Arithmetic in Urdu or Hindi?

Anand Venkt Raman A.Raman at
Tue Jun 17 19:20:02 UTC 1997

>And about arithmetic signs, we used +, -, x, /. But we also used a
>different kind of sign for division. I do not know if that sign is of
>Indian origin or Western origin.

Speaking of arithmetic, I have noticed while helping my neices
and their classmates in NZ and Australia that a/b is called a over
b and not a by b as I was accustomed to by my Indian training.
Likewise a*b is called a times b instead of my a into b. In fact
the nomenclature I am used to seems to mean quite the opposite, "by"
seeming to imply "multiply by" and "into" meaning "divided into"!

So used did I eventually get to using the new terminology that I
started using dy over dx for dy/dx for them later only to be surprised
that was still called "dy by dx"!

Is this difference purely an Australasian phenomenon or is it also
observed in America and Europe?

If the difference is due to inversion of meaning due to Indians, I
wonder what the historical or linguistic reasons could have been for

- &

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