Why do French say quatre vingt?
One of the unique features of the French language is the way that numbers are expressed. In particular, the way that the number 80 is expressed in French can be confusing for those who are not familiar with the language. In French, the number 80 is expressed as “quatre-vingt,” which translates to “four twenties” in English. In this blog post, we’ll explore why French people say “quatre-vingt” instead of simply saying “80.”
- Historical reasons The French language has a long and complex history, and the use of “quatre-vingt” for the number 80 can be traced back to the Middle Ages. At the time, the French used a system of counting based on the number 20, which was a convenient way to count and trade goods. This system evolved over time, and the use of “quatre-vingt” for 80 became standardized in the French language.
- Cultural significance The use of “quatre-vingt” for 80 is also a unique aspect of French culture. It sets the French language apart from other languages and is part of the country’s rich linguistic heritage. It is also a way for French people to express their cultural identity and pride.
- Efficiency Using “quatre-vingt” for 80 is also a way to express numbers in an efficient manner. By using a combination of numbers that are already familiar to French speakers (i.e. 20 and 4), it is possible to express larger numbers without the need for additional words or digits.
- Simplification Using “quatre-vingt” for 80 can also simplify the expression of numbers in certain contexts. For example, when counting money or telling time, using “quatre-vingt” can be more efficient than using the number 80.
- Tradition Finally, the use of “quatre-vingt” for 80 is simply a tradition that has been passed down through the generations. It is a unique aspect of the French language and is part of what makes the language and culture so fascinating.
In conclusion, the use of “quatre-vingt” for 80 in the French language can be traced back to historical, cultural, and linguistic reasons. While it may seem confusing to those who are not familiar with the language, it is an important and unique aspect of French culture and language. So the next time you hear a French person say “quatre-vingt,” you’ll know why it’s used instead of simply saying “80.”