If you live in modern-day Western Europe, you are probably used to 24-hour clocks, where the day is divided into 24 hours, starting from midnight (0 hours) to 11 o’clock in the evening (23 hours). In addition to the 24-hour clock, you are probably also used to the 12-hour clock, which is used in many English-speaking countries. Here, the day’s 24 hours are divided into 12 hours ante meridiem (Latin for ‘before midday’ or a.m.) and 12 hours post meridiem (Latin for ‘after midday’ or p.m.).
But did you know that many other languages and cultures use different ways of dividing up the day? Today, we’ll explore how languages tell time.
Written by Janna Mack. From Luxembourg, she has degrees in Linguistics, Education, and Translation from Glasgow University.