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The Language of Mathematics

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Last updated date: 19th Jul 2024
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Mathematics Language

Math language is all about numbers, notations and symbols and has a language of its own. But, it’s also linked with interesting words. Every mathematical number or symbol consists of a corresponding term or phrase. Thus, the process of word formation in mathematics is often quite unforeseeable. 

In addition, many specialized terms linked with important concepts were not coined for years - maths used the word radius for centuries before ‘diameter’ materialized. Addition and fraction were coined ahead of 1100 AD while determinant took shape as late as 1810.

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Quiz on Mathematical Linguistics

Guess the mathematical word which was derived from the origin as given below:


1. A Greek term Circulus (indicating to hoop around or from a diminutive of the circular Roman circus).

2. Greek term Chord (implies a piece of animal gut used as a string in a lyre).

3. Greek term Tri (implies 3) and the Latin term angulus (implies corner or angle).

4. Latin term Tangere (implies ‘to touch’).

5. Greek term dia (implies across)

6. Greek term metron (implies measure).


1. Circle

2. Chord

3. Triangle

4. Tangent

5. Diameter

6. Diameter

The Language of Mathematics

Mathematics is a science that deals with quantity, logic and arrangement. Math is used in everything we do. See how:

  • At a fundamental level, math is number and counting.

  • Then come Algebra and some operations used to ease the counting

  • Then there is number theory which deals with relations between numbers.

  • Next comes a field called Geometry which is used to describe shapes and the world around us.

  • Calculus is another field of mathematics that is used to track continuous changes around us and was first executed to build the orbits of planets by Newton.

  • Probability, one of the major parts of math whose application can be noticed in forecasting the position of an electron.

Understanding the Language of Mathematics

Help me in maths language, if that is all you keep thinking. Don’t worry as the answers to all your questions are right here. Let’s understand different concepts of mathematics with respect to the universe.

A. The Golden Ratio (ɸ)

Two quantities are said to be in the golden ratio if their ratio is just similar to the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities. This is to say, consider a line and split it into two parts. Let the length of the longer part be “m” and the length of the shorter part be “n” and if m/n is equivalent to (m + n)/m then both would be equivalent to the golden ratio which is 1.618… and is represented by the symbol phi(ɸ)

B. The Golden Spiral

The golden spiral itself arises from the golden ratio. A golden spiral is a unique case of logarithmic spirals whose growth factor is φ, the golden ratio. In simple terms, a golden spiral becomes wider by a factor of φ for every quarter turn it makes.  

C. The Pi (π)

Pi is a pretty much familiar constant used in many calculations across mathematics and occurs in a lot of physics equations. Pi is described as the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter, and it also has a lot of equivalent definitions. The value of pi is 3.14159 and it is an irrational number. As of now, 31.4 trillion digits of pi have been computed.

 Fun Facts on Mathematics Language

  • Most frequently used terms in maths owe their origin to Old English.

  • When the Romans defeated Britain, the local population spoke Celtic.

  • The Romans brought Latin with them and later, other conquerors brought their languages. So, established the Anglo-Saxon language aka Old English.

  • Number words including one, two, three, four and measurement terms like a foot, yard, etc emerged from Old English.

  • Arabic math originated with the Arabic term al-jabr that implies the reunion of broken parts, where a deducted quantity on one side of an equation becomes an added quantity when shifted to the other side.

  • Plus or minus were frequently used by the Romans to mean ‘more or less’.

  • Galileo di Bonaiuti de' Galilei, an Italian astronomer, physicist and polymath claimed mathematics is the language in which God has written the Universe


We have observed some mathematical things that inherently exist in the universe right from the minute to the massive things. We hope that makes it justified to say that mathematics is the language of the universe. However, considering that math has been used in everything right from motion to planets and the universe. So, the confusion is whether maths is just used to express the world or is the world itself is math.

FAQs on The Language of Mathematics

1. Why is Math the “Language of the Universe”?

Answer: If we choose to overlook the murky waters of elementary logic, math becomes the language of the universe simply because it has to be our existence. There is no easier, more fundamental way of describing the universe than through the fundamental ideas of equality and inequality, which in turn give rise to the concept of quantification, the concept of value and numbers (to represent levels of inequality). And amazingly once we have numbers, the rest of mathematics appears to bloom from all around us. Then again, the system we use to express mathematics and mathematics itself are two entirely different things.

2. What is the Example of Mathematics as the Language of the Universe?

Answer: You might be surprised to know that the inherent presence of Math in the Universe provides us with a lot of series, patterns, and constants. Math is the language of the universe and could be somewhat evident with our upcoming example. For example, let’s take a thing in nature that is much connected with mathematical things. This will definitely make you say “Math is the language of the universe.

”The Fibonacci Series has abundant flowers on the planet and you see them ever so often but did you notice any pattern in the number of petals in these flowers? Yes, there is a pattern.