INDIA Kids Count To 31 CHINA kids count to 94

Q. How do you treble the Hindi counting ability of 5 year old children?
A. You cut count complexity from 3.00 to 1.20 to follow Aryabhata’s logic! (Read on…)

India’s brand new podometic maths curriculum is based on the work of Aryabhata, Bhaskara and Brahmagupta.

This primary-level maths curriculum is the result of 37 years of research spanning many languages. Nobody has ever set out to fundamentally fix the arithmetic of the British Empire. Yet that’s what I set out to do in March 1983.

Now, this innovation, potentially worth many billions of rupees, is my gift to you. I hope you accept it on behalf of India.

Jonathan J. Crabtree Founder

In an international maths comparison India ranked 2nd last, beating only Kyrgyzstan.

Aryabhata documented base ten using a zero concept while Brahmagupta gave the world the laws of negatives, positives and zero as numbers.

So what went wrong?

While Aryabhata’s language was Sanskrit, if he were alive today, his first overhaul of India’s maths would be to align the number symbols 0, 1, 2, 3, … and number words, zero, one, two, three… . Why? The great innovation of Hindu Numerals are they can be used again and again in different position to represent different magnitudes and multitudes.

So, a number in ancient Roman numerals such as MCXI simply became 1111 in today’s Hindu Numerals. Yet, without the matching number-words, much of the advantage of Āryabhaṭa’s base ten number recycling system are lost.

As seen below China appears to be #1 in maths.

So, why is China so good at maths? Simple!

Chinese number words use Aryabhata’s counting logic yet English words don’t!

Counting verbally in English hides the base ten structure until you get to 20. For historical reasons unconnected to Aryabhaṭa’s logic, 1 is read as one and 2 is read as two, yet 11 is read as ELEVEN and 12 is read as TWELVE! Then, it gets stranger as 13 is read THIR TEEN (which some kids write 31) which sounds like thirty. Because the sounds are similar, adults can often mishear number words. Don’t believe me? Watch this!

Why 80 to 90 meter floodwaters didn’t destroy Australia!

In an N base positional number systems, you can only count up to N – 1 before you recycle your digits and start again in the next place (column) to the left. So, Aryabhata wants us to count up to nine in the units and then put a one in the next place and start again from zero. Similarly, in the tens place we count from 0 – 9 before we revert back to 0 and place a 1 in the next left place. That’s why the next number counted after 9 becomes 10 and the next number after 99 becomes 100.

Maths is often about leveraging patterns, so complete the sequence below using only the exact words that match the digits: 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. (The suffix ‘ty’ means 10.)

nine-ty ⇨ eight-ty ⇨ seven-ty ⇨ six-ty ⇨ ????-ty ⇨ four-ty ⇨ ?????-ty ⇨ ???-ty ⇨ ???-ty

How did you go? Did you write sensible number words or bad British number words? Watch the video below to learn a bit more about bad British number words.

The missing logic of Aryabhata’s base 10 place value system.

To move ahead, we go BACK TO THE FUTURE!

In his original Sanskrit, Aryabhata wrote
एकं दश शतं च सहस्रं त्वयुतनियुते तथा प्रयुतम्।
कोट्यर्बुद च बृन्दं स्थानात् स्थानं दशगुणं स्यात्॥

…which translates as “eka daśa śata sahasra ayuta niyuta prayuta koṭi arbuda are from place to place each (one is) ten times the preceding.” … 10000 1000 100 10 1

Shhh… Here’s a secret! You DON’T have to count up to 100. Via Aryabhata, you only have to count up to ten, ten times! Each time you count up to ten UNITS, you just go one higher in the TENS place.

To SEE the pattern, we will count DOWN from 100 to 0.

What’s onety plus twoty? Threety
Children answer correctly the first time they’re asked!
This is impossible to do with What’s ten plus twenty?

HOORAY! After centuries of insanity, we have a simplified number word list that matches Aryabhata’s original concept by providing audiovisual consistency between the sounds (words) and symbols (Hindu Numerals).

DON’T WORRY! We an switch to conversational number words later on, like eleven twenty etc. The goal is to use these number words with little children to teach them the structure of counting while reducing the memory load required of the child.

With just onety two (twelve) different sounds to learn, the child can learn to count from 0 to 100 quicker than ever before!

zero, one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ty and hundred
By combining the above sounds, every number from 0 to 100 can now be counted. Yet, the biggest benefit is the understanding of Aryabhata’s base 10 place value innovation that emerges when combined with Base 10 Blocks.

Aryabhata’s Base 10 System – ENGLISH VERSION – HINDI NEXT!

In the chart below we see how poorly India’s Hindi speaking children count compared to their Chinese siblings. The average 6 year-old Hindi speaking child (5.8 years old) can only count up to 31 with help. By contrast the average 5 year-old Chinese child can count to 94 with help! That’s a huge advantage, especially when the Chinese child also picks up on Aryabhata’s Base 10 concept.

Now compare the logic of the New and Improved English Number Words above with the Hindi below. It’s no wonder the Indian Hindi speaking child can only count to 31 at age 6. The structure is so chaotic. The reason the Chinese children at age 5 can count three times higher than Hindi speaking Indian children is it shares the Base 10 features of the simplified English number words above.

The Complexity Rating of India’s Hindi counting is a massive 3.00. By comparison, the Complexity Rating of China’s Cantonese counting is a mere 1.20, almost three times easier.

The Hindi Number Words are NOT Compatible with Aryabhata’s Base 10 System!


Can a young child (age 4 to 6) in your family count in Hindi? If yes, please clearly record sound of him or her clearly speaking the words below.

० शून्य śūnya
१ एक ek
२ दो do
३ तीन tīn
४ चार cār
५ पांच pāṅc
६ छह chah
७ सात sāt
८ आठ āṭh
९ नौ nau
१० दस das

१०० सौ ek sau
१,००० हज़ार ek hazār

Please send the MP3 to my personal email address (before 22 August) along with the child’s 1st name, gender, age and state of India. While I cannot offer payment, I will acknowledge the names of the children (no last names for privacy) who help me. I will use this audio to help other children learn to count in Hindi in a new way. To say thank you to the first 20 people who provide the audio, I will email you a PERSONALISED PODOMETIC PRE-SCHOOL EBOOK WITH YOUR CHILD’S NAME IN IT. This eBook will have all the information and printable worksheet your child will need to master counting from 0 to 100, in either Hindi OR English.

Thank you for your help.

Best wishes,
Jonathan J. Crabtree

My letter to India’s PM Sri Narendra Modi ji
(as yet not passed onto him)

DISCLAIMER: The author is solely responsible for the views expressed in this article. The author carries the responsibility for citing and/or licensing of images utilized within the text.