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Carsten Becker wrote:

>On Sat, 2 Apr 2005 12:13:26 +0200, Carsten Becker
><[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>
>
>>I'd answer e.g. "Just half
>>past ten ago" and would hear from another corner of the
>>classroom "No, he's wrong, it's nine-thirty-two".
>>
>>
>
>Of course I'd be wrong! That should have been "half past nine"! German is so
>stupid by parsing "half ten" as "half past nine", or rather "half *to* ten".
>
>

Well, I'd rather say English is stupid for doing it the other way round,
since every other Germanic language has 'half ten' meaning 'half past
nine'.

Also, Estonian (my current obsession) has an even more interesting
system.  In Estonian, 'quarter past nine' by 'veerand kümme' - literally
'a quarter of ten'.  Similarly, 'pool kümme'(half of ten) and
'kolmveerand kümme' (three quarters of ten) are 'half past nine' and
'quarter to ten', respectively.