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Different conventions exist around the world for date and time representation, both written and spoken.

Contents

1 Differences 2 ISO 8601 3 Local conventions

3.1 Date 3.2 Time

4 See also 5 References

Differences[edit] Differences can exist in:

The calendar that is used. The order in which the year, month and day are represented. (Year-month-day, day-month-year, and month-day-year are the common combinations.) How weeks are identified (see seven-day week) Whether written months are identified by name, by number (1–12), or by Roman numeral (I-XII). Whether the 24-hour clock, 12-hour clock
12-hour clock
or 6-hour clock is used. The punctuation used to separate elements in all-numeric dates and times. Which days are considered the weekend.

ISO 8601[edit] Main article: ISO 8601 International standard ISO 8601 (Representation of dates and times) defines unambiguous written all-numeric big-endian formats for dates, such as 1999-12-31 for 31 December 1999, and time, such as 23:59:58 for 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 58 seconds. These standard notations have been adopted by many countries as a national standard, e.g., BS EN 28601 in the UK and similarly in other EU countries, ANSI
ANSI
INCITS 30-1997 (R2008), and FIPS PUB 4-2 in the United States
United States
(FIPS PUB 4-2 withdrawn in United States
United States
2008-09-02).[1] They are, in particular, increasingly widely used in computer applications, since the most to least significant digit order provides a simple method to order and sort time readings. Local conventions[edit] See also: Category:Date and time representation by country Date[edit] Main article: Date format by country The little-endian format (day, month, year) is the most popular format worldwide, followed by the big-endian format (year, month, day)[2][better source needed]. Dates may be written partly in Roman numerals (i.e. the month)[citation needed] or written out partly or completely in words in the local language. Time[edit] The 24-hour clock
24-hour clock
enjoys broad everyday usage in most non-English speaking countries, at least when time is written or displayed. In some regions, for example where German, French and Romanian are spoken, the 24-hour clock
24-hour clock
is used today even when speaking casually[citation needed], while in other countries the 12-hour clock is used more often in spoken form. In most English-speaking regions, particularly the United States
United States
and the Commonwealth, the 12-hour clock
12-hour clock
is the predominant form of stating the time, with the 24-hour clock
24-hour clock
used in contexts where unambiguity and accurate timekeeping are important, such as for public transport schedules. Nonetheless, usage is inconsistent: in the UK, train timetables will typically use 24-hour time, but road signs indicating time restrictions (e.g. on bus lanes) typically use 12-hour time, e.g. "Monday–Friday 6.30–8.30pm". The BBC website
BBC website
uses the 24-hour clock for its TV and radio programme listings, while BBC promotions for upcoming programmes give their times according to the 12-hour clock. Punctuation and spacing styles differ, even within English-speaking countries (6:30 p.m., 6:30 pm, 6.30pm, etc.). Most people in "24-hour countries" are so used to both systems being alternately used in spoken language that they have no problem switching between the two, perceiving the statements "three o'clock" and "15:00" simply as synonyms[citation needed]. When speaking, a person may often pronounce time in 12-hour notation, even when reading a 24-hour display[citation needed]. It is also common that a person uses the 24-hour clock
24-hour clock
in spoken language when referring to an exact point in time ("The train leaves at fourteen forty-five ..."), while using some variant of the 12-hour notation to refer vaguely to a time ("... so I will be back tonight some time after five.")[citation needed]. However, encountering a p.m. time written in the 12-hour notation (e.g. 6:30 meaning 18:30) is likely to cause confusion with people used to the 24-hour written notation[citation needed]. In certain languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English and Czech the hour is divided into quarters and halves, spoken of relative to the closest hour. In many Germanic languages the half-hour is referred to the next hour ("half to nine" rather than "half past eight"). In colloquial language, this can cause confusion between English and German, Dutch or Swedish diction: in conversational English as spoken in the UK, "half past eight" (for 8:30) is often reduced to "half eight", while in German "halb acht", in Dutch "half acht" and in Swedish "halv åtta" invariably means 7:30. For the quarters, in German different dialects use "Viertel nach sieben" or "viertel acht" (literally "quarter past seven" or "quarter eight"), and "Viertel vor acht" or "dreiviertel acht" (literally "quarter to eight" or "three quarters eight"). In the French language, the quarters are expressed as additions or subtractions of the full hour: "sept heures et quart" (literally "seven hours and quarter"), "sept heures et demie" ("seven hours and half"), "huit heures moins le quart" ("eight hours less the quarter"). The separator between hours and minutes is the letter h (18 h 45, for example). See also[edit]

Calendar
Calendar
date Common Locale Data Repository, a database that covers national date and time notations Date format by country Date and time notation in Europe

References[edit]

^ itl.nist.gov ^ Date

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