File this one under weird observations, but I think it may be a useful little bit when language learning. That is, when giving someone their phone number, do you have proper phone number rhythm?

You know, if you do it wrong, it’s sometimes really difficult to figure out exactly what the number is—especially in a foreign language.

Case in point: At the post office today, I had to suddenly give my phone number over the phone to get a package, which was being held at another post office location. I awkwardly gave her my number and afterward she asked, “It seems like I have an extra number—[repeats the number] oh wait no it’s okay.” This made me think about the proper “rhythm” for a number and just how to do it!

So, here’s my tip (for Taiwan numbers anyway):

Example:

# 0922222222

Proper rhythm:

0922-222-222

My screw up:

09-222-22-222
(too many breaks in the number lead to her getting confused on what the number really was)

I know this seems silly, but it’s just one of those random things that never occurred to me in a language before. The more I listened and had my friends give me examples today, the more I realized that there’s an actual way to properly give out your number.

Who knew?