FR- 70 / 80 / 90
So I was in Geneva last week, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and they use different words for those numbers: 70, 80, 90. I knew it, and I knew the words before coming but it was still really weird for me!
For example when they said like << en nonante-six >> (“in ‘96” - en quatre-vingt-seize) or like << septante patients >> (“70 patients” - soixante-dix patients) it took me a second to realise what they were saying, and I could never use those myself (I would be able to if I’d stay there longer I imagine, it’s just a habit).
I know their system is “more logical” because it’s decimal and that’s what we use all the time now, but French in France and its remnants of a vigesimal system is what I’ve used and heard since I was a kid, it’s my mother tongue, what can I do?
- 70 - soixante-dix (France) - septante (Switzerland & Belgium)
- 80 - quatre-vingts (France) - huitante (Switzerland)*
- 90 - quatre-vingt-dix (France) - nonante (Switzerland & Belgium)
*Some people might have heard of octante for 80, but this word hasn’t been used in decades, so please forget it and use huitante instead - use it only in French-speaking parts of Switzerland.