Short form for years

kepulauan

Senior Member
Icelandic
This thought just struck me. Is there any common way in Chinese (written or spoken) to shorten year notations? For example, could 一九九四年 take a short form like 九四年 as with '84 or "back in eighty-four" etc.?
 
  • kepulauan

    Senior Member
    Icelandic
    I must say that's not what I was expecting!

    So you mean that I can say 九四年 but not write it? What about more problematic years, that is, the first ones in a century? Will 05年 cause the same confusion as it does in European languages?
     

    hkenneth

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin & Shanghainese
    I must say that's not what I was expecting!

    So you mean that I can say 九四年 but not write it? What about more problematic years, that is, the first ones in a century? Will 05年 cause the same confusion as it does in European languages?
    This kind of short form is commonly used and can be used in any situations, formal or informal. For year 1994, I would write as either 九四年 or 94年 but 2005 as 05年 or O五年, because Chinese don't very much like to write 零 for numbers (二零零五年 is acceptable but rather uncommon). To figure out which year it stands for exactly, you need to consider the context (just think your boss tell you that he will talk to you at 3 o'clock, you would not expect it is 3:00 am right?), but generally, it would be the nearest suitable year for the short form, for example, 05年 for 2005, 89年 for 1989.

    A specific exception is that for traditional Chinese typesetting, fonts will be assigned vertically. In that situation, you would not expect to see the use of any Arabic numbers.

    And, if it is sometime long way ago, let's say year 1935, I would say 30年代 rather than 35年.
     
    Last edited:

    kepulauan

    Senior Member
    Icelandic
    Thanks for this great information. Beginning a number with a zero sure allows for more freedom than I'm used to.

    PS. I couldn't find the circle when I was writing. I just found out why.
     

    hkenneth

    Member
    Chinese - Mandarin & Shanghainese
    Thanks for this great information. Beginning a number with a zero sure allows for more freedom than I'm used to.

    PS. I couldn't find the circle when I was writing. I just found out why.
    Oh, and for 05年,it is supposed to be read as "lin wu nian". The 0 at the beginning should not be ignored.
     
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