06 August 2009

math in foreign languages

Less than a year ago, but before I started this blog, my friend Magee asked me about the names of math things in other languages. We were hoping they would be universal, as the should be... and it turns out, for the most part, they are.

Actually, I only looked through trig function names, because that's what he asked about specifically.
The short answer is: you'll be able to figure it out, I promise.
  • In most languages the abbreviations are sin, cos, tan, sec, csc, cot.
  • In Asturian, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, they use sen instead of sin.
  • In most Germanic languages it seems like they use kos and kot, but not actually in German.
  • Беларуская and Hrvatski use tg and ctg instead of tan and cot. Italian and Esperanto give you this option as well.
As far as non-Cyrillic-alphabet-languages... good luck. They don't seem to use the Cyrillic abbreviations.


Chela said...

heidenkind just posted a comment on your weblog entry: "math in foreign languages"

For some reason I've always had a mental block on French numbers. I'm great with numbers in Spanish and German, but with French...? No. Especially for the 70's, 80's, and 90's, because in order to say the number, you need to do math! Way too much work.

Chela said...

Magee said:

good to know. I don't think you answered satisfactorily at the time...