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Like for example, it's common to use the Greek letter $\theta$ to represent an angle right? So what would a Greek person doing math use to represent an angle? Would they also use $\theta$? Or is there another notation that they would use in order for them to use their letters like we do? Such as if we say $A\geq B$, would a Greek student, mathematician, or whoever say: $\alpha \geq \beta$ or is there something else they say? It just seems like the Greek letters from a non-Greek point of view have so much meaning to us, but then how do they percieve their letters used in mathematics?

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What do we use to denote slope of a straight line? Well, either the letter $\,a\,$ or $\,m\,$...I guess greek students use more or less the same letters as we do, but perhaps there's someone from Greece around to disipate any doubt. – DonAntonio Oct 18 '12 at 5:04
Nice question - I've wondered about that myself. – Ken Dunn Oct 18 '12 at 5:13
I just know about Russian books: They write the formulas in latin style and the rest in cyrillic. So my guess is that mathematical formula are more or less universal (as are numbers). – Fabian Oct 18 '12 at 7:35
@Fabian i like your answer, I looked up on google Cyrillic and I found where the notation commonly used for partial derivatives comes from. – TheHopefulActuary Oct 18 '12 at 15:21
up vote 7 down vote accepted

The Greeks seems to use the Latin letters together with Greek letters as the rest of us. Here is a screen dump from some notes on Functional analysis. Of course this is just an example. enter image description here

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Very interesting, thank you for that. I never thought about the fact that latin letters are pretty much the same as English letters. I will accept this as an answer that makes sense to me, but I will leave it up to anyone to believe what they believe is right – TheHopefulActuary Oct 18 '12 at 17:47

In my experience with Greeks, they set $a = \alpha$ and $b=\beta$ etc... however, the Greeks I knew were beyond associating a concept with a letter, so perhaps these are not the Greeks which you seek.

I do recall many conversations of the form: "is it "a" or is it "$\alpha$"" to which I would inevitably get the annoyed retort: "yes".

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