I'm writing a program and need to know how dates, versions, time, and numbers are formatted in the Japanese Language

Example (in English)

Version 1.0.0 (Build 0)

How would that look in Japan?

  • 2
    I recommend looking at the Unicode CLDR database for date/time/number patterns. There are also some libraries which can format dates/times/numbers such as ICU.
    – cypher
    May 14, 2012 at 2:13
  • This question shouldn't be closed, I believe it falls under the "usage" part of "Japanese language and its usage".
    – taylor
    Aug 28, 2012 at 19:35

1 Answer 1


Version: バージョン (baajon) Build: ビルド (birudo)

バージョン 1.0.0 ビルド 0

(Source: I'm running Japanese Windows, and verified these guesses by looking in some About boxes for standard apps.)

The date 2012-05-13 can be displayed as 2012年5月13日. I wouldn't do that in things like debugging log files for IT people.

Numbers use a period as a decimal separator.

HH:MM:SS time is used. But there are Japanese conventions. For instance a.m. and p.m. are 午前 (gozen) and 午後 (gogo). 午前7:00~午後8:00 means from 7 in the morning to 8 at night (note wavy dash used for the range), and 7:00 in the morning could appear as 午前7時 (gozen schichi ji) or even 朝7時 (asa shichi ji: "morning seven o'clock").

Separation of digits into groups of three is used, but I would say it is not a cultural concept in Japan.

In Japanese, the number 10,000 is significant (it is called 万, "man") as are 1000 (千, "sen") and 100 (百, "hyaku"). . Large-ish quantities of money are sometimes quoted in 万円 (manen) which is comparable to a hundred dollars. The square of 10,000, one hundred million, also has a special name, 億 (oku). The cultural concept of "one million bucks" translates to "oku man en".

The average Japanese person doesn't think of numbers in terms of thousand, million, billion, but people in science, finance, engineering and such operate in the global information environment so they are probably more used to that.

In some kinds of programs, a "deep" conversion to Japanese might bring in these concepts. For instance, a column of monetary figures might be labelled 万円 and this would mean that 1.3 in that column understood to to be 13000 yen.

  • 1
    But your L10N library should handle most of this for you. If it doesn't, find another. May 14, 2012 at 3:48

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