->'''Kryten:''' Hmm yes, he's giving us 5 hanaka to decide.\\
'''Rimmer:''' How long's a hanaka?\\
'''Kryten:''' Well, curiously enough, it's exactly the same as one Earth minute.\\
'''[[TheDitz Cat]]:''' 5 hanaka! That only gives us 28 hours!
-->--''Series/RedDwarf'', Emohawk

Fictional universes call for fictional measurements of time. After all, why would an alien culture use the same words for time as an Earth-based culture?

Strangely, 'alien' time units correlate pretty well with Earth time units in the majority of cases. 'Cycle' is the most common of these, usually referring to a year (though sometimes a day).

This can be justified easily enough; aliens probably live on a planet that orbits a star and has a day-night cycle, so they might well have natural units of time corresponding to "day" and "year," though probably not exactly the same length (unless, of course, the planet in question is [[AllPlanetsAreEarthlike almost identical to Earth]] and the star it circles is the same as the Sun, in which case it may be the same distance away and would therefore have about the same length for a year. No accounting for days, though.)

If an alien character doesn't use their own measurements, but instead uses Earth measurements in a jarring manner, they're talking in terms of TwoOfYourEarthMinutes. If these units are used across multiple worlds or civilizations, they are StandardTimeUnits. See also FantasticMeasurementSystem for other fictional units.

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!!Examples:

[[AC:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* There's an example in the first chapter of ''SenseiNoBulge'': the protagonist is said to be earning 7 [[ArtisticLicensePhysics quarks]] an hour, with a footnote saying a quark is worth about as much as a yen (¥7 ≈ $0.09). That's no doubt meant to tell the readers how poor he is, and presumably that's based on [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purchasing_power_parity purchasing power]] as opposed to exchange rate, as Earth is implied not to exist in that universe.

[[AC:ComicBooks]]
* In the BronzeAge, ''Franchise/{{Superman}}'' comics stated that Kryptonian time was divided into "dendars", their equivalent of a minute that consists of one hundred seconds, which implies that Kryptonians were ''very'' enthusiastic about the metric system.
* The ComicBook/NewKrypton story arc has the Kryptonians using a weird time unit, apparently of an order of magnitude similar to the minute.
* The Marvel ''[[ComicBook/TheTransformers Transformers Generation 1]]'' comic book series introduced two Cybertronian time units: a "Breem" (8.3 minutes) and a "Vorn" (83 years). Apparently, giant shape-shifting robots never bothered with units of time greater than 8.3 minutes and less than 83 years [[note]]((The use of 83 is of course a reference to to the fact that that 1983 was the year before the series came out))[[/note]]...
** There are also 'orns', with an 'orn' being 'one Cybertronian lunar day'. Which isn't all that helpful, as we're never told how long that lunar day is.
** [[http://tfwiki.net/wiki/Units_of_time That doesn't even begin to do justice to the silliness of Cybertronian units.]]
* In ''PaperinikNewAdventures'' we are shown the Evronian time units: the basic unit is the spetung, then we have the secron (ten spetungs), the minutron (100 secrons), the houron (24 minutrons), the dayron (12 hourons, 18 in the rink (final dayron in all monthrons but those of Tamit and Hoxon)), the monthron (15 dayrons organized in groups of 5, it's grossly equivalent to a month of the gregorian calendar and start halfway during our months) and the yearhon (12 monthrons, equivalent of an Earth solar year. Starts on 15 august). Yearhons are grouped into millennia, named after the reigning emperor (implying an emperor can live up to one thousand years, at which point its successor will kill him). Due having been created half-jokingly shortly before the [[spoiler: fall of the Evronian Empire]], Evronian time units appear only in one story. Also, the Evronian calendar has a couple in-jokes: 15 august (Earth equivalent to the start of the Evronian calendar) was the day of publication of the annual special issue (the Evronian calendar was attached to the 1999 special), and the names of the normal days (po, ra, da, qu, pa) are the initials of the phrase "Poche ragazze da quelle parti" ("there's little girls in your neighbourhood"), a joking answer the staff tended to give to particularly strange fan mails.

