totally agree. I always struggle to understand when French numbers like 73, said as [60+13] or 96, said as [(4x20)+16] are told fastly. It must be good to develop a mathematical brain, I guess
I don’t speak German but I think it’s a bit simmilar, isn’t it?
In the US, schoolchildren all learn Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, which starts, “Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.”
I had no end of problems with the harder French numbers when I studied French at school many, many years ago. Before Christmas 2015 I spent 12 days in France and found that by having to use the numbers when talking to people they become much easier. Of course 5 months later they have all been forgotten again!
My French is terrible but I insisted on trying to speak French with all the shop staff, hotel staff, waiters etc. As soon as they heard my English accent they would all switch to English but when I asked if we could try to use French the result was wonderful. I was encouraged, helped, assisted and on occasion we’d switch to English whilst they tried to explain what I should say. I found it a wonderful experience that so many people in France tried to understand and help me speak French. I suppose they were surprised at an English guy making an effort when many English just don’t bother.
I bellieve that is EXACTLY why Napolean introduced that method of counting - to improve matematics among his subjects. I believe the older French language that was adopted in parts of Canda, does not use this method.
I do delight in using e.g. “five-and-twenty” to/past for times. I got this from my Grandmother. I suspect it is seen as archaic.
How about the Welsh system(s)
The traditional style is quite complicated. Perhaps it’s no wonder that even in the Welsh-speaking heartland of Gwynedd it’s not unusual to hear the Welsh speakers swap to English numbers at the supermarket checkout!
Add on the completely different modern system that is now taught (which is nice and regular like Esperanto - but you’ve still got to worry about gender and mutation and all that stuff) and it’s really doing my head in!