Category Archives: annoying template errors

Months in Finnish (and how to write the date)

The months in Finnish are the following (English names in brackets):

  • tammikuu (January)
  • helmikuu (February)
  • maaliskuu (March)
  • huhtikuu (April)
  • toukokuu (May)
  • kesäkuu (June)
  • heinäkuu (July)
  • elokuu (August)
  • syyskuu (September)
  • lokakuu (October)
  • marraskuu (November)
  • joulukuu (December).

The date is normally expressed in the following ways:

  • 6.12.2015 = 6. joulukuuta 2015
  • 29.11.1962 = 29. marraskuuta 1962
  • 15.6.2016 = 15. kesäkuuta 2016

Please note that in the date expression where the month name is written out, there is a full stop after the number indicating the day,  and the ending ‘- ta’ must be added to the month name.

Shortening of the month names is done by dropping  the “kuu” part out of the word (kuu =month):  tammi, helmi, maalis etc.

In Finnish texts, dates are commonly written with numbers only:  3.1.2015. In more solemn texts, month names are used: 3. tammikuuta 2015.

In the Finnish templates, e.g. QRD template version 10.1 , SPC sections 9 and 10 (see below),  the expression ‘PP kuukausi VVVV’ is not correct – the date must be expressed PP. kuukautta VVVV. 


<Myyntiluvan myöntämisen päivämäärä: {PP kuukausi VVVV}>(My note: the spelling of the date is wrong)

<Viimeisimmän uudistamisen päivämäärä: {PP kuukausi VVVV}> (My note: the spelling of the date is wrong)




<{PP kuukausi VVVV}> (My note: the spelling of the date is wrong)


Month names can have other endings, too (e.g. in July = heinäkuussa),  so if you have to insert a month name in Finnish in the text but you don’t know Finnish, it is wise to ask a person who knows Finnish to check your insertion.


“Above” translated as “below” in FI vet template!

In the Finnish veterinary template Version 8, 10/2012, Pakkausseloste (PL), section 11. Säilytysolosuhteet (Special storage precautions):

“Älä säilytä alle …” should be “Älä säilytä yli…” In English it says “Do not store above…”
This is actually the worst typo I have seen in these templates. The translator must keep on eye on this in order not to make a mistake here, and a comment must always be added so that the client understands why the translation is not according to the template.
In the SPC and label parts this has been translated correctly (“Älä säilytä yli”)

In the human product information templates, this expression has actually been translated the other way round: “Säilytä alle” – consistency between the templates is missing, which causes confusion and extra work.

Excipient(s) with known effect / Apuaine(et), jonka (joiden) vaikutus tunnetaan

Once again I came across of one the many flaws in the Finnish templates; once again I had to add a comment for the client about this, so that they won’t complain that I haven’t followed the template.

Centralized template 06/2015: SPC, section 2.2.
Excipient(s) with known effect / Apuaine(et), joiden vaikutus tunnetaan

“Jonka” is missing in this template phrase. Jonka is the singular form of the template word “joiden”. When the word for excipient (apuaine) is in singular, one cannot use “joiden”.

The correct template wording would thus be:
Excipient(s) with known effect / Apuaine(et), jonka (joiden) vaikutus tunnetaan

Punctuation errors in EMA templates: spaces missing

In the Finnish EMA templates there are some mistakes in punctuation. At least the following:
– in the Appendix II (MedDRA frequency convention) no space has been inserted between the angle brackets and digits, although there should be a space: < 1/10 000 would be correct.
– in Appendix III: 25°C and similar expressions: there should be a space after the number and before the degree mark . The correct way of writing is thus 25 °C.

It is very annoying for the translator that such mistakes are present in the templates.  One has to choose: either one writes correctly (and perhaps adds a comment that the template is wrong) or writes according to the template, saves time (no need to write comments) but growls quietly!

“Section is translated as “kohta” – except in the Pregnancy template

In the Pregnancy template, the word “section” has been translated as “kappale”.  Fimea, would you please be so kind and correct this…!  I sometimes have to write comments about this to SPCs, informing the proofreaders and editors who do not understand Finnish that the template word “kappale” is not consistent with the rest of the document and it is better to use the normal translation, “kohta”,  also in the section 4.6.

SPC section 4.2 : safety and efficacy have/has (not) (yet) been established

A client asked me to check a phrase I had translated. The client had noticed that the word I had used,  “on“,  is not included in the Finnish centralised template (Version 9, 03/2013).


EN: Safety and efficacy have been established in patients with a Body Mass Index) > 30 kg/m2

FI: Turvallisuus ja teho on varmistettu potilailla, joiden painoindeksi (BMI) > 30 kg/m2.

EN template: < The <safety> <and> <efficacy>  of {X} in children aged {x to y} <months> <years> [or any other relevant subsets, e.g. weigt, pubertal age, gender] <has> <have>  not  <yet> been established.

FI template: <{X-valmisteen} <turvallisuutta> <ja> <tehoa> {x-y} <vuoden> <kuukauden> ikäisten {tai mitkä hyvänsä muut sopivat määreet, kuten paino, puberteetti-ikä, sukupuoli} lasten hoidossa ei ole <vielä> varmistettu.

My comment:  The FI template has only the negative form “ei ole” (has/have not). The affirmative verb form “on” (has/have)  is not present in the FI template.  However, I think the original EN template phrase is meant to be negative only (there are no less than/greater than signs around the word “not”.)

Another note:  the EN template has <months> <years>, whereas the FI template has <vuoden> <kuukauden> (the other way round; vuoden = year(s),  kuukauden= month(s)).