[[AC: Fan Works]]
* The time system in Ketafa in ''Fanfic/WithStringsAttached'' is some strange thing divided into five big chunks, four sets of five smaller chunks, and 400 smaller units. Times are called, very prosaically, “2-3” or “5-5” or whatever. The four never bother to find out anything about it.
* In ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero'', Kuyou Suou measures time in terms of number of rotations of a black hole rotating at approximately maximum speed, which is about 1,150 per second.
* In ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space'' a hostile [[PlantAliens plant alien]] demands the human authorities hand over twenty ''gurqs'' of uranium (a ''gurq'' is equivalent to one Earth kilogram) and a hundred ''geeks'' of fertilizer (a ''geek'' is equivalent to the weight of one sci-fi fan) within one ''neegath'' (equivalent to one Earth hour minus 0.0095746338th of a microsecond). There are also ''neeps'', each equivalent to one Hollywood minute: a [[MagicCountdown circumstantially-variable duration of time]].

[[AC:{{Film}}]]
* ''Film/MenInBlack'' uses this trope in a grimly comedic way, tossing 'week' in where it really shouldn't go...
-->'''Kay:''' Arquillian battle rules, kid: first we get an ultimatum, then a warning shot, then we have a galactic standard week to respond.\\
'''Jay:''' A "galactic standard week?" How the hell long is that?\\
'''Zed:''' One hour.
* ''Film/{{Coneheads}}'': Seven Remulakian zerls correspond to approximately 16 earth years. Beldar and Prymat are understandably worried when the home planet said it would take that long for a rescue ship to arrive.

