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BST or GMT for time quotes?
Thread poster: Julian Wood

Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
Czech to English
+ ...
Apr 5, 2007

Hi- I might sound silly, but only realised recently that when we are on British Summer Time, we in the UK are no longer GMT but GMT+1.
The only issue is that I often write to clients, 'I am away from my office until 6pm GMT' or 'I can translate the text by Tueday 2pm GMT' to be specific, but should I use BST? Of course, BST is not universally understood, I don't think. But if I say GMT+1 they could think I am on the continent.
Is EST always EST, or in summer is it EST+1 (of course I know the continent has summer time as we do)
Thanks!


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 22:55
English to German
+ ...
I would refer to "UK time" Apr 5, 2007

Hi Julian,
This is, in fact, a frequent mistake - ProZ.com Jobs moderators often get e-mails from UK-based translators complaining about notifications received 'late'...

In your position, I would simply refer to local time in the UK; if you like, you can add "BST". During Daylight Savings Time, I always quote local time over here as "CEST" or "MESZ".

HTH, Ralf


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Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
Czech to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Of course! Apr 5, 2007

Yes, I don't know why I didnt think of that, I can just put 'UK time'. It somehow doesn't look as professional as GMT, but it is clearer- and that is the main thing
Thanks for reminded me of the obvious, that is one less worry for me
I wonder if you have a view on UK always being written U.K., I guess it is ont too bad to use UK, as it is commonly understood.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
French to English
To a specific company/individual Apr 5, 2007

If these are messages to specific people in a specific place (rather than, say, an automatic email response), another solution is to convert the time to their time (and then say so, in brackets).

This at least does them the courtesy of not having to work it out themselves, while they wonder whether the UK is 1 or 2 hours behind Prague, or whatever it may be.
On the other hand, you do have to know what the time actually IS where they are

When I'm emailing (individual) customers outside the UK, I always use their time, not mine, and I always say so.


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Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
Czech to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Good point Apr 5, 2007

Hi
That's a good point, Charlie- what do you write, though? I do German, Austrian and Czech jobs, should I try 'Local time, Berlin/Vienna/ Prague'- sounds a bit grand!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
French to English
One at a time! Apr 5, 2007

As I said, it's an approach that I use when writing to one customer at a time

So if they're in Berlin, I would (hypothetically) put "German time". In Prague, Czech time, or whatever the case may be, using the accepted local expression (I wouldn't know if Germans talk about Berlin time, German time, Rhine time..... )

In your case, though, is there not a thing called central european time which covers all those anyway??


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Julian Wood  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
Czech to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Yes...but Apr 5, 2007

..I guess this brings us back to the summer time- it is now 'CET+1' (does that exist?), or CEST. If I put CET, then it could be mis-interpreted as winter-time, or not?
Perhaps I'm overplaying this point! But it is rather important for me, as I work with a few clients, and want to be sure they are clear about times as much for my own peace of mind when I am working to a deadline- I do remember that once there was a confusion, and it was not pleasant for me!
Off now to my 'day job', a call centre, but it's helpful when translations go quiet
Thanks to you all for an interesting thread!


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:55
French to English
Right enough Apr 5, 2007

I see your point about CET with or without +1 etc. That was only really to cover your point about writing to people in Berlin and Prague and Vienna all at once, which was not actually what my original suggestion was about anyway

So, I would use "German time", "Czech time", etc. when writing to them individually, and "UK time" (with, perhaps, a hint such as CET-1 or CEST-1 or something like that) if you ever write to them collectively (I never write collective emails, so the problem doesn't arise for me, TBH).


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Lawyer-Linguist  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 21:55
Dutch to English
+ ...
Keep it simple ..... Apr 5, 2007

When writing to client about a deadline:

"I confirm I'll deliver the translation by 15h00 (your time) on Friday."

Just make the right entry in your diary (book/Outlook etc)!


When leaving a message on your server:

"I'm currently out of the office but expect to be back around 16h00 (UK time)"

Potential clients could be contacting you from anywhere but if they've sourced you, they know where you are and can do the calculation.

Have a good Easter
Debs



[Edited at 2007-04-05 14:21]


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