How to read years in German?

  • The year 1995 is read in English nineteen ninety-five.

    This means we read the first two digits as a single number and then the next two digits, with the same rule.

    Is this rule true in German?

    I mean, should we read it as neunzehn-fünfundneunzig?

    What about 2007?

    Your German year is 1999, not 1995.

  • Correct answer

    6 years ago

    In German generally (i.e. not just in Germany but also in Austria and in Switzerland), years are pronounced like this:

    • 1015 (ein)tausendfünfzehn
    • 1115 elfhundertfünfzehn
    • 1215 zwölfhundertfünfzehn
    • 1315 dreizehnhundertfünfzehn
    • ...
    • 1815 achtzehnhundertfünfzehn
    • 1915 neunzehnhundertfünfzehn
    • 2015 zweitausendfünfzehn
    • 2115 zweitausendeinhundertfünfzehn

    Or in words, the numbers are pronounced normally except that from 1100 to 1999, XYAB is pronounced as XY hundert AB.

    PS: The English style of pronouncing years is also used occasionally as it is shorter, but it's only borderline correct.

    Additionally, following ponounciations are common: 2015: Zwanzigfünfzehn; 1945: Neuzehnfünfundvierzig; generally, its also common to split the number in two numbers and concatenate them, as long as there is no number <10 involved.

    _2115 zweitausendeinhundertfünfzehn_ We'll see, we'll see..

    @TaW: I agree this must change as the 22nd century approaches, but as it's quite likely that the English style will become standard way before that point anyway, I chose not to mention the fact.

    Rarely, people say "zwotausendfünfzehn" as well.

    @ComFreek: this is another story that has nothing to do with this topic. Zwo is actually only used instead of "zwei" on spelling long numbers - just to prevent one gets it wrong with the similarly sounding "drei"

    In spoken language, people will say "neunzehn-füfnundneunzig" much more often than "neunzenhundert-und-fünfundneunzig". Also, for the 20th century, the century is sometimes ommitted. "Wann wurde Kohl gewählt?" - "Ich glaube, das war 82, und dann bis 98."

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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