# Why are numbers in Arabic (not Arabic numerals) written from left to right when the language is written from right to left?

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Or maybe the question should be why are (Western) Arabic numerals (i.e., 1, 2, 3…) written from left to right?

My question is why is 125 written ١٢٥ and not ٥٢١

In: 38

Arabs wrote numbers that way because it was easier for counting and trading.with India which already has numeral written left to right.

This system was later passed on to the western world through trade and exchanging ideas.

Arabic derives from earlier scripts also written right to left. The numbers were borrowed from India, where the scripts are left to right.

Actually Arabs didn’t create the modern decimal system, it was Indians who did it and arabs and persian traded with India from ancient times so they also started to use decimal numeric system as it was easier, then the decimal system was bought to Europe by Arabs and it was called hindu-arabic numeric system because it was bought by arabs and arabs and Persians called Indians as hindu.

There’s others with the historical (and correct) answer, but I have a slightly different additional (heh) view on the matter. In a way, numbers ***are*** written right to left. They’re just **read** left to right.

What do I mean? Think about how many people do basic arithmetic, like subtraction, long hand. (Better with a concrete example, so, two rng 3-digit numbers…813 and 729.)

`813`

`-729`

`—-`

You start on the right, don’t you? 3 – 9? Can’t do that, so borrow 1 from the left. 13 – 9 = 4. Ok.

**Write down** the 4

`813`

`-729`

`—-`

`4`

Then move left. 0 – 2? Also impossible, so borrow from the left again. 10 – 2 = 8. Write that down.

`813`

`-729`

`—-`

`84`

Moving on; 7 – 7 = 0. No borrowing there. And we ignore leading 0s.

So we have our answer of 84, read left to right, but written down right to left.

We do the same with addition and multiplication…long-hand division, not so much.

Now, I know this is not true of other mathematics. Many transcendental numbers like pi and e are notorious for not having a “right-most” (IE. final) digit. But then there’s numbers like Graham’s number, in which we *do* know the last digit (a 3), but do not know how long it is or what the first, or left-most, digit is.