Category Archives: Arabic

Hats On Numbers

I used to have a big problem remembering the numbers 7 and 8, as written in Arabic script (٧ and ٨).

Primarily because they’re just inverted versions of one another and I could never recall if I should be giving someone a V or an N (as I used to refer to them).

This went on for some years until I finally sat down and thought to myself:

“I really need a memory aid to get me past this confusion!”

Anyway, on the way back from the masjid tonight I found myself reading the number eight (in Arabic) on a car license plate and it brought back to mind the aid that I developed (and which I’ve now decided to share).

The way I mastered these numbers was to think of the Arabic number 8 (٨) as a Chinese hat sitting on top of a fat man’s head (i.e. the number 8 ) .

Like so…

Having mentally stored this picture in my head whenever I saw the Arabic numeral ٨, I automatically saw an English number 8 underneath and was able to recognise it for its numeric value.


Now, having spent half an hour or so in Paint trying to illustrate this point, I’ve noticed that it works equally well with a medieval wimple wearing snow-damsel.

So there’s still plenty of scope for inventing variant mnemonics.


Filed under Arabic, The World Through My Eyes