Arabic Numerals

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Sauron | 06:08 Sun 30th Jan 2005 | People & Places
4 Answers

Almost every culture on Earth uses Arabic numerals (0 - 9).  While in Cairo I noticed the plates on cars and buttons on phones, they are not Arabic numerals.

I asked a driver, he laughed and said the entire world uses Arabic numerals except the Arab nations !!!.

Why does Arabia not use the numerals they invented ???


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'Arabic' is probably a misnomer for what were originally 'Indian' numerals. Click

for a website with more information. Once there, you might click on the blue links for more background.

We call our numbers Arabic to differentiate them from Roman numerals.

In fact, our numerals aren't *too* dissimilar to Arabic ones - they have evolved a bit though
-- answer removed --

The Arabic numeral system has used many different sets of glyphs (carvings or characters). These glyph sets can be divided into two main families the West Arabic numerals, and the East Arabic numerals.

East Arabic numerals are Arabic-Indic (the ones on the number plates).  East Arabic-Indic is a variety of East Arabic numerals. West Arabic numerals are labelled European (the ones we use).

Most historians agree that the Arab numerals were first conceived of in India (particularly as Arabs themselves call the numerals they use �Indian numerals�, arqam hindiyyah), and was then transmitted to the Islamic world and thence, via North Africa and Spain, to Europe (mainly by Fabonacci aka Leonardo of Pisa - an Italian mathematician).

Our numbering follows a combination of various numbering patterns (or glyphs) including Arabic-Indic (indoa), Eastern Arabic-Indic (Persian/Urdu), Devanagari (Hindi) and Tamil.

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