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RE: Fwd: Arabic numbers

Display of numbers (input by user or already defined) in a website should be in accordance with the locale the user has selected.

Whether the numbers would appear as Arabic numerals or Hindi numerals can be controlled by user selected locale.

For example, I just opened bbcarabic.com: all the numerals were appearing in Arabic but by changing the locale setting for numbers all the numbers got converted to Hindi numerals.

Hence, there is no forced requirement for an Egyptian or Moroccan or Algerian kid to use Arabic or Hindi numerals. 


-----Original Message-----
From: general-bounces at arabeyes dot org [mailto:general-bounces at arabeyes dot org] On Behalf Of Youssef Chahibi
Sent: 26 صفر, 1428 05:55 ص
To: General Arabization Discussion
Cc: James Tu
Subject: Re: Fwd: Arabic numbers

> I apologize if this is slightly off topic...

It is on topic here.

> We are working on a kid's website that targets 5 languages and one of
> them is Arabic.  We were wondering whether we should be using
> 0123456789 (arabic numbers) vs ٠١٢٣٤٣٥٦٧٨٩ (indian numbers,
> I found out that the real Arabic numbers are called indian
> numbers. :)  )  This will mostly be used when a user is entering and
> ID number to log into the site.
> On an Arabic keyboard, there is the 'normal' row of arabic numbers
> 0123456789.  But on the same keys they have the corresponding indian
> numbers, used for Arabic.
> Can anyone help me understand the usage pattern for Arabic speakers
> with these hybrid keyboards.  (supposedly, some people doing research
> found that kids learn Indian numbers and then start using Arabic
> 0123456789 numbers later)

Muslims imported numbers from India, and called them Indic numbers, but many 
variants have existed in the Muslim world. Eastern Arab countries (Called 
Mashreq) have used Eastern Arabic numbers which are "٠١٢٣٤٣٥٦٧٨٩" but Western 
Arab countries (Called Maghreb) have used Western Arabic numbers which 
are "0123456789". Therefore, countries like Egypt and Saudia Arabic use 
Eastern numbers to teach pupils, many persons are the most comfortable with 
these numbers. In Western Arab  countries like Mauritania, Morocco, Algeria, 
Tunisia, Andalusia (Formerly) and I guess Libya too use only Western Arab 
countries, almost every person there does not understand numbers 
like "٠١٢٣٤٣٥٦٧٨٩".

To illustrate this: The most famous Arabic book, the Qur'an, uses Eastern 
Arabic numbers to number verses in Eastern countries, and uses Western Arabic 
numbers to number verses in Western countries. In a country like Morocco, a 
student is taught Pharaonic numbers but not Eastern Arabic numbers at all (as 
far as I remember), people there only try to decipher these numbers when 
reading books and medias from those countries. A student in a traditional 
Quranic school in Morocco (Kuttab) is taught Western Arabic numbers.

Pan-arabic medias like Wikipedia, Al-Jazeera or Al-Arabiya use Western Arabic 
numbers even if most are based in Eastern countries. Actually, globalization 
is globalizing the language too. "0123456789" are criticized for usually not 
blending perfectly with the Arabic typography on computers, but that is a 
font issue.

> - When an Arabic speaker uses their computer and when she types
> numbers, does the operating system default to 0123456789, or does it
> default to Arabic numbers?

It depends on the layout which is selected by countries, I for example don't 
have Eastern Arabic numbers.

> How 'bad' would it be if we required that kids use 0123456789?

Very bad if required for an Egyptian kid, extremely bad if using "٠١٢٣٤٣٥٦٧٨٩" 
was required for an Algerian kid.

> -James
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