Date and time notation in Finland

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In Finland, the usual way of writing dates in normal text is with the months spelled out.[1][2] The format varies according to the language used. In Finnish, a full stop is placed after the day to indicate an ordinal: “31. toukokuuta 2002”; furthermore, the month is in the partitive case, always marked by -ta. The month can also be written first, now in genitive case (the day and the abbreviated word päivä, day, are in essive case as above): “toukokuun 31. pnä 2002”.[citation needed] In Swedish, the full stop is not used and the month is in nominative (without inflection): “den 31 maj 2002”.

The date can be preceded by the weekday (also lower case), in Finnish in essive case: “perjantaina 31. toukokuuta 2002”, “fredagen den 31 maj 2002”. The Finnish language has month names differing from most other languages; three letter abbreviations are not used in Finnish, and the months are not capitalised in either language (they are not considered proper names).

In the Sami languages (Inari Sami, Northern Sami and Skolt Sami) the date can be given with the month first, but then spelt out in essive case: “vyesimaanu 31. p. 2002”, “bearjadat, miessemannu 31. b. 2002”, “vue'ssmaan 31. p. 2002”.[citation needed]

The all-numeric form for dates is in the order “day month year”, using a full stop as the separator. Example: “31.5.2002” or “31.5.02”. Years can be written with two or four digits, nowadays usually with four, and numbers may be written with or without leading zero. The numeric form is often used in lists, letterheads, etc. Also a form with a stroke is common in Swedish, especially in hand written text: “31/5 2002” or “31/5 -02”. The weekday may be prepended: “fredag 31/5 -02”.

The ISO 8601 notation (“2002-05-31”) and FYI notation[clarification needed] (“5-31-2002”) are not used in normal text in Finland, but the former is used in some contexts (mostly machine generated).

Numbering of weeks are used in Finland, and are simply expressed as in "(viikko) 28; (vecka) 28" ((week) 28) in both writing (abbreviated v.) and speech, also labels and in computers' notation. The week begins with a Monday and week 1 is the week containing the year's first Thursday.


The 12-hour clock is often used in the spoken language and idiomatic expressions. The 24-hour notation is used in writing, with a full point as the standardised and recommended separator (e.g. “15.07” or “8.27”). However, colon is almost exclusively used instead of point[citation needed] in computing environments, especially in Sami languages. The conventions are the same for Finnish and Swedish.


  1. ^ Miten päiväys merkitään?
  2. ^ Räkneord och datum, Reuters ruta 11/1 1991