Monday, October 11, 2010

Culture: Tallying Up Numbers

In English, if you want to quickly tally up something or count something, you write out four vertical hatch marks and one angled across on the fifth. In Japanese they do it differently: it's still in sets of five, but instead you write the character for "correct", 正, which happens to have five strokes total.

The first is left to right across the top, second is down the middle, third is across to the right, fourth is the left vertical line going down, and last is the horizontal one left to right across the bottom. Here's an animation showing how to write it if that last bit made no sense!

So "two" would be a "T" shape, four would have everything but the bottom line, and so on.

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