Style Guide for Figures (TR->ENG)

Section I:  Turkish-to-English Translations

General Rules
Dates
Decades and Centuries
Time
Money
Turkish Currency
Percents
Charts and Tables: Dates, Financial Figures, Statistics
Figures in Legal Agreements or Contracts and in Medical or Scientific Journals

General Rules

Never start a sentence with a figure.

  • Write the number in words as follows:
    Fifty percent of the population approved the referendum.
    Sixty million dollars was donated to the institution.
  • This rule applies to all documents (including financial reports and legal documents).
  • There is one exception: a numeral that identifies a calendar year as follows: 1976 was a very good year.

Numbers less than “10”:

  • For cardinal and ordinal numbers less than 10, spell out the number as in nine people, eight applicants, nine miles, third place.
  • For cardinal and ordinal numbers 10 or above, use the figure as in 10 students, 12 people, 15 applicants, 20 miles, 15th place.
  • Exceptions: this rule does not apply to these cases: ages, headlines, percentagescharts, tables, money, time, dates, and measurements.
    • Examples:
      Iran Sentences U.S. Journalist to 8 Years (headline)
      $5 billion (money)
      A 5-year-old child

In some cases, it makes more sense to spell out the numbers, as in this example:
One of thirty artists under 30 years old is most likely to influence American culture over the next twenty years.

Spell out figures in idiomatic phrases or in other expressions using numbers as in:
a thousand and one ways; more than one way to skin a cat; kill two birds with one stone; six degrees of separation; a hundred times; about a hundred people.

Use plural forms of figures or abbreviations without an apostrophe as in 1990s, 747s, DVDs.

Use decimals and commas for English figures as follows:

  • General Figures: 22,500 people, 1.5 million cars, 42.8 square meters
  • Money figures: $4,564.54, $4.5 million, 5.67 billion Turkish lira
  • Percents: 43.8 percent, 43.8% (see “Percents” below for specific rules)

Note: Decimals and commas in Turkish figures are reversed; use the English format.

Dates

Use this form: month, day, year as in May 16, 2009.

Do not use numerical day, month, year with either periods or slashes, i.e., 01.02.2010 or 01/02/2010 (Note: In U.S. English, this date with slashes means January 2, 2010.)

Use of Commas:

  • When a phrase lists only a month and a year, do not set off the year with a comma.
  • When a phrase uses a month, day and year, set off the year with a comma.
  • If the day of the month is included but not the year, set off the date with a comma.
  • Examples:
    January 1972 was the coldest month.
    February 14, 1987, was the target date.
    She testified that it was Friday, December 3, when the accident occurred.

Always use cardinal numbers when the year is not included as in January 3, February 6, or January 2. Do not use ordinal numbers, i.e., January 3rd.

Months of the Year:

  • Spell out months when used alone or with a year as in January or March 2009.
  • Months are only abbreviated if used with a specific date as in Jan. 2, 2010.
  • If months are abbreviated, follow these rules; in all cases, be consistent:

Only these months are abbreviated:  Jan., Feb., Aug., Sep., Oct., Nov., Dec.

Do not abbreviate these months: March, April, May June, July

If a project is assigned two or more translators, be consistent regarding these rules.

Days of the Week:

  • Always spell out the days of the week as in Monday, Tuesday.
  • Do not abbreviate the days of the week, i.e., Mon. Tue.
  • Exception: see “Charts and Tables” below.

Decades and Centuries

Use figures for decades:  the 1990s, the ’90s, the mid-1990s.

Use an apostrophe before the decade if abbreviated as in the ’80s, the turbulent ’60s.

Spell out the decade when used at the beginning of a sentence:  Nineteen-eighties business models are no longer sufficient.

Follow the “less than 10” rule above as in the fifth century, the 15th century, mid-eighth century, mid-12th century, ninth-century literature, 17th-century poets.

B.C. follows the year or century as in 88 B.C. or fifth century B.C.

A.D. comes before the year as in A.D. 96 but after the century as in second century A.D.

Note: A.D. is not always necessary if the century is obvious in the text as in this example: In the fifth century, Rome fell.

Do not use B.C.E. and C.E. for B.C. and A.D., respectively.

  • B.C.E. (before the Common Era) and C.E. (the Common Era) are mostly used in academic writing.
  • For Dragoman copy, use B.C. and A.D.

Time

Time may be expressed in one of two ways:

  1. 24-hour clock:  06:30, 18:30.  A colon separates hours and minutes; do not use a period.
  2. 12-hour clock:  6:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m.  A colon separates hours and minutes; do not use a period.  Do not write “am or pm” or “A.M. or P.M.”
  3. Do not mix the styles; be consistent in the translation.

Money

Use commas and decimals for English money figures as in $1,256.65, €5.65 billion

Use symbols for the dollar, euro, and pound as in $5 million, €5 million, or £5 million.

For other currencies spell out the name of the currency as in 26,000 pesos.

Use lower case and the singular form for million, billion and trillion.

Use lower case for currency names as in dollar, pound sterling, euro.

Do not mix millions and billions with figures, i.e., 200 billion 500 million.

Use this style for amounts less than $1 million: $4, $25, $500, $1,000, $650,000.

Do not spell out thousand, i.e., $500 thousand.

For headlines/headings use the same styles, except in cases requiring capitalization.

