In written German, time is expressed practically exclusively in the 24-hour notation (–), using either a colon or a dot on the line as the separators between hours, minutes and seconds. The standard separator in Germany was the dot (DIN 1355, DIN 5008) until 1995, when the standards changed it to be the colon, in the interest of compatibility with ISO 8601.The traditional representation with dot allows to drop the leading zero of hours and is usually followed by the literal string “Uhr” (e.g., “6.30 Uhr”).Week numbers according to ISO 8601 and the convention of starting the week on Monday were introduced in the mid 1970s (DIN 1355).These conventions have been widely adhered to by German calendar publishers since then.
The term controversy may be appropriate insofar as "relativists" often complain about not being able to decode the "absolute" way of telling the time, resulting in missed appointments etc.As a European Norm, CEN and CENELEC member states are obligated to adopt the standard as national standard without alterations as well. Years could be written with two or four digits; the century was sometimes seen being replaced by an apostrophe: “31.12.’91”; however, two-digit years are generally deprecated after the Millennium.Except for Austria, Germany and Switzerland, see the navigation box on the bottom to find individual articles per country. Numbers may be written with or without leading zero in Austria or Switzerland, where they are commonly only discarded in days when literal months are being used (e.g., “09.11.”, but “9. German grammar rules do not allow for leading zeros in dates at all, and there should always be a space after a dot.Systematic use of the 24-hour clock by German TV announcers, along with the proliferation of digital clocks, may have been a significant factor in this development.In Switzerland, only the 12-hour clock is used in speech.
Besides that, in Hungary the big-endian year-month-day order, has been traditionally used.