# Numerical fractions written in Arabic script

Frédéric Grosshans frederic.grosshans at gmail.com
Wed Jul 27 08:03:54 CDT 2016

```Le 27/07/2016 à 14:29, Frédéric Grosshans a écrit :
> Le 27/07/2016 à 03:12, Robert Wheelock a écrit :
>> How do Arabs, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Urdu ... all write their
>> equivalents of common numerical fractions (consisting of a numerator,
>> a separator character, and a denominator)?!?!
>> Considering that Arabic written script reads from right to left (like
>> in Hebrew, Syro-Aramaic, and the fantasy language of Tsolyáni), would
>> they use a normal right-facing foreslash (1/2), a left-facing
>> backslash (1\2), or do they align numerator above|demoniator below a
>> horizontal fraction bar?!?!
>> Notice that these people would use the native Arabic-based digits in
>> them; nonewithstanding, the forms for |4 5 6| (and—sometimes—those
>> for |2 7|) do look quite different from the canonical Arabic forms.
>
> The subject of modern arabic notation is quite complex, mixing RTL and
> LTR consideration, as well as latin/arabic/greek/math mixing, with
> several different approaches. A W3C document on this
> (https://www.w3.org/TR/arabic-math/) enumerates 4 styles
> (Moroccan/Maghreb/Machrek/Persian). It also contains the following
>
>    Finally, although stacked fractions are rendered the same way in
>    both European and Arabic, bevelled fractions in RTL Arabic will
>    appear, as one would expect, with the terms in RTL order, i.e. A
>    divided by B would appear as "B/A". In some locales, the preference
>    is for the slash to also be mirrored, as "B\A". For these cases, we
>    suggest that authors employ explicit markup using the REVERSE
> SOLIDUS \

Looking at wikipedia (+ some google translate) gives you some examples :

https://ar.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D9%83%D8%B3%D8%B1_(%D8%B1%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA),
you will see the following sentence :

.كسر عادي (بسيط): هو الكسر الذي فيه البسط أصغر من المقام، أمثلة
10/6 ، 3/2 ، 5/4

According to google translate, all the numerators are smaller than the
denominator. A bit below, 2 4/5 is written :5/4 2, which is an
interesting mixture of RTL and LTR, as is often the case for numbers in
arabic script.

https://fa.wikipedia.org/wiki/%DA%A9%D8%B3%D8%B1, 3/4 is written ۳/۴,
that is LTR 3/4 in persian digits, even if the text is RTL. The opposite
convention is used.

The Hebrew (
https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A9%D7%91%D7%A8_(%D7%9E%D7%AA%D7%9E%D7%98%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%94)
) and Yiddish (
https://he.wikipedia.org/wiki/%D7%A9%D7%91%D7%A8_(%D7%9E%D7%AA%D7%9E%D7%98%D7%99%D7%A7%D7%94)
) equivalent pages seem to avoid the ambiguity by using exclusively
vertically stacked fraction (with the excetion of π/4 in the Hebrew page)

```