Time Zones and City names

Time Zone Names

Time zones (such as "Pacific Time" or "France Time") can be formatted in different ways:
  • "metazone" names, such as "Pacific Time" or "Pacific Standard Time", that can apply to segments of a country or groups of countries.
  • location (country or city) based names, such as "Paris Time" or "Japan Standard Time"
    • These are constructed using patterns (see below), plus Country/Region Names and City Names.
    • When a "metazone" name is absent, a location based name is used as a fallback.
  • raw offsets, like "GMT+10:00"
    • These are constructed using patterns (see below).
  • When translating time zone names, include the Region information if the name can be ambiguous. For example, “Central time” would be ambiguous without the America_Central region context.
  • When the English name can be ambiguous in your language, use the name that's most commonly used. For example, the English America_Mountain "Mountain time" can be ambiguous and including "Rocky" may be most commonly understood in your language; thus the translation would be for "Rocky Mountain time".

For each of the first two, there are three choices:
  • Winter (standard) time, such as "Atlantic Standard Time"
  • Summer (daylight) time, such as "Atlantic Daylight Time"
  • Generic time, such as "Atlantic Time". This is used for recurring times (such as in a Calendar program) that change between summer and winter.

Time Zone Patterns

The following special patterns are used in formatting timezones.

Name English Pattern English_Example Meaning
gmtFormat GMT{0}
GMT-2:00 GMT Pattern. Modify this field if the format for GMT time uses different letters, such as HUA+0200 for GMT+02:00, or if the letters GMT occur after the time. Make sure you include the {0}; that is where the actual time value will go!
gmtZeroFormat GMT GMT GMT Zero Pattern. This field must be consistent with the GMT Pattern.
hourFormat +HH:mm;-HH:mm GMT-02:00 GMT Hours Pattern. This field controls the format for the time used with the GMT Pattern. It contains two patterns separated by a ";". The first controls positive time values (and zero), and the second controls the negative values. So to get GMT+02.00 for positive values, and GMT-02.00 for negative values, you'd use +HH.mm;-HH.mm.
regionFormat {0} Time
{COUNTRY} Time / {CITY} Time
Bolivia Time Location-Based Time Zone Pattern. For generic references to time zones, the country is used if possible, composed with a pattern that in English appears as "{0} Time". Thus a time zone may appear as "Malaysia Time" or "Hora de Malasia". If the country has multiple time zones, then a city is used to distinguish which one, thus "Argentina (La Rioja) Time".

Some languages would normally have grammatical adjustments depending on what the name of the city is. For example, one might need "12:43 pm Tempo d'Australia" but "12:43 pm Tempo de Paris". In that case, there are two approaches:

  1. Use "{0}", which will give results like "12:43 pm Australia" and "12:43 pm Paris", or
  2. Use a "form-style" phrasing such as "Tempo de: {0}", which will give results like "12:43 pm Tempo de: Australia" and "12:43 pmTempo de: Paris".
{0} Standard Time
{COUNTRY} Standard Time / {CITY} Standard Time
Bolivia Standard Time
{0} Daylight Time
{COUNTRY} Daylight Time / {CITY} Daylight Time
Bolivia Daylight Time
{1} ({0})
Central Time  (Cancun)
Metazone Name with Location Pattern. This field is usually not translated. This field to control the formatting of ambiguous metazone name name. When a set of metazone's generic names are shared by multiple different zones and GMT offset at the given time in a zone is different from other zones using the same metazone, this format pattern is used to distinguish the zone from others. In the pattern, {0} will be replaced by location name (either country or city) and {1} will be replaced with the metazone's name.    

City Names

Please choose the most neutral grammatical form of the city name. The city name will typically be used to indicate a timezone, either in a menu, or in formatting a time.

In a few cases, what is included in the list of cities for translation is actually a country name, such as the following. In those cases, use the name of the country instead.

  • Costa Rica
  • Cape Verde
  • Faeroe (for the Faroe Islands)
A city may be used in a menu of timezone names, such as:
  • ...
  • United States Time (Los Angeles)
  • United States Time (New York) 
  • United Kingdom Time (London)
  • ...
Timezones may also have a simpler format, depending on the language, such as:
  • ...
  • United States (Los Angeles)
  • United States (New York) 
  • United Kingdom (London)
  • ...
The city name may also be used in formatted times, such as:
  • 12:51 AM France Time (Paris)
Unique Names
City names must be unique. See Country/Region Names for techniques.