Currency + millions/thousands in English?
Thread poster: Jan Sundström

Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:32
English to Swedish
+ ...
May 18, 2009

Hiall,

I wonder which usage is acceptable in English, when translating large currency figures into English.

Let's say I have a figure; 1,123,000 (one million one hundred and twenty three) Swedish Kronor. In English,
Would it be appropriate to write 1.123MSEK (if I understand correctly, there should be a point, not a comma)?

And should there be a space before the millions marker: "1.1 MSEK"?

What about the million mark, is it acceptable to write MGBP, MUSD in England and the US? Or is this frowned upon? Only used in financial text, or common practice?

Thanks a lot for your input!

/Jan


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James McVay  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 19:32
Russian to English
+ ...
My preferences for U.S. English May 18, 2009

Your abbreviations are all fine for any formal document. Always use a period for a decimal in English. The main thing is to define your abbreviations when they first appear and be consistent in how you use them.

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Thomas Deschington
Poland
Local time: 01:32
English to Norwegian
+ ...
The Economist style guide May 18, 2009

Hello. You might find a lot of useful information here: http://www.economist.com/research/styleguide/ , and for your question, here: http://www.economist.com/research/styleGuide/index.cfm?page=738514 .

Kind regards,
Thomas


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Tom Ellett  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:32
Swedish to English
+ ...
Currency symbol before amount May 19, 2009

In English we normally place the currency symbol before the amount, e.g. SEK 1.1 million (SEK 1.1m), GBP 3.2 billion (GBP 3.2bn), $4.8 million ($4.8m).

When ISO currency abbreviations such as GBP, EUR or USD are used, there should be a (nonbreaking) space between the abbreviation and the amount. When a £, € or $ symbol is used, no space follows. Likewise, if "million" or "billion" is spelled out, it should be preceded by a space, but if it is abbreviated to "m" (or "M") or "bn" (or "B") the space is not required.

Here in Canada, we see examples of the differing conventions for writing currency amounts every day, with prices written as, say, $4.99 in English and 4,99 $ in French.

----------
Tom Ellett, C.Tran. (Canada)
Alba Scandinavia Translations
www.albascan.com
tomellett.blogspot.com


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Jan Sundström  Identity Verified
Sweden
Local time: 01:32
English to Swedish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everybody! May 19, 2009

Very precise answers, thanks a lot!

It makes sense to put the ISO code in front of the figure to separate it from the million character.

My understanding is that abbreviations of million/billion (m/bn) is more common in lower case.

Regarding "thousands", I came to the understanding that this is not abbreviated in formal English (expressions like "$10K" should be avoided in financial reports), and that words and numerals shouldn't be mixed in this case:
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/german_to_english/business_commerce_general/1072093-mio.html
http://www.proz.com/kudoz/English/other/291799-abbreviations_for_thousand_million_etc.html
http://ec.europa.eu/translation/writing/style_guides/english/style_guide_en.pdf


With hundred and thousand there is a choice of using figures or words:
300 or three hundred but not 3 hundred
EUR 3 000 or three thousand euros but not EUR 3 thousand
Million and billion, however, may be combined with figures:
2.5 million, 3 million, 31 billion


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