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I am writing a mobile app that should have text in Canadian French and English. I was given direction by the designers to put text in English that must fit on a button, based on how many days and hours are left in a time frame.

As an example, if the button needs to contain the English text, "10 days - 3 hours", what would be an understandable abbreviation in fr-CA?

I read on another posting that hours would be with standard metric abbreviations, but I'm not sure about days.

Would it be: "10 jours - 3 h" or "10 j - 3 h"

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  • French Canadian and French are the same here.
    – Lambie
    Feb 3, 2022 at 21:58
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    10 days 3 hours, no hyphen in English. I see no reason to include a hyphen in either language.
    – Lambie
    Feb 4, 2022 at 17:14

1 Answer 1

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Either "10 jours - 3 heures" (do not mix long and short units) or "10 j - 3 h" although I would probably use a different delimiter or no delimiter at all because these forms might be understood to mean 10 days minus 3 hours.

What I would use: 10 j 3 h

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    Languages such as JavaScript provide i18n libraries for this kind of thing. const names = const times = new Intl.RelativeTimeFormat('fr-ca', { style: "long" }); console.log(times.format('2', 'days')) produces "dans 2 jours". I've never used it, so I'm not aware of its full capabilities. ¶ But if you can implement a version using that or something like it, it will automatically work for all languages, not only two, and individual users will see things in their preferred format. Feb 4, 2022 at 2:33
  • I also initially thought you meant 10 days minus 3 hours ? If it's the case I'd either say "9 jours et 21 heures" or "9 j 21 h" but no mix. Sometimes we can find "jr" as abbreviation for jour, but "jrs" for plural. And "hr" / "hrs" for hour/hours. Sometimes a period is added : "j." and "h." For an application you're probably looking for the shortest option.
    – Ben
    Feb 6, 2022 at 14:08
  • @Ben I dont remember ever seing jr or jrs for day(s). I sometimes see hr / hrs but they look either archaic or an anglicism. Adding a dot breaks the units naming rules.
    – jlliagre
    Feb 6, 2022 at 14:31
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    You're correct, and this site confirms the "h" without period as the only correct abbreviation : btb.termiumplus.gc.ca/tpv2guides/guides/clefsfp/…
    – Ben
    Feb 7, 2022 at 15:33

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