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What Translators Need To Know: Dates


While translating a document, certified translators must of course be familiar with two different languages: the language of the original document; and the language they must convert it to. However, there are also a great many other details that a translator in Singapore (or anywhere else) must concern themselves with, differences that can arise between differing countries and cultures.

If this is your first time seeking certified translation services in Singapore, knowing if a translation company is acquainted with more than just different languages can help you with your judgement. This allows you to more easily assess if their translation services are sufficient for your needs.

Furthermore, of the many possible differences that can arise between varying languages and cultures, there is a type that is especially important to consider when one provides document translation services.

Date Formats

Even if one assumes a document will always follow a standardized date format, different countries will have different standards. Some will place the year at the beginning, while others will place the day after the month and before the year. It may be sometimes easy to guess when it comes to dates like 1969/09/25, but how will you tell what 20/06/05 is supposed to mean? Is it the 5th of June 2020, or the 20th of June 2005?

One distinctive example of the variance of date formats is how years are numbered in official Japanese documents. Instead of following the Common Era or Anno Domini methods, Japan uses year numbers that correspond to the reign of their Emperors. For example, years written in the west as 2020 and 2010 are instead respectively written as Reiwa 2 and Heisei 22 in Japan.

The date is a particularly important detail when it comes to a PR application translation or a legal translation, as exact dates are crucial information to the organizations that these PR applications and legal documents are submitted to.

With the above in mind, the next time you require assistance with a notarized translation or something equally important, be aware of how they convert the dates. The more a translation company in Singapore knows about varying date formats, the more confident you can be about receiving a suitable and certified translation service