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

Example (in English)

Version 1.0.0 (Build 0)

How would that look in German?

  • In German it looks like that: Version 1.2.3 (Build 1234) You see, nothing changed ;p Btw. of course it is also possible to write Version
    – Em1
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 7:23
  • But I see one problem. In your sentence you ask about how dates, versions, time and numbers are formatted in German. At least date, time and number are easily looked up on the world wide web, therefore would be general reference. Just about version I'm not sure if there is a easy-to-find reference. But why do you need to translate the version? It's either in a "about box" or in a "readme file" and for both I wouldn't translate either of them. (If just listed, in a written text, though, date, time and number should be translated).
    – Em1
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 7:29

1 Answer 1


Time and date

Time and date formats in technical publications and software can be made according to the ISO-8601. This norm is valid in German too (see here for many examples in German). See also this question for more.

There are many efforts to adapt the ISO 8601 to all texts written in German but still the older formats are widely used. These officially obsolete date formats were therefore reintroduced in the DIN 5008. Accoring to this a date can be written as follows:

2012-05-14 - 12-05-14 - 14.05.2012 - 14. Mai 2012


Version numbering of software is done identical to their English counterparts. There is no need to change that in a German localization (this would even include your example "Build" - a term that is perfectly understood in the context of software).

Note that "version" translates 1:1 to the German "Version".


A difference for large numbers exists in the "thousands separator" where a stop sign rather than a comma is used in Germany, and the "decimal mark" is a comma rather than a full stop:


  • 2
    I was thinking about "Build". I think it should be noted that any possible translation would a.) not be any easier to understand for a layman and b.) would probably confuse someone who knows what "Build" stands for in this context. Commented May 14, 2012 at 8:30
  • 1
    Just be careful, the ISO/DIN standard YYYY-MM-DD is hardly ever used outside the IT domain. I'd say 99% of Germans would write a date: 14.5.2012 (DD.MM.YYYY). I don't think there is much confusion. So even in an IT context, you'd most likely report the date to the user using the DD.MM.YYYY format. The 70+ generation might even use 14.V.2012, that is the months indicated in Roman numbers.
    – Jules
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 9:17
  • 2
    @Jules: this is very true. I would put it like that: the standard YYYY-MM-DD format is increasingly used outside computing as well but it is still far from widely accepted.
    – Takkat
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 10:18
  • 1
    Cheers for the clarification and edit. While I support sensible date formats, I also keep in mind the high number of learners who frequent this site. If they were to use the ISO date in some sort of language test, they might be marked down for it.
    – Jules
    Commented May 14, 2012 at 13:07
  • 2
    You're welcome. What I wanted to say is, don't use something static like date.Format("dd.MM.yyyy"), prefer something like date.Format(Culture.De-de) or date.Format(CurrentCulture)
    – Hinek
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 14:37

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