International Date Mix-ups: How to Avoid Them

Have you ever wondered why it’s so important to use the correct date format in international communication? 

It’s more than just a matter of being polite. Getting dates wrong can lead to serious problems, such as missed deadlines, postponed meetings—and frustrated colleagues. 

Europeans (and Brits) write day/month/year. But in America, it’s month/day/year! 

Very confusing, don’t you think? 

So while we see 6.9.2023 as 6th September, your American business partner will think you mean 9th June!

Well, here are two simple tips to solve this problem:

1️⃣ Always write the month as a word! With “6th September 2023” or even “6 September 2023*” there can be no misunderstanding.

2️⃣ If you send your emails or messages in an international context, use the ISO standard (Year-Month-Day). It looks like this: “2023-09-06.”

In international communication, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Get the date right and your business partners will thank you! 👏

Now I’m curious. Have you ever had trouble with the ‘date dilemma’?

* This is now common practice according to plainenglish.co.uk

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Foto Christine Sparks

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