Common English to Russian Translation Errors. Part 7



This post explains some of the frequent errors associated with translating references to date and time into Russian.

Preferred date format

The recommended date format is DD.MM.YYYY. However, it is a good idea not to change the original format unless it is absolutely necessary. Changing numbers to letters and vice versa will trigger false positive errors during quality assurance. Since those errors take time to check even though they are false positives, it is best to avoid them if possible.

Original Correct Incorrect
8/10/2004 10.08.2004 8/10/2004
April 14, 2009 14 апреля 2009 г. 14.04.2009 (correct, but suboptimal for QA reasons)

Appending “г.” to year

Unless the date is written like this, “11.06.2008,” you must add the abbreviation “г.” after the year. This helps avoid ambiguity that may otherwise occur when it is difficult to tell whether 2008 is a number or year.

Original Correct Incorrect
2000 Achievements Достижения в 2000 г. Достижения 2000

Years in periods

When years are mentioned in time frames, you must:

  • write years in full;
  • use an em-dash between them without spaces;
  • add “гг.”
Original Correct Incorrect
In 1981 to 1985, we … В 1981—1985 гг. мы … В 1981-1985 гг. or В 1981-85 гг.

Preferred time format

The recommended time format is HH:MM:SS. Note that a colon is used as a delimiter.

Original Correct Incorrect
12.48 12:48 12.48
5 pm 17:00 5 вечера or 5 п. п.

You can read other articles about frequent Russian translation errors and recommendations by clicking the link below.


  • Luke Perkins says:

    I saw a Russian grave marker with the format 19 4/IV 41. What is the history of this date code format?

    • Roman Mironov says:

      Hi Luke,

      Thank you for reading. I do not know exactly, but I would imagine this is just an individual preference. Especially, because they used both the “IV” and “4” for the month. Looks weird to me.


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