Dates and Times


D Day
M Month
Yr Year
O ordinal
To “the” plus ordinal
N number
Dow Day Of Week
W With
No without
onDate Date that includes the word “on” – or includes an “understood” word “on”
isDate Date to be used when a “to be” word is present or “understood”, such as “today is…”
plus fromDate, toDate, and so on.

Dates are created to be as versatile as possible, and offer as many format choices as possible. These dates are also constructed in a way that entire date formats can be deleted without affecting other date results. The names of the date formats also reflect their content, and even their play order in many circumstances, although it must be noted that order or grammars that many westerners take for granted, such as the year coming after the date, are not valid in Asia and other countries. So, is recommended to rid the mind of any preconceptions of the order of dates.

Also, days with weekdays are often translated wildly different from dates without weekdays. Here, again, no assumptions should be made based on one’s own native language.

There are many more date formats in the English language – most especially American – than in any other language. Americans in particular are quite loosey-goosey in how they speak the date. And quite often English speakers drop the surrounding prepositions entirely. Example:

Message received June 4th.

However, the phrase really should be “Message received on June 4th.” Non-linguists (which includes almost everyone) are often not aware when a preposition is “understood”, so the System Localizer does much of this work for you.

Using the above legend, these elements translate into the following date formats. All “selector” words are case sensitive.


Note that in the dates above, an “on date” is separate from an “is date”. There is good reason for this. Any date format that contains a preposition must be handled separately, as its own entity, in order to function across the language spectrum. Thus, there must also be a separate consideration for “from date” and “to date” (also called “through date”). This, because the word for “from” or “to” or “through” may change with the weekday used, or may change with the Month, or may be at the end of the phrase not the beginning.

There is an optional setting in GC that allows cross-referencing date audio file names, to avoid repeat recordings. Thus, the “January” from “Tuesday January 15th” would use the audio file named onDateWDow_Month.wav from the “on date” version. Or, each date type can be recorded and named as separate files. With separate file naming, then entire date formats can be added or deleted without impacting the play of other date formats.


Non-English languages do not offer as many choices as does English. As a general rule, when calling dates that are non-English, the “base date format” is sufficient, without all of the fancy endings such as “MDo”. For those few languages in which there are multiple variations, there will be a base, or “usual” format, and then other variations will use appropriate endings.

It is important to note that the results of these date formats can vary wildly per language, so no assumptions of order should be made. The year may be first instead of last, the day may be in front of the month or after. One day of the month may be in a different order than all of the other days, and so on.

Date Audio File Names

The names of the date audio files will also be reflective both of their date format (above), plus the role that audio file plays. Thus:


is a “day” prompt (such as “the first of”), because if plays before the month (“the first of January”). And it is part of the onDateWDowDMo date format. The legends that accompany date audio file names include (but are not limited to):

_DayBef    Day before month
_DayAft    Day after month
_Month    Month
_DowBef    Day Of Week positioned before the date (Tuesday, January 2)
_DowAft    Day Of Week positioned after the date (January 2, Tuesday)
_YrBef    Year positioned before the date (2004 Tuesday January 2)
_YrAft    Year positioned after the date (Tuesday January 2, 2004)


In addition to the above high volume of date selections, are the accompanying variations on written versions of dates. It should be noted that text representations also vary by country. 3/7/06 can be March 7th or can be July 3rd, depending upon the country.

Date text formats include:

March 7th 2006
Mar. 7, 2006
MARCH 7, 2006
MAR. 7, 2006
MAR 7 2006
for TTS: “march seventh two thousand and six”
and similar.


12 hour Time and 24 hour Time plus the lesser-used “before-hour” Time are covered:

12 hour = TimeAmPm = 1:40 PM

24 hour = Time24Hr = 13:40

BefHr = TimeBefHr = 20 to 2

Time, like Dates, are based upon the preposition attached, e.g. “atTime” “fromTime” “toTime” and so on. “isTime” can only be used with sentences where time is either the subject or is preceded by a variation of the verb “to be”, e.g. “is” “was” “will be” and so on. Time phrases change radically in other languages with up to 15 different formats for one Time in some languages. Thus, Time cannot be used as a one-size-fits-all scenario.


Date and Time variables are considered as being determined using the same data, therefore the order Date-Time is considered the same as Time-Date, each value determined by the same data passed to the system. This interchangeability is highly recommended, as each country has its own rules concerning which element should be first.