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.

Weird, right?

** **

## Nina Sapphira

April 8, 2010 at 9:39 amWhen i read this post…it made me laugh. I do know what you mean. Attended German school all my life, once I started college & had to take a math class, my professor and classmate had me all confused. Personally I find the european way soo much easier.

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:20 pmI agree – I find the European way much easier, too.

Thanks for stopping by!

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## Stefanie

April 8, 2010 at 10:18 amThat reminds me of something: When I went to high school here, we learned something called the “factor fish”. It’s a very easy way to find the solutions of a quadratic equation (granted the solutions are whole numbers) without using the the quadratic formula.

When I was a math tutor in college, I explained the “factor fish” to my students. It was quite entertaining.

.-= Stefanie´s last blog ..And the week has only just begun. =-.

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pmFactor fish? Never heard of it – I have to look into it.

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## Emily Jane

April 8, 2010 at 11:12 amI have a hate-hate relationship with math!! Which I called “maths” growing up in England :) I remember when I first moved here and they all knew what trigonometry was, and it was something I’d never seen before in my life!

.-= Emily Jane´s last blog ..Quickhits of Happy =-.

## Maribeth

April 8, 2010 at 11:21 amOkay not a math person at all, but the math example is so true about many other things as well. Things here and things there are different, even though, in the end, they are the same!

.-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Watch For Surprises On Princess!!! =-.

## emmysuh

April 8, 2010 at 11:57 amIn principle, I find it fascinating that math is taught too different ways in different countries but honsetly, I am so brain dead to math, I couldn’t really fathom much of this post…sorry, San! <3

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:21 pmThat’s ok – that’s why I tried to illustrate it, instead of just describing it ;)

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## Susanne

April 8, 2010 at 4:17 pmAfter reading this I am totally confused – I still have not figured J way out. And now I am scared for my Math 5 unit class next spring!

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:22 pmJ’s way is just a different way of writing it down – I am sure you’ll do fine in your class ;)

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## vered | blogger for hire

April 8, 2010 at 8:07 pmI learned math in Hebrew… again, results are the same, but all those English math terms? I don’t know any of them. Which COULD make me sound stupid, I guess.

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:22 pmNo, not stupid at all… it’s just different in different countries ;)

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## kim

April 9, 2010 at 3:15 amsorry babe but i didn’t even read on after you said “math” :) HDtrotzdemGDL <3

.-= kim´s last blog ..austrians talk funny and bavaria has lots of churches =-.

## terra

April 10, 2010 at 5:31 amAhhh! Math! Scary!

.-= terra´s last blog ..Want. =-.

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:22 pmhaha :)

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## Kyla Roma

April 10, 2010 at 6:44 amWhat?! It’s done differently?? That’s just…. wow! lol

Thank you for showing us- it’s crazy just how you conceptualize something like this can be so different.

.-= Kyla Roma´s last blog ..Friday Finds: Keel’s Simple Diary =-.

## san

April 12, 2010 at 9:23 pmI know, it something you’d never ever think about! ;)

.-= san´s last blog ..Things you wouldn’t know: Long division does not equal long division =-.

## Maribeth

April 11, 2010 at 7:17 amHi! There is a new look over on my blog! Come take a peek and let me know what you think!

.-= Maribeth´s last blog ..Surprise!! =-.