One would ideally represent "numeric values" in a universal manner, such as:
(This practice is obviously very important for their survival...)
This system is based on the following ten familiar looking symbols:
0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 
I am sure you are thoroughly familiar with this decimal number system, in fact, so familiar that you do not even think about what decimal numbers actually mean...
A famous example is the number system invented by a class of humanoids that we call Romans
Their number system goes like:
I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII, VIII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, .... 
Chinese numbers:
BTW, notice there is no symbol for ZERO. Chinese character for ZERO is:
A notsofamous system is the Egyptian number system:
= 1  = 10  = 100  = 1000  = 10000  = 100000  = 1000000 
Note:

There are many other humanoids who have invented their own representation systems for numerical values, among others: Greeks (they use the Greek alphabet), Chinese (I'll show you in class...), etc.
Here is a copy of a page from a book of my 6 yr old first grader (in 2003) that show a number of number systems used in the other cultures: click here


An abacus represents values using a positional representation:

Notice that this is an encoding method !!!
It is an agreement on how to represent a value


In contrast:


 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 + 1  2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 2  3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 3  4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 4  5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 5  6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 6  7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 7  8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 8  9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 9  10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 

After learning these techniques, the positional systen enable a ordinary humans to become a human calculater !!!
(In contrast, a Roman fellow will need to use an abacus !!!)
