[KS] Going, going, gyeong: but why 10 quadrillion?
rfrank at koreanstudies.de
Sun Oct 2 01:09:47 EDT 2005
Dear Aidan and all,
hm, it's Sunday, and as an economist I love numbers, so why
not pondering this issue a bit.
The riddle is not as complicated as it seems, I think. The
very headline of that article is false. 13 zeros in a row
are 10 trillion, not quadrillion... (6 zeros: million, 9
zeros: billion, 12 zeros: trillion, 15 zeros: quadrillion).
1 Gyeong or 10 quadrillion then have 16 zeros, which equals
100 million times 100 million, or Ok Ok. Ok?
A nice national holiday on Monday to all Koreans
(Gaecheonjeol) and Germans (Unification Day).
Afostercarter at aol.com schrieb:
> A query for those less mathematically challenged than me
> (ie just about everyone).
> In the JoongAng story below, I'm puzzled why the new mega-unit
> should have 13 zeroes, rather than 12 or 16.
> If I have it aright, the /man/ok/ system - whose use even in official
> English-language websites etc traps many an unwary foreigner
> brought up on three-based Western thousands/millions/billions
> - proceeds in quasi-binary units of 2 and 4, thus:
> /baek / 100
> /man / 10,000 (a hundred hundreds)
> /ok / 100,000,000 (ten thousand ten thousands)
> That is already plenty big enough. But the ROK's perverse refusal
> to do to the won what de Gaulle did for the franc in 1959 - ie create
> a new won, worth 100 old won - means they now need mega-numbers;
> hence the /gyeong/. Fair enough.
> *But why _13_ zeroes? *OK, /ok ok/ (16 zeroes, ten quintillion!) is
> beyond need, or grasp.
> But why not 12 zeroes (10,000 cubed), ie the western quadrillion?
> Has 13 some mystical significance? Lucky for some?
> I learn from Wikipedia (see below; sorry I don't know how to paste
> that Chinese has words for both of the above (12 and 16 zeroes).
> But otherwise I'm outnumbered, and can only shriek: OOOOOOOOOOOOO!
> Can anyone figure it out?
> yours, nonplussed
> AIDAN FOSTER-CARTER
> Honorary Senior Research Fellow in Sociology & Modern Korea, Leeds
> Home address: 17 Birklands Road, Shipley, West Yorkshire, BD18 3BY, UK
> tel: +44(0) 1274 588586 (alt) +44(0) 1264 737634
> mobile: +44(0) 7970 741307
> fax: +44(0) 1274 773663 ISDN: +44(0) 1274 589280
> Email: afostercarter at aol.com (alt) afostercarter at yahoo.com
> website: www.aidanfc.net
> [Please use @aol; but if any problems, please try @yahoo too - and let
> me know, so I can chide AOL]
> 13 zeros all in a row: That's a gyeong here
> *September 30, 2005* ? It's getting tougher to count the zeros in
> talking about the Korean macroeconomy, and some statisticians probably
> wish the won were worth only 10 or 100 to the dollar instead of over
> 1,000. All those zeros to describe an economy the size of Korea's has
> forced a new numerical term into use: one gyeong, a unit of 10 quadrillion.
> The Bank of Korea said yesterday that the sum of all transactions
> through domestic financial service companies reached "2.7 gyeong won" or
> 27 quadrillion won ($26 trillion) last year. Transactions in derivatives
> are also more than a gyeong's worth every year.
> A Bank of Korea official said that when Korea's broadly defined money
> supply reached 1.3 quadrillion won, he had to refer foreign bankers to a
> dictionary to confirm to them that there was such an English word as
> There are also words in other languages with the same classic meaning as
> Hebrew <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hebrew_language>: /revava/
> Chinese <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_language>: /wan4/ Mandarin
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mandarin_language> and /maan6/ Cantonese
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cantonese_language> (?/?)
> Japanese <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japanese_language>:/man/ (?/?)
> Korean <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_language>: /man/ (?/?/?)
> Chinese, Japanese and Korean also have words for a myriad squared (10
> 0002): /yi/ (?/?), /oku/ (?), and /eok/ (?/?)(pronounced "awk"),
> respectively. A myriad cubed (10 0003) is a /zhao/ (?); /cho/ (?); a
> myriad to the fourth power (10 0004) is a /jing/ (?); /kei/ (?).
> Conversely, Chinese, Japanese and Korean do not have single words for a
> thousand squared, cubed, etc., unlike English.
> The English numbering system divides large numbers into groups of three
> digits, and so the names for such numbers follow this division (10 000 =
> /ten thousand <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thousand>/). Asian numbering
> divides large numbers into groups of four; so in Chinese, Japanese, or
> Korean, 30 000 really would be "three myriad" (3 0000 - Japanese
> /san-man/). One million <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Million> is a
> hundred <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hundred> myriad (100 x 10000
> instead of 1000 x 1000); the next uniquely named number after a myriad
> is ?, which is myriad myriad (10000 x 10000) or a hundred million.Modern
> Greek still uses the word "myriad" by itself, but also to form the word
> for million. The word for million is /ekatommyrio/ (hundred myriad -
> e?at?µµ????); one thousand million <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1_E9>
> is /disekatommyrio/ (twice hundred myriad - d?se?at?µµ????).The largest
> number named in Ancient Greek
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek> was a myriad myriad and
> Archimedes of Syracuse <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Archimedes> used
> this quantity as the basis for a numeration system of large powers of
> ten, which he needed to count grains of sand, see The Sand Reckoner
> <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sand_Reckoner>.There is only slight
> indication that "myria" has at all been used as a metric prefix for
> 10,000, e.g., 10 kilometres = 1 myriametre. It does not have official
> status as a prefix.[edit
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