Ok, ok, just bear with me for a minute here, before you all run away screaming because I am picking a topic for my today’s blog post that most people don’t really have a loving relationship with: math!
One thing you probably don’t know – and have never thought about – is that long division is taught in different ways in different countries.
Why yes, you didn’t expect that one, did you?
I mean, granted, long division is not something that easily comes up in a conversation with a foreigner and unless you sit down and write it out, nobody would ever figure that you might have learned the written long division in a completely different way. After all, the results are – surprise! – the same everywhere!
Still, I find it fascinating that there are different ways of notation.
As a little reminder, “Long division is the standard procedure suitable for dividing simple or complex multidigit numbers. It breaks down a division problem into a series of easier steps. As in all division problems, one number, called the dividend, is divided by another, called the divisor, producing a result called the quotient.” (from Wikipedia.org )
In the U.S., long division does not use the slash (/) or obelus (÷) signs, instead displaying the dividend, divisor, and (once it is found) quotient in a tableau. An example is shown below, representing the division of 500 by 4 (with a result of 125). In Europe, however, long division uses the obelus (in Germany, we actually use a colon (:) sign) and the notation is written out in one line.
Obviously, the results and calculations are the same, but J got me really confused when I saw him write down a long division for the first time.
I was like, What the hell is this?
I mean, I never knew that he thought about writes down long division so differently, you know? I mean, in the end it really doesn’t matter, the most important thing is that you understand the concept of division, but still. It’s little things like that that you usually never talk about and only learn through pure coincidence.