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I would definitely go for the former formulation .It sounds much nicer.But I think you would say "dix-neuf mille ,(virgule ) cent soixante-huit millions "
I am not sure if you would need to say "virgule".
I have never come across (as an example) "un sept huit" being used to express 178 in French although mathematicians must do it all the time.
Hi George. Sorry for the delayed response. Thanks very much for help, much appreciated. Likewise, thanks too to Nicolas. Cheers fellers.
You would usually say "dix neuf millions cent soixante dix huit" in "Standard" French.
In some areas (eg Wallonie, Belgium), one would say "dix neuf millions cent septante huit".
You would say "dix neuf virgule cent septante huit millions" only if you have to/wish to use the million as a unit.
As above Nicolas, thanks very much.