Translating Currencies, Dates and Decimals

Although you might think that rules for articulating data such as weights, measurements, time, dates, and locations would be rather important, they are frequently stated with limited commonality across borders and cultures and often lead to uncertainty and disbelief. People from other places will try to influence and shape your style of writing and speaking. Your understanding of various rules and measurements, and your desire to adjust to foreign cultures will enable you to diminish their endeavors. As a Chinese Houston translation worker, your employer might have specific rules concerning the way that data should be presented internationally. In the event it your company has specific rules, looking at currency symbols, dates and other items that are detailed in future blog posts might be advantageous in your own thinking about how to communicate with readers and listeners of cultures different from your own.

Currency Symbols

Types of currency range from the Angolan New Kwanza (AON) to the Zambian Kwacha (ZMK).  One San Francisco translation worker indicated that when you need to express a type of currency, you should always specify the type.  The place where you put the currency symbol, before the value or after the value, is also important because it can be different based on the country.


The recommended way to list dates is to spell it out instead of using a numerical equivalent because the ordering for the numeric format often varies throughout the world.  For example, in the United States, the date is generally expressed month, day year and in Japan, the date is expressed in a year, month and day format.


The treatment of decimal places also varies by country and most spreadsheet applications are designed to accommodate the differences.  However, you need to check on the format that is familiar to your audience.  In the United States, it is customary to use a period to represent a decimal whereas most parts of Europe and South America used commas.

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