# Re: [Tlhingan-hol] do any human cultures count like Klingons do?

### De'vID ([email protected])

```lojmIt tI'wI' nuv:
>> I'm curious as to how Roman Numerals would figure into this. [...]
>> you count one, two, three, four, five, five + one, five + two, [...]

Quvar:
> Hm... I am no latin speaker, but as far as I remember that's how they
> "write", not how they "count" using words.
>
> latin Hol vIjatlhlaHbe', 'ach loQ mI'meyDaj vISov. mI'meyDaj ghItlhmeH,
> patlIj lulo', 'ach mI'mey jatlhmeH, latlh mu'mey ghaj Rom nganpu'.

There is one weirdness with how Romans spoke their numbers. For
eighteen and nineteen, they say duodēvīgintī and ūndēvīgintī,
literally "two from twenty" and "one from twenty". So they'd count
"..., 10+6, 10+7, 20-2, 20-1, 20, 20+1, ...". They can also optionally
do this for numbers ending in 8 and 9 above 20, so 28 can be either
duodētrīgintā "two from thirty" or vīgintī octō "twenty eight".
Nevertheless, it is still a base-10 positional system.

If we write "A" as the symbol for the digit with the value of decimal
10, then a 10-adic system would count like this: "..., 10+6, 10+7,
10+8, 10+9, 10+A, 20+1, ...". Another way to think of it is like a
"late carry". If you add 1 to 19, with a decimal system, you'd have to
carry and make it 20. With a 10-adic system, you'd write "1A". Only
when you added 1 more to "1A" would you carry and write "21".

Klingon apparently does this, but in base 3. So you'd write "1, 2, 3,
11, 12, 13, 21, 22, 23, ..." and not "1, 2, 10, 11, 12, 20, 21, 22,
30, ...".

The difference becomes more apparently for "larger" numbers: decimal
18 would be written "200" in base 3, but "123" in 3-adic notation.
Decimal 33 is "1020" in base 3, but "313" in 3-adic notation.

--
De'vID

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