[[AC:{{Literature}}]]
* Inverted in ''TheWheelOfTime,'' where a ten-day period is called a week. This is mentioned exactly once in the story, in an offhand mention going something like, "Four more two-day festivals scheduled for this week," leading the casual, non-glossary-reading reader to believe that Robert Jordan was an ''idiot.''
** Many fans have been confused by the combination of the above and Moiraine's conversation with Nynaeve about when she began channelling, where she asks if Nynaeve experienced certain things in "a week or ten days." So apparently she meant [[YouAreTheTranslatedForeignWord "a week, i.e. ten days"]].
** This is due to the fact in [[FanNickname Randland]] most people who aren`t merchants pay little mind to the calendar, preferring to go by seasons. This is so prevalent that most of the viewpoint characters are unaware of the ''names of the days of the week''.
* In Steven Brust's ''{{Dragaera}}'' novels, a Dragaeran week is 5 days. Humans/Easterners still use seven-day weeks, and even fortnights (14 days), which Vlad (raised in Dragaera) thinks is a really weird period of time to have a name for because it is "...one day shorter than three weeks."
* Most of L.E. Modesitt's novels, [[SameStoryDifferentNames even those in entirely different settings]], have "eightdays" instead of weeks and use "kays" for distance.
* Creator/EdgarRiceBurroughs' ''Literature/JohnCarterOfMars'' stories. Martian civilization used the following time units: 1 Xat = 200 tals, 50 xats = 1 zode, and 10 zodes = 1 Martian day. Mars has a day almost identical to Earth (24 hours 37 minutes), so 1 zode = 2 hours 28 minutes, 1 xat = 3 minutes and 1 tal = .9 second.
* ''Literature/{{Gor}}'' (based a lot on Barsoom) measures 80 Ihn (seconds) to the Ehn, 40 Ehn (minutes) to the Ahn, and 20 Ahn (hours) to the day.
* MercedesLackey's books that take place in Valdemar call an hour a "candlemark". In her ''[[Literature/TheObsidianTrilogy Obsidian Trilogy]]'', characters from a certain city reckon time in units of "bells", each of which is two hours.
** The whole "candlemark" thing comes from [[TruthInTelevision a real-word form of clock from the medieval period]], which was simply a candle made in a length which would (theoretically) take X hours to burn down. The candle was striped in hour-long segments, so you could tell by looking at it how long it had been since you lit it. Obviously there was much potential for imprecision in the real world; in Valdemar they've got it down to a bit more of a science.
** Valdemar's neighboring countries use other units called "marks" or just plain "marks." They're all on the same order of magnitude, but no two of the same length, leading to some in-universe confusion.
* The Race in HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' series apparently operates on metric time, as their phrase "one tenth of a daytenth" equals out to about fifteen minutes.
* The giant, moving [[BaseOnWheels city on rails]] in ''Literature/TheInvertedWorld'' uses "miles" as a measure of time. Though initially confusing, this is eventually explained when it is revealed that the City has to move 1/10 of a mile per day in order to survive; thus, a character might say "a mile ago" to mean "ten days ago".
* Deliberately averted in the novel based on ''Literature/{{Nightfall}}''. The author says this is to simplify readng the narrative. So the narrative uses words like "mile" "hour" and so forth. They do specifically say there may not be 60 minutes in an hour.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's Robot City series (by Rob Chilson, William F. Wu, Arthur Byron Cover, Michael P. Kube-[=McDowell=] and Mike [=McQuay=]) the robots use normal time units, but since the days in the titular city are of a different length, the human heroes get metric watches dividing the day into decades and centades.
* Often used in the StarTrekNovelVerse. For example, 6 human months equals about 4 Vostigye ronds, and nearly 40 Talaxian niziks. A Romulan Veraku is about 63 Earth minutes, and a Siuren is roughly 50 seconds.
** The novels actually have standardized terms for the full range of Vulcan, Romulan and Klingon time measurements, from seconds through to years. They're used quite often if these races are the POV characters in a given scene.
** The Aluwnans in [[Literature/StarTrekTheGenesisWave ''Genesis Force'']] use the rather uninspired "instants" and "units" in place of minutes and hours.
* At one point in the ''{{Dragonback}}'' series, Alison Kayna notices that the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens Valahguan]] "[[OneHitKill Death]]" weapons the scout fleet gets hit with cut off after three minutes and 47 seconds, which led her (correctly) to the conclusion that the weapons were strictly a loaner and that the enemy alliance wasn't that firm. [[OurDragonsAreDifferent Draycos]] mentions that that would fit, since 3 minutes 47 seconds works out to two ''birs'' of Valahguan time measurement.
* A "week" on Literature/{{Discworld}} is eight days long. This could, potentially, have caused difficulties with the ''Discworld Diaries'' line of humorous datebooks, but the quandry was resolved by saving Octeday for amusing anecdotes and character sketches.
** It is also canonically established that a year (a full revolution of the Disc) is 800 days and has eight seasons. This is never respected after being established, so a linked system of “short years” of 400 days and 4 systems was retconned in. If you’re going forward along the turtle’s left side in summer in an odd short year, you’ll be going backwards on the right side in an even summer. To keep things simple, each short year has 13 months.
* In JoanVinge's TheOutcastsOfHeavenBelt, all time units have been replaced by multiples of seconds (megaseconds,gigaseconds), freeing them from dependence on any local rotation or revolution cycles.
* In the {{Darkover}} books, a Darkover day is twenty-eight hours. Why twenty-eight? Presumably (in the author's attempt to retcon this), the original LostColony approximated the Earth hour (before they forgot their origin), but adjusted to a new day length.
* In ''Literature/JourneyToTheMorningStar'', the [[HumanALiens Etherians]] measure time in tils, tiltils, soltans, and ladoses. A til is a hair longer than a second. A tiltil is a hundred tils. A soltan is a hundred tiltils. A lados (Etherian day) is eighteen soltans. It's not specified what they call a year, although they also measure orbital cycles, and one full orbit of [[AllPlanetsAreEarthlike Etheri Tau]] around Lado is equal to 422 ladoses.
* In ''Literature/WizBiz'' series the World measures time in "day-tenths" which is 1/10th between today's sunrise and sunset. Yes, their length varies as the day length changes. Interestingly, the time in Wizard's Keep seems to be in synch with California -- "two day-tenths from sunrise" is the same in both places.

