Numerical fractions written in Arabic script

Frédéric Grosshans frederic.grosshans at
Wed Jul 27 07:29:39 CDT 2016

Le 27/07/2016 à 03:12, Robert Wheelock a écrit :
> How do Arabs, Iranians, Afghans, Pakistanis, Urdu ... all write their 
> equivalents of common numerical fractions (consisting of a numerator, 
> a separator character, and a denominator)?!?!
> Considering that Arabic written script reads from right to left (like 
> in Hebrew, Syro-Aramaic, and the fantasy language of Tsolyáni), would 
> they use a normal right-facing foreslash (1/2), a left-facing 
> backslash (1\2), or do they align numerator above|demoniator below a 
> horizontal fraction bar?!?!
> Notice that these people would use the native Arabic-based digits in 
> them; nonewithstanding, the forms for |4 5 6| (and—sometimes—those for 
> |2 7|) do look quite different from the canonical Arabic forms.

The subject of modern arabic notation is quite complex, mixing RTL and 
LTR consideration, as well as latin/arabic/greek/math mixing, with 
several different approaches. A W3C document on this 
( enumerates 4 styles 
(Moroccan/Maghreb/Machrek/Persian). It also contains the following 
paragraph, which answers your question:

    Finally, although stacked fractions are rendered the same way in
    both European and Arabic, bevelled fractions in RTL Arabic will
    appear, as one would expect, with the terms in RTL order, i.e. A
    divided by B would appear as "B/A". In some locales, the preference
    is for the slash to also be mirrored, as "B\A". For these cases, we
    suggest that authors employ explicit markup using the REVERSE SOLIDUS \


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