Montmorency wrote:It may not be the same in the USA, and it's probably all but died out in England by now, but at one time, you'd hear older people express numbers in German-style order, but only (I think) in the context of time:
e.g. "it's five and twenty past twelve". I think my own father did this sometimes, and almost certainly his father.
Then there is the old nursery rhyme: "Four and Twenty blackbirds...". Whether that reflected common usage when it was written, or whether it was just "literary licence", I don't know.
(Does this usage occur in Shakespeare, does anybody know?)
I used to find German numbers difficult, although I cope better nowadays. At least with cardinal numbers. I still have trouble with ordinals sometimes, especially if it's combined with a "[something] und [something]" type number, e.g. 33rd or 34th. Usually because my brain is fiercely struggling with the question of what ending to give it, and whether it includes an "s" or not, in real time, and not quite making it.
(in writing you can get away with it just by writing it as a number followed by a "." but in speaking it, there is no place to hide ... ).
I can't think of a single example in U.S. English with the numbers backwards like that. The only time I can remember a number even being split apart is in Abraham Lincoln's speech that started "Four score and 7 years ago."
I'm still practicing with them. They'll sink in sooner or later.