In Japanese they use 分, 厘, 毛, 糸, 忽, 微, 繊, 沙, 塵, 埃 for negative powers of 10 from 10-1 to 10-10 respectively

Old system

There's also another system with a little bit different value range

New system


Do any other languages have words similar to this?

  • 1
    English has a limited sense of this, with "percent (%)" for 10^-2 and the exceeding rare "permille (‰)" and "permyriad (‱)" for 10^-3 and 10^-4 respectively. Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 13:37
  • 1
    @MarkBeadles the difference in Japanese is that they can be used to say decimal numbers like 0.2589 Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 13:49
  • 3
    I guess English can do this, somewhat awkwardly (0.2589 = 2589 ten-thousandths). I’m excited to learn this about Japanese, thanks. Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 13:57
  • 6
    Tenth, hundredth, thousandth?
    – Draconis
    Commented Aug 19, 2017 at 16:49
  • 2
    If you merely said 一分 ichi-bu, people would not automatically assume 1/100th in general contexts, they would assume 1 part. Similarly obscure words probably exist in many languages.
    – virmaior
    Commented Aug 20, 2017 at 12:34


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