DateTime formatting for fr-CA

I just stumbled across a nice little hidden “feature” in the .NET framework.  If you’re running on a machine that has the CurrentCulture set to fr-CA the default DateTimeFormatInfo.CurrentInfo.ShortDatePattern is dd-MM-yyyy.  On my current project we wanted to allow the end user to override that value with their own format when a date is displayed on the screen.  The easy way to do this is to do something like DateTime.Now.ToString(“dd/MM/yyyy”).  Unfortunately the result from that will appear as 16-09-2010 still.  As far as I can tell (and there is very little backing this up), this is by design.  I’m not sure why at all.  If the CurrentCulture is set to en-CA both the formats of dd/MM/yyyy and dd-MM-yyyy will cause ToString() to output a value that you would expect, but as soon as you trip over to fr-CA the rules seem to change.

If you’re running into this there is a relatively simple solution.  DateTime.Now.ToString(“dd\/MM\/yyyy”) will output 16/06/2010 as you’d expect.

The more localization that I’m doing on this application, the more I’m finding nice hidden gems of inconsistency like this.

Posted By: Donald Belcham

Published at


09/16/2010 10:35 PM by

What about using the InvariantCulture format provider in those instances?

DateTime.Today.ToString("dd/MM/yyyy", CultureInfo.InvariantCulture)

09/20/2010 01:57 PM by

Good call on this. Tried it this morning and it seems to have worked the trick. Thanks William.

02/09/2011 11:18 PM by

Great, tried this trick and worked.