Do not use currency abbreviations in paragraph content, i.e., USD 5 billion, EUR 6 million.

Note: Use this format if other dollar currencies are mentioned: CA$5 million for Canadian dollars or AU$5 million for Australian dollars or US$5 million for U.S. dollars.

Turkish Currency

Always spell out Turkish lira in all paragraph content.

Use this format: 5 million Turkish lira. Note: lira is always lower case and singular.

When to Use the “TL” symbol for Turkish Currency:

  • Use TL as the symbol for Turkish lira. Do not use other forms, i.e., TRL or TRY.
  • Use TL only in these cases: headlines or headings; and in stand-alone short statements or phrases on websites and in annual reports.
  • Examples
    Headlines and Headings:  Central Bank Proposes TL Devaluation
    Websites and Annual Reports: Arçelik’s profits reached 350 million TL in 2009

Advertising Copy

Use the TL in short phrases as in All items under 50 TL!

Use the symbol in advertisements of one or more short sentences as follows:
Join Miles&Smiles and take advantage of our 25% discount on all international flights. Save on domestic flights starting at 59 TL. Fly Turkish Airlines today!

The symbol TL follows the figure separated by a space as in 400 TL. (Note: This rule applies to Turkish currency only.)

Percents

The word percent is one word. Do not use U.K. spelling, i.e., per cent.

Always spell out percent in paragraph content as in 30 percent, 3.5 percent, 66 percent.

For percents “less than 1” use zero before the decimal point as in 0.3 percent or 0.03 percent.

Use the symbol ONLY in these cases: headlines or headings; and in stand-alone short statements or phrases on websites and in annual reports

Examples

Headlines or Headings
Unemployment Reaches 11%
Allianz Posts 30% Profit

Websites and Annual Reports
All Arçelik washing machines – 50% energy savings
Beko named the “Best Buy in Turkey,” with 25% energy savings

Advertising Copy

Use the symbol in short phrases as in 30% off on all items!

Use the symbol in advertisements of one or more short sentences as follows:

Join Miles&Smiles and take advantage of our 25% discount on all international flights. Save on domestic flights starting at 59 TL. Fly Turkish Airlines today!

If the symbol is used, the symbolfollows the figure in all English copy as in 35%.

Charts and Tables: Dates, Financial Figures, Statistics

Months of Year: To abbreviate months use these three-letter forms without a period: Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

Days of the Week: To abbreviate days use these three-letter forms without a period: Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat

Percent Symbol (%): use the percent symbol (%) in all charts and tables in all documents.

For the Turkish currency symbol (TL): Use TL in all charts and tables in all documents.

Currency Abbreviations:

Use currency abbreviations only in financial charts and tables.

If used with a figure, the abbreviation precedes the figure separated by a space as follows:

  • USD5 billion (do not use the symbol $)
  • EUR5 billion (do not use the symbol )

Use ONE of these styles for charts and tables that compare year-end figures:

  • Year-end 2009 Year-end 2010
  • December 31, 2010 December 31, 2010
  • 31.12.2008 31.12.2009

For numerical dates in charts and tables use 01.04.2010. Do not use slashes, i.e., 01/04/2010.

Other Figures

Fractions:

  • Spell out and hyphenate fractions that are less than one as in three-quarters.
  • Write fractions attached to a number with one space after the number as in 2 1/4.  (Note: do not use superscript, i.e., 2¼. )
  • Do not mix fractions and decimals as in from 2 1/4 to 2.75 percent.

Basis Points: lower case if spelled out; if not, abbreviate as in bps.

Measurements and Decimal Points:

  • Spell out the type of measurement as in 35 square meters, 46 square kilometers.
  • For amounts less than 1 use zero before the decimal point as in 0.03.
  • When the decimal is 1 or less, the type of measurement is singular as in one mile, one foot, one kilometer, 0.35 meter, 0.55 cubic foot, 0.75 kilometer.

 Range of Numbers:

  • To show a range of numbers, use from/to, between/and as in from 10 to 25 branches; between 25 and 30 people; from 25 to 30 percent; between $300 and $50,000.
  • However, use to/from for figures showing a rise or fall to prevent misreading as a range. (Note: this rule is especially important in financial or annual reports)
  • Examples:
    increased to $25 billion from $20 billion
    decreased to 9 billion Turkish lira from 20 billion.
  • Ranges with hyphens:  5,000-6,000, 5-6 percent, $5 billion-$6 billion (not 5-$6 billion).

Figures in Legal Agreements or Contracts and in Medical or Scientific Journals

Follow the rules of style outlined above, unless otherwise specified in this section.

Do not abbreviate the months of the year, i.e., Jan., Feb.

Use month, day, year as in November 1, 2010, to avoid confusion.

For Legal Agreements or Contracts

  • Spell out figures followed by the numerals in parentheses.
  • Do not round off the figures when writing the numerals.
  • Examples:
    five thousand six hundred dollars ($5,600)
    ten million five hundred forty-five thousand six hundred fifty Turkish lira (10,545,650 TL)
    twenty million nine hundred thousand two hundred fifty-two dollars ($20,900,252)
    thirty (30) days, two (2) weeks, five and nine tenths percent (5.9%)

For Scientific and Medical Journals

  • If a figure is followed by a percent in parentheses, use the symbol as in 55 males (45%) had a predisposition for addiction.
  • In all other cases, spell out the word percent.

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