The Abacus - Beads, rods and frames

Abak, abax, and all the rest

The roots of the name Abacus are not clear. The word originated in ancient Europe.
Since Abaci are used in many countries today, many names have evolved since then.
Here are some of them:

  • China: Suan Pan
  • Japan: Soroban
  • Korea: Tschu Pan
  • Vietnam: Ban Tuan or Ban Tien
  • Taiwan: ???
  • Iran: Chortgeh
  • Armenia: Choreb
  • Russia: Stschoty
  • Eshonia: ???
  • Lithuania: ???
  • Poland: Liczydlo
  • Turkey: Coulba

Software for learning, training, and fun

AbacusWorks - An abacus software (under development)

myAnzan - An anzan software (training mental calculation)

NumDict - a number and exercise dictation program

A large link collection with material for all kinds of abaci

The Abacist's Guide to the Internet

Some abacus resources

The Virtual Abacus Exhibition. A gallery of different abacus types (under construction).

Calculation and neagative numbers. How to use negative numbers on a soroban.

A Korean abacus grandmaster (PDF file). This is the English translation of an article originally from a German magazine.

Soroban - useful-manual.pdf (2.8MB). This is a soroban manual by "The League for Soroban Education of Japan"

Japanese for Abacists (PDF, 0.5MB). This document is a draft version. It intends to help understand some basic written Japanese with respect to the words and phrases that occur when dealing with Japanese bead calculation (wasan).

Last update: 28 June 2005 - Torsten Reincke -

Our beloved "soro-cat" Carlson ... who passed away last year ...