Eleven

One of the first things most people do when learning a new language is to learn the numbers from 1 to 10, and shortly after that, from 11 to 20. And it’s generally quite easy to remember them in the case of European languages, as they’re somewhat similar to their English counterparts. Look at French, for example:

Un, deux, trois, quatre, cinq, six, sept, huit, neuf, dix.

Not necessarily all obvious individually, but seen all together, they’re clearly the first ten numbers. The same goes, I think, for 11 to 19:

Onze, douze, treize, quatorze, quinze, seize, dix-sept, dix-huit, dix-neuf.

Clearly a combination of ten and the relevant number, and the same applies to English (eighteen = eight + ten, for example). Except, that’s not quite true in every case, is it? What about 11 and 12? Continue reading