Satu pemerhatian yang menarik telah dikupas oleh Malcolm Gladwell dalam buku terbaru beliau, Outliers:
...In English, we say fourteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen and nineteen, so one might expect that we would also say oneteen, twoteen, threeteen, and fivteen. But we don't. We use a different form: eleven, twelve, thirteen, and fifteen. Similarly, we have forty and sixty, which sound like the words they are related to (four and six). But we also say fifty and thirty and twenty, which sort of sound like five and three and two, but not really. And for that matter, for numbers above twenty, we put the 'decade' first and the unit number second (twenty-one, twenty-two), whereas for teens, we do it the other way around (fourteen, seventeen, eighteen). The number system in English is highly irregular. Not so in China, Japan and Korea. They have a logical counting system. Eleven is ten-one. Twelve is ten-two. Twenty-four is two-tens-four and so on.
That difference means that Asian children learn to count much faster that American children. Four years old Chinese children can count, on average, to forty. American children at that age can count only to fifteen, and most don't reach forty until they're five. By the age of five, in other words, American children are already a year behind their Asian counterparts in the most fundamental of math skills.
.....Ask an English speaking seven year old to add thirty-seven plus twenty-two in her head, and she has to convert the words to numbers (37 + 22). Only then can she do the math: 2 plus 7 is 9 and 30 and 20 is 50, which makes 59. Ask an Asian child to add three-tens-seven and two-tens-two, and then the necessary equation is right there, embedded in the sentence. No number translation is necessary: it's five-tens-nine.
Saya cuba membuat pengiraan ini di dalam Bahasa Melayu pula, perbandingan dengan English dan bahasa cina:
English: thirty-seven plus twenty-two ....pelajar lebih lambat untuk menjawabnya, kerana seperti mana yang dikupas oleh Gladwell di perenggan pertama di atas.
Cina: three-tens-seven plus two-tens-two...pelajar lebih pantas menjawab, dan terus faham kerana jawapan telah tersedia di dalam bentuk bahasa ini.
BM: tiga puluh tujuh campur dua puluh dua.....pelajar juga tentu lebih pantas menjawab, kerana bentuknya sama seperti tulisan cina.
Penggunaan bahasa Melayu adalah berpadanan dengan penggunaan bahasa Cina. Anda faham?
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