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Wikivoyage:Currency

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UnderstandEdit

There are many different currencies in the world. In an effort to ensure readability and consistency, certain style conventions are used on Wikivoyage. Ideally, we want something that is easily readable by an English speaker, conveniently short, and easy for an editor to use; of course those goals sometimes conflict. This means that for consistency and/or clarity, Wikivoyage will sometimes use notation that differs from the notation travellers will see in the countries they are visiting.

This article describes the conventions we have adopted, which include

  • symbols like $ and € placed before the amount with no space
  • names like "baht" (for the Thai currency)
  • abbreviations like "kr" (for kronor in several Scandinavian countries)
  • abbreviations like "R" (South African rand)

The text should always mention the name of the currency unit, e.g. "peso" for the Philippines, since travellers will no doubt hear it. Most prices, though, should use the symbol or abbreviation, e.g. a hotel cost in a listing should be given as "₱600". A writer can also use the name in text if he or she thinks that reads better; e.g. one might say "The Channel Tunnel cost almost five million pounds."

The three letter ISO 4217 currency codes, like "PHP" for the peso or "USD" for the US dollar, should always be mentioned in the "Money" section of a country article since travellers may need them for doing funds transfers or for checking exchange rates online. In general they should not be used either in listings or in text, but exceptions can be made as needed to avoid ambiguity.

Don't knock yourself out "correcting" for example USD27 to $27 - there is more important work to be done in plunging forward and writing an up-to-date and accurate free travel guide!

Which currency to useEdit

In general, when writing about the price of an item in a country, stick to that country's currency. Do not switch between currencies. Doing so causes confusion and frustration. If you only know the price in dollars or euros, go to a currency conversion site and convert the number. Round off amounts appropriately.

Right: You can buy a coffee for ₱100. A taxi ride costs ₱700
Wrong: You can buy a coffee for ₱100. A taxi ride costs €6.70.

There are some exceptions:

  • In places such as Cambodia, Cuba, Myanmar and much of Africa, foreign nationals pay in hard currency (generally US dollars or euros) for some things (hotels, air and train tickets, entrance fees), but in local currency for other things (food, shopping, buses, taxis). In some places this a legal requirement, in others just a common business practice since the local currency is weak or unstable; see the country articles for details. In these cases list the price in the currency that the foreign traveller will be expected to pay, even if it means switching currencies in the body of the page.
  • If something falls on an international boundary, it may be necessary to indicate which currency (or currencies) are being referred to. If a seat on the next Tunnel Bus to leave Detroit is CAD 4.00, say so.
  • Even when most expenses will be paid in local currency, if the inflation rate is high enough that information will become outdated in only two years or less, use the equivalent amount in dollars or euros. This should be consistent for all articles pertaining to the country.
  • A "basket-case" local currency can present multiple issues: hyperinflation, unstable exchange rates, bank runs, commodity shortages, official exchange rates that bear no relation to the value of the money on a black market, arbitrary currency controls, or non-convertibility of local cash to hard currency at any price. In this case, dates on prices may be used: "A tuk-tuk ride cost 10,000,000 Zimbabwe dollars (about US$333 at the official exchange rate or US$1 at parallel market rates) as of Feb 2008." A more detailed explanation of why the hyperinflated currency is volatile or effectively non-convertible may then be included in the Buy or Understand section of the article. If a country has re-denominated a currency (e.g. one new Turkish lira is worth 1 million old lira), imposed strict currency controls (to prevent export of the local money), or demonetized specific notes (so that they're no longer money at all, as India did in 2016), say so there.
  • If the country or article uses more than one currency, including foreign ones, use the shortest unambiguous form for each. For US dollars, this is US$. For euros, it's .

FormattingEdit

We also have some conventions which apply to the formatting of prices and other numbers.

Use a decimal point, "." to mark decimals and use a comma,"," to separate thousands groups. For example, a million dollars could be written as $1,000,000.00, or just as $1,000,000.

Write price ranges using a single currency symbol and a single dash with no spaces, e.g. Dinner: €10–20

Generally, when currency symbols are placed before the amount, they are so without space.

Otherwise, when there is a space between the chosen currency notation and the amount, use a non-breaking space ( ) for the space between the number and its currency, to avoid a line break. If you write 100 Kč it will always display as 100 Kč making sure that the numeral is never separated from its associated unit by wrapping to the next line like: 100
.

A billion is a thousand million (U.S. style), not a million million (old British style).

When writing fractional units, that is amounts that are less than one whole unit of the local currency, use the most common local format. For instance, when indicating a price of sixty pence (in pound sterling), write 60p, rather than £0.60. By contrast, in the Eurozone there is no commonly-agreed symbol for euro cents, so a price of seventy cents should be written €0.70. In the U.S., either 50¢ or $0.50 is fine, as both forms are relatively common; the latter may be better if the price is accompanied by other prices over $1, for consistency.

Quantity words from other languages — such as Hindi lakh (100,000) and crore (10,000,000) or Chinese wan (10,000) — should be mentioned in the text since travellers may encounter them. However, they should generally not be used in our text, even if they are common in the local dialect of English. There may be exceptions for something like discussing employment for travellers if the ads quote salaries in lakh.

Symbols, abbreviations and notationEdit

Prices should be generally listed with the currency notation that travellers will encounter when they arrive at the destination in question.

Travellers should be able to assume that symbols used for multiple currencies (like $ or £ or ¥) apply to the local currency.

Otherwise, we adopt the most widely used abbreviation, with whatever formatting convention comes with them, i.e., whether there is or isn't a space and/or a period after the abbreviation, and whether the abbreviation is placed before or after the amount. As for any abbreviation, consider spelling out the first occurrence in full (with the notation to be used in the rest of the article following immediately afterwards in parentheses), if there is a substantial risk of ambiguity or ignorance.

Sometimes, we use the full currency name if that is short enough to be convenient; it should come after the amount. In some cases we use the more readable short name even when a symbol might be an alternative (e.g., Thailand and Laos).

Multinational currenciesEdit

Other currenciesEdit

These conventions are being moved to info boxes in the beginning of the discussion page of each country, to have them at a more appropriate location, together with time and language formatting conventions. If you cannot find a currency denotation here, head to the discussion page of the country you are looking for.

Technical detailsEdit

Eventually, most mentions of currency should use a localized variant of the exchangerate template linked below. This has multiple benefits, including standardizing formatting, handling non-breaking spaces, and providing automatic conversion. A pair of regular expressions for easy conversion from one form to the other follows. The example is for Philippine pesos, but can be adapted. Make sure to examine its output, as sometimes currency is mentioned that should not be converted (e.g. common denominations). Some other issues: the regex strips out commas, but some articles may be using them as decimal separators, against the policy laid out above. This must be manually corrected.

s/₱[ ]?([0-9]+)([,]([0-9]+))?([.][0-9]+)*([-][0-9]*)?([,]([0-9]+))?([.][0-9]+)*/{{PHP|$1$3$4$5$7$8}}/g
s/({{PHP\|[0-9.]*}}\/)([0-9]*)(\/|\n)/$1{{PHP|$2}}$3/g

The second one is to cover the second (unitless) value in constructions such as ₱300/400, which often occur in hotel room costs and similar prices. It can be run multiple times to cover chains of these.
Some possible variations on the first regex: unit symbol after number, currency written out (in which case it can be followed by e.g. [ ]?pesos? to catch for plural and singual forms), the ISO code of the currency, etc.

See alsoEdit