question about identifying CLDR coverage % for Amharic

Philippe Verdy verdy_p at
Sat Feb 25 09:22:49 CST 2017

2017-02-24 22:42 GMT+01:00 Richard Wordingham <
richard.wordingham at>:

> There is a data synchronisation issue, unfortunately.  Is 1800
> "eighteen hundred" or "one thousand eight hundred"?

Both are valid, but not at the same ranks in term of use, depending on the
context. The former is mostly encountered in dates (for years, which are
not really cardinal quantities, but discrete ordinal values).
But the generic pattern focuses on generic numbers for quantities (discrete
or not). If used with amounts of currencies, "eithen hundreds dollars" is
possible and understood, but rare.

The same remark applies for other European languages with a large romance
history (like French, but also including English with its historic
important use of Latin in former administrations and interchange in Europe
for commercial transactions): they tend to prefer the thousands form, but
the hundreds forms were kept due to the frequent reference to centuries in
historical papers, arts, culture, and heritage (that are still promoted
using centuries as the most frequent scale for dates, when the exact
precision of years is rapidly confusing or imprecise after just a few
decenials). We start thinking about thousands in dates only in prehistoric
dates and dates prior the creation of the Greek empire (before the Roman
empire itself), or recent dates since the start of the second millenium.

There's just an exception for year 1000 ("l'an mil") in French: note that
the standard orthography for translating "thousand" changes from "mille" to
just "mil", but only for year ordinals, and that "mil" is used only in the
range 1000-1099, then preferably switches back to hundreds forms for all
years in range 1100-1699: "onze cent" for 1100, then hesitates between both
forms for years in range 1700-1999: "dix-sept cents" or "mille sept cents",
as they are allophonic and equally long to pronounce and hear, some people
prefering one form to the other to avoid pronunciation difficulties of some
consonnant clusters like /ls/ in "mille sept cents" /mi:lsetsã/ using the
CVCCVCV pattern (while "dix-sept cents" use a simpler CVCVCV pattern which
may be pronounced a bit faster).

When spelling amounts of money, we want to be clear and avoid fast speech:
the more regular thousands forms is prefered.
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