The following youths participate at the international youth meeting:

  • John from the USA, 14 years old
  • Pierre from France, 13 years old
  • Stefan from Germany, 15 years old
  • Marten from the Netherlands, 11 years old
  • Ding from China, 12 years old
  • Alberto from Spain, 15 years old

John says: there are four teenagers among us. Marten responds: that is not correct.

How many teenagers are there? How did Marten count?

  • $\begingroup$ In the future, please do not use exclusively male characters. We need to overcome our biases that make male the default and female an add-on trait. $\endgroup$ May 28, 2023 at 0:14
  • $\begingroup$ @GregMartin I was trying to come up with names that belong to the respective languages, feel free to change a few of them. $\endgroup$
    – quarague
    May 28, 2023 at 9:45
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ While I agree that it's great to vary genders, if only for the sake of variety, I don't think it's inherently bad to have a collection of only one gender, be it male or female. There are a number of valid reasons one might have for doing so—there might be a clue in the fact that there are only men, it might be a misdirect, it might be part of the solution, etc. Moreover, on a principle level, inclusion in art should be a goal that's generally aspired to and laudable, but not a mandate/quota: it risks turning it into merely a box to tick, cheapening both itself and inclusion everywhere. $\endgroup$
    – Aos Sidhe
    May 30, 2023 at 13:25

1 Answer 1


I think Marten counted using

the most widely spoken language of each participant's country, counting someone as a teenager if their age falls into the group of numbers between 11-20 that are represented using a form of the number ten in that language.

Based on this,

John (fourteen in English) is a teenager
Pierre (treize in French) is not
Stefan (funfzehn in German) is a teenager
Marten (elf in Dutch) is not
Ding (shíèr in Mandarin Chinese) is a teenager
Alberto (quince in Spanish) is not

So Marten thinks there are

three teenagers.


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