Translating Documents with Dates and Times

Cultural conventions for expressing dates and times may cause lack of understanding.  Because the conventions differ, the professionals in the Arabic Translation Portland company must observe conventions of source documents and target readers to insure that dates and times are clear to readers in different cultures .   Although most persons understand that conventions vary internationally from country to country, they may not realize that conventions may differ within a country.  Thus expressing dates and time clearly is particularly important tor translators.

Dates may be a source of confusion because conventions for the sequence of the day, the month, and the year differ greatly from country to country.  Therefore, the Chicago Russian Translation worker should write dates in long form.   In the United States, the date is typically written as month, day, and year (December 5, 2012); but in most of the rest of the world, dates are written as day, month, and year (5 December 2012).  Clearly a date written as 5/12/2012 might mean December 5 in one country or May 12 in another country.  Further confusing to some readers, in Japan, the year appears first, followed by the month and day (2012 December 5 or 12/12/5).  Thus writing dates in full should be the standard  to prevent errors in understanding that might cause disastrous results.

Time can also create confusion.  Usually in the United States, time is expressed in 12- hour periods that indicate day or evening.  For example, 9:30 in the morning (ante meridian, or before noon) may be indicated with any of the following abbreviations:  9:30 A.M., 9:30 a.m., or 9:30 am.  Times after noon (post meridian) may be expressed as 9:30 P.M., 9:30 p.m., or 9:30 pm).  In addition, the US military, like almost all other countries in the world, always expresses time in a 24-hour format.  Military time appears as 09:30 or 0930.  Other countries separate the hour from minutes by a colon (09:30) or a period (09.30) or no punctuation at all.  Consistently new days begin at midnight.

Sometimes New York Legal Translation workers must also indicate time zones to insure clarity.  Countries with multiple time zones that follow idiosyncratic boundaries must list the zone to insure accuracy and clarity.  When times are seasonally adjusted for daylight time (for example, 9:30 a.m. CDT, or Central Daylight Time) or standard time (9:30 p.m. EST, or Eastern Standard Time), translators must also indicate the appropriate zone and adjustment.

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