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Each day in France, by numbers

If there’s any aspect of speaking French that scares me the most, it’s the numbers. Even scientific French snags a lesser spot on the scale of scariness. Smaller numbers, sure, no problem. Deciphering the numbers higher between 69 and 100 on their own, I’ve managed them quite well (I hope).

However, throw in the hundreds (cents), thousands (milles), millions (millions) and billions (milliards) altogether, I simply cannot interpret the numbers quickly enough. Especially when it comes along the line of “deux cent soixante treize millions six cent quatre-vingt onze mille deux cent trente deux” which if you try to break it down word by word, it’s “two hundred sixty thirteen million six hundred four-twenty two thousand two hundred thirty two”. Number-speak, it’s 273,691,232.

Spot the connection yet? Someone should really have came up with better way to say 70, 80 and 90 in French centuries ago which is not sixty-and-ten, four-(times)-twenty, and four-twenty-and-ten respectively. It’s not only I who had this problem, am I right Jo?

Nonetheless, given that I’m trying to stay put in this country for a while, I best get used to listening to the rattlings of numbers one after another. I don’t yet know how long this is going to take me to the point where I can accurately capture each figure in the first go, so practice practice practice, which is how this video comes in handy.

What is happening in 24 hours in France, day in, day out? An infographic video with clear narrative, but with continuous numerical information being fed throughout. Practice material! If you wish to attempt this exercise yourself, stop reading now. It’s time to play-and-pause the video a gazillion times (it felt like that to me) when I stubbornly tried to work all the numbers out until I finally decided I’ve saturated my effort for the day – and asked Frédéric to check it for me. Overall verdict, good effort but could do better with long numbers.

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