The quirky Lakh

One of the more interesting nuances of currency conversion in Myanmar (and more broadly in India) is the concept of the Lakh.

So the “Lakh” is a numerical value of 100,000 but is actually written as 1,00,000 according to the digit grouping convention.

The usage of the Lakh (or Lac) is surprisingly commonplace if you visit any South Asian country which includes Myanmar, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Bhutan).  So when discussing large-ish amounts of money, I was initially confounded trying to make conversions in my head when people would mention “10 Lakhs” instead of “1 Million” or “half a Lakh” instead of “50 Thousand”.  To the point that I considered creating a new calculator app or site that convert Lakhs to “metric” values.

But there you go.  Might come in handy the next time you do business in South Asia.


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