Today the symbols used for numbers are the same everywhere. Everybody uses a decimal or base 10 number system, and everybody uses the same ten symbols - 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. This means that everybody anywhere, no matter what language they speak can read a number and understand what number it represents, no matter what their language.

The number symbols we use today do not have a single origin. They are a combination in Hindu and Arabic symbols, and were introduced to Europe in the 12th Century by Leonardo Pisano, also known as Fibonacci, an Italian educated in North Africa. The system was then spread throughout the world by European explorers.