Word Problems
The origins of mathematics lie in the desire to solve problems of a practical nature.[…] Solving practical problems provides the only reason the vast majority of the population needs to learn mathematics at all, and adds variety and interest to learning the rote methods of calculation. 
Warren Van Egmond, "Types and Traditions of Mathematical Problems: A Challenge for Historians of Mathematics", in: Menso Folkerts ed., Mathematische Probleme im Mittelalter: Der lateinische und arabische Sprachbereich, Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 1996, (pp. 379428), p.379 
In his article Warren Van Egmond calls for an international multilingual and multicultural project of writing the history of mathematical word problems.
In his words:
Elementary mathematics represents the core of the mathematical experience. It is the first level of mathematics that every person learns, providing the foundation for all the superstructures that are built upon it, and it is the first part of mathematics that passed from one culture to another when scientific ideas are shared; it is the surest sign of continuity from author to author and culture to culture. 
Van Egmond offers some guidelines for such a project, saying:
Identifying problems for the purpose of tracing influences cannot be based entirely on their specific texts, the particular situations they pose, or their mathematical form alone; it must instead be based on some combination of all those features that characterize a particular problem. Only a comparison based on these essential features will allow us to identify true similarities and differences among problems and so trace their common lineage. (p. 386) 
Inspired by Van Egmond's words and with the help of the classification system he offers we present here a pool of word problems collected from the texts that are included in our database, in the hope that it will be extended to other languages as well.














Geometrical problems 

