Chinese Numbers --- Standard --- Financial --- Rod

Chinese date back to about 1400 BC or earlier, although the numbers may have changed their form.

Enter a number from 1 to 99999 to see how the Chinese write it, or enter a number to count with.

The Chinese system is not now used for calculation. The Chinese use Arabic numbers for that. This Chinese system is really a way of writing numbers as words. This helps to explain how the numbers work. The Chinese have different symbols for one to nine.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

There are also symbols for powers of ten.

10 | 100 | 1000 | 10000 |
---|---|---|---|

You construct a number very similar to the way you say it in English.

Two hundred and thirty seven or two - hundred - three - ten - seven |

This is not a positional system like Arabic numbers. The symbols for ten, hundred, thousand and so on, tells you what power of ten the digits refer to. Although the system has a symbol for zero, it doesn't really need it. This zero symbol does get used within the number system, although I have left it out of the counter above.

Chinese symbol for zero: |
---|

Chinese can be written from left to right, from right to left, from top to bottom, or from bottom to top, which must lead to some ambiguity for numbers! Left to right is common, and that is what I have used here.

© Jo Edkins 2006 - Return to Numbers index