Finnish Standard on Numbers, Marks, and Symbols Modernized

the eFinland Weblog

Helsinki, 21 March, 2006 — The Finnish national standard SFS 4175, Typing of numbers, marks and signs, has been thoroughly renewed to match the requirements and possibilities of modern text processing and character encoding standards. The new version specifies characters by their code numbers in the Unicode and ISO 10646 standard and contains help on producing them on computers.

The standard also continues the efforts to preserve traditional Finnish writing conventions, against the pressures caused by computer software that behaves according to the rules of the English language. The standard contains some guidance on avoiding typical errors such as incorrect “corrections” of text when typing.

The standard presents the basic rules of punctuation, writing of numeric expressions and use of special symbols in Finnish. It is based on a wide consensus among interested parties, and it can be used e.g. by software localizers as a reliable source of information.

Examples of Finnish writing rules that deviate from English rules are the use of punctuation marks (”symmetric” quotes, not “asymmetric”), monetary amounts (42,50 €, not €42.50) and dates (9.2.2005 for February 9, 2005).

The standard also defines the formats to be used in notations like phone numbers, Internet addresses, and Finnish Business IDs.

Additional information:
Jukka K. Korpela

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