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International Date Inscription

All numeric ISO date and military time inscriptions

Last modified: 2012-01-27  

The all-numeric writing of dates varies in different parts of the world.  The date April 2, 2012 is written as follows:

Global ISO 8601           :     2012-04-02     or   YEAR-MONTH-DAY

North America              :       4-2-2012          or    MONTH-DAY-YEAR

Traditional Europe (EU) :     2-4-2012          or     DAY-MONTH-YEAR.  EU has now adopted use of the ISO standard, and released the European Norm EN 28601. 

We in USA use MONTH-DAY-YEAR date system.  The Europeans have used   DAY-MONTH-YEAR on all numeric dates. It is relatively easy for us to switch, since we are used to the month-day sequence.  Having worked for multinational companies, this could cause costly mistakes.  I just translated a contract where the USA parties misunderstood the German date by 6 months.

EU and many other countries have now adopted the ISO 8601 standard sequence of   YEAR-MONTH-DAY for all numeric dates.

The military 24 hour time designation is used throughout the world.  Many countries do not have nor use the AM and PM designations in their language.  To be specific,  such as in airline, bus or train schedules, the 24 hour time designation is used.  For example the time 1:30 PM  has the international or military inscription as follows; 13:30.

The MS Windows 7, XP, 2000, NT, 98 or 95 has settings for the ISO date and 24 hour time designations.

For More Information See Web or Contact us:

A Summary of the International Standard Date and Time Notation by Markus Kuhn  Markus.Kuhn at cl.cam.ac.uk.
http://www.qsl.net/g1smd/isoimp.htm
http://www.merlyn.demon.co.uk/
http://www.metric1.org/dateandtime.htm

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