Thursday, December 16, 2021

TIL: Chinese words

Okay, I didn't learn the actual Chinese words and I'm way too lazy to look them up.  

I was talking to my daughters on the way home from school today, and they're all studying at least some Chinese. And my oldest was telling me the different words for siblings based on where they are in birth order. Just an interesting little linguistic / cultural note. It seems to imply a more rigid, hierarchical view of family life, doesn't it?

But they also have better words for the numbers 11, 12, and 13. Like, in English, we have these words that don't make any sense, while they basically say "ten-one, ten-two, ten-three," like we would for 20s, 30s, etc. We kind of do that with the rest of the teens, but even there it's backward from the way the rest of the numbers go. 

I know the metric system is a bridge too far for most of us, but how about a little tweak to our number naming system? 

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