Every language has its own quirks when it comes to counting. All the languages (or perhaps “cultures” is a better word) I’ve come across use 10 as a base, which is definitely convenient. But there are surprising differences between languages in terms of how numbers are named.
After some reflection, I determined that there aren’t really much more than ten words for numbers in English. There’s “zero” through “nine”, and then there are each of “ten”, “twenty”, “thirty”, etc., but most of those are just the numbers one through nine with a fancy ending. Then there’s “hundred” and “thousand” and the suffix “-illion”. (It’s interesting to point out that the prefixes for the big numbers (million, billion, trillion, quadrillion) are just the Latin words for “one”, “two”, “three”, “four”.) That’s pretty much it in terms of unique words for numbers in English.
There’s a cool quirk in Chinese; instead of having an equivalent for “-illion”, they have a word for 10,000. It’s 万 and it’s pronounced wan4. Interestingly, the word means both 10,000 and also “a really big number”, a meaning that points to the fact that 10,000 was, in the past, a number out of reach in most people’s daily lives.
The way you say “million” in Chinese is 一百万, yi1 bai3 wan4, which literally means 100 10,000, which, if you do the multiplication, equals 1,000,000.