hand end of where he
then was, he would simply and logically continue on with the following
words, "times the", continuing leftward.

I realize that does not always seem to be done.  But it seems the 
way that schoolchildren are taught the circle circumference relationship,
doesn't it?

Carl Johnson
(Nuclear Physicist)
Received on Thursday, 28 February 2008 08:37:58 UTC

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