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Polish Language/Use of comma as decimal in polish language


I want to confirm if in polish language, we use , (Comma) in place of . (Decimal)


Dear Jayant,

in Polish we use a comma between full units and fractions, and we use dot or space to separate thousands, millions, milliards, billions etc. - and sometimes also to separate the thousandths, millionths, milliardths etc. within the fractions (but only if the full number of digits after the comma is divisible by three).
NB. For high numbers, we use the long scale alternative names


23.526.854.575.412.117,570354118 and 23 526 854 575 412 117,570354118 and
23.526.854.575.412.117,570.354.118 and 23 526 854 575 412 117,570 354 118
would be American:

in words:
dwadzieścia trzy biliardy pięćset dwadzieścia sześć bilionów osiemset pięćdziesiąt cztery miliardy pięćset siedemdziesiąt pięć milionów czterysta dwanaście tysięcy sto siedemnaście i [or: przecinek] pięćset siedemdziesiąt milionów trzysta pięćdziesiąt cztery tysiące sto osiemnaście dziesięciomilionowych)

in a direct "wordy" translation from Polish it would be read:
twenty three billiards five hundred twenty six billions eight hundred fifty four milliards five hundred seventy five millions four hundred twelve thousand one hunded seventeen and [or: comma] five hundred seventy millions three hundred fifty four thousand one hundred eighteen [of] ten millionths.

We prononouce this comma either as "i" (= and) or as "przecinek" (= comma). Depending on the choise we are obliged to say or we may optionally say not the denominator of the fraction.

and when we say decimal fractions, we do not say them each digit separately, like it has become common in English (0.5783 = "point five seven eight three"), but we use the
full length cardinal numbers for the numerator and we often use the full name ordinal numbers for the denominator - next decimal level, depending on how long is the denominator.

They may again be pronounced as:
0,5 pięć dziesiątych = five tenths (or: zero przecinek pięć [dziesiątych] = zero comma five [tenths])
1,57 jeden i pięćdziesiąt siedem setnych = one and fifty seven hundredths (or: jeden przecinek  pięćdziesiąt siedem [setnych] = one comma fifty seven [hundredths])
2,578 dwa i pięćset siedemdziesiąt osiem tysięcznych = two and five hundred seventy eight thousandths (or:  dwa przecinek pięćset siedemdziesiąt osiem [tysięcznych] = two comma five hundred seventy eight [thousandths])
3,5784 trzy i pięć tysięcy siedemset osiemdziesiąt cztery dziesięciotysięczne = three and five thousand seven hundred eighty four [of] ten thousandths


All the best


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Maciej St. Zięba


I am native Polish and from time to time I teach Polish to foreigners. I know (passively of actively) more than 15 other languages - so I can answer many questions concerning Polish grammar, pronounciation, spelling, etymology and usage - as compared to English, French, German, Russian, Dutch, Esperanto or Norwegian. Also questions concerning other Slavic languages, Sanskrit, Chinese, Tibetan, or general linguistics, especially scripts (writing systems and transcriptions) - are welcome.


Teaching English, French, and Esperanto to Poles, Polish to foreigners, teaching Sanskrit, Mandarin Chinese, Classical Chinese and Tibetan. Tour Guide in English, French, Russian and German. Former President of the Regional Examination Committee for Tourist Guides (English and French)(1999-2005).

Polish Oriental Society (since 1979); International Association of Buddhist Studies (since 1986); Klingon Language Institute (since 1986); Learned Society of the John Paul II Catholic University of Lublin (since 1989); Polish Philosophical Association (since 1997); Universala Esperanto-Asocio (since 1978).

Books: "Origin of the World According to Rigveda" (Montreal 1996); "Our River Bug. Creating Conditions for Development of the Border Areas of Poland, Ukraine and Belarus through Enhancement and Preservation of Natural and Cultural Heritage" (Lublin 2008); "Migration - a Challenge to the 21st century" (Lublin 2008); "Migracja zarobkowa do Woch" (Job migration to Italy) (Lublin 2008); more than 100 articles in "Powszechna Encyklopedia Filozofii" (Universal Encyclopedia od Philosophy) vol. 1-10 (Lublin 2000-2009); many more in Polish, some of them available online, see: here and here (a list up to 2012.

Studying philosophy at Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) 1976-81; PhD in Philosophy (1989). Having learned languages in Gdansk and Gdynia (Russian, Esperanto, Latin, English - International Bacalaureate), Lublin (KUL - French, German, Dutch, Sanskrit, Latin, Ancient Greek; UMCS - Chinese, Japanese; elsewhere - Esperanto, Spanish, Italian), Paris (IIAP - French; INALCO - Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese; Sorbonne - Sanskrit), Asker (Norwegian, while working in a kindergarten!), Montreal (McGill - Chinese); Rome and Venice (Italian); Taichung, Taiwan (Chinese), Shimla, India (sanskrit). Self-taught: Slavic languages (other than Polish and Russian), Hungarian, Korean, Vietnamese, Klingon and several other.

Awards and Honors
2012 Golden Medal of Civil Service of Poland; 2012-13 Taiwan Fellowship - Tunghai University (Taichung)

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