[[AC:LiveActionTV]]
* TropeNamer ''Series/{{Farscape}}'s'' alien characters commonly use 'microt', 'arn' and 'cycle' in place of 'second', 'hour' and 'year' (roughly). John Crichton (the only Earth character in the series) picks up on it, and often counters with nonsense of his own.
* The original 1979 ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Classic}}'' series used "microns" for seconds, "centons" for minutes (or for hours in the series pilot), "centars" for hours, "sectons" for weeks, and "yahrens" for years.
** "Yahren" is pronounced ''exactly'' like the German ''Jahren'', the dative form of the word ''Jahre'' meaning "years". In fact, the plural of "yahren" in old BSG was "yahren". So yes, BSG did just rip off German.
** In real life, "micron" is slang for micrometre, is one-thousandth of a millimetre, but that would mean that when the Cylon raiders were "ninety microns and closing," they were 0.09 mm away. But seriously, folks, the Viper coordinator probably meant the raiders would arrive in 90 seconds on their present course and speed.
** The show hung a Lampshade on it in the episode ''Greetings From Earth'' where other human space colonists used seconds, minutes, and hours while Apollo said "Wait just a centon!" trying to figure it out.
* Re-imagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' averts this, except for some documents visible onscreen in Armistice Station in the Miniseries, which use original-series terminology. Spoken dialogue and other writings have "years", "minutes", etc.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Daleks use "rels" to indicate a short period of time, which varies between about one and two seconds from one episode to another.
** Time Lords in the ExpandedUniverse measure time in spans and microspans.
* In ''Series/BabylonFive'', Drazi cycle not Drazi week. Cycle Drazi ''year''. It can be assumed that almost all species have their own time units, but the Babylon station runs on Earth time. Some early episodes referred to on-station time in terms of "cycles", but this was dropped in favor of standard Earth time units.
* Starting with ''Film/StarTrekIIITheSearchForSpock'' and continuing on at least one episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', Klingon Battlecuiser crews call out the distance to their targets in "Kellecams". (Or "killicams". Or "kilicams". There doesn't seem to me much agreement on the spelling. As they're translating from Klingon, the closest would probably be something like qelI'qam.)
** Beginning with ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'', stardates were (sort of) standardized to a year being 1,000 units long, with each unit being subdivided into 10 subunits. That would mean that 1 unit is equal to roughly 8 hours, a subunit is roughly 48 minutes, while a day is 3 units. Thus, the launch date of the ''Enterprise-D'', stardate 41153.7, correlates to February 20, 2364 at 5:36 am.
* The planet in the ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' episode “Time and Again” used rotations, intervals, and fractions. And Hindu-Arabic numerals.

[[AC:TabletopGames]]
* ''{{Exalted}}'' has a year... that's made up of 15 months and 5 days that are "outside the year", called Calibration. Also, the month is made of exactly 28 days, no matter what month it is, unlike our months. (makes sense, since they use lunar months, unlike us who use Roman months and calendar, where [[ExecutiveMeddling every Roman emperor wanted a month dedicated to himself and wanted that month to be longer than normal]]. Which leads to July and August having 31 days, while poor February is left with merely 28 (ok, 28.25)...)
* The ''ForgottenRealms'' has the "[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin tenday]]", which some nations call a "ride." Hilarity sometimes ensues due to confusion, when a person says "two rides" and listeners think they mean two days of riding.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' supplement ''Acute Paranoia''. Alpha Complex used the phrase "half a cycle" for the period between 1 wake-up call and the next (i.e. 1 day). A "cycle" was therefore 2 days.
* In the old ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' setting "Hollow World," where the setting lacked a day-night cycle, the basic unit of time was the "march."

[[AC:VideoGames]]
* The ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe'' series has the "sezura", "mizura", "tezura", "wozura", "mazura" and "jazura". None of them directly correspond to Earth time units. 1 sezura = 1.7 seconds, 1 mizura = 96 sezuras (2 min, 43 sec), and continuing into ever more irregular measurements. ''X2: The Threat'' dropped the alternate measurements; the games still use the alternate names, but they correspond directly with standard time measurements, like one mizura being one minute.
* The Slylandro in ''[[StarControl Star Control 2]]'' have "rotation," "Drahnasa," and "Drahn" which are something like their equivalent of days, years, and millennia (not particularly similar in duration to ours though). It would be tricky to decode these except that pretty much everything interesting that's happened on a galactic scale happens in one of three time periods (Quite Recently, A Long Time Ago and A Really, Really Long Time Ago) so luckily it's not too hard to figure out what they're on about.
** To be more precise, one "rotation" is one "day" of their planet, 1 Drahn is equal to 4 million rotations and one Drahn is divided into two thousand Drahnasa. [[http://uqm.stack.nl/forum/index.php?topic=1169.0 Some code examination]] reveals that the rotation of the Slylandro homeplanet is 14.2 earth hours which tells us that one Drahnasa is equal to 1180 earth days (a little over 3 years) and one Drahn is 2370000 earth days (roughly 6500 years).
* The people of the ''{{Metroid}}'' universe use "cycles" for a span of time somewhere between a few months and about a year. Space Pirate logs often talk about projects being developed over the course of a few cycles, for example figuring out how to infuse their troops with Phazon, especially as it took multiple failed attempts. U'mos in ''Metroid Prime 2'' is mentioned to be several centicycles old (technically it should be centocycles, but that's [[UnitConfusion a different trope entirely]]). Might it be some based on other planet's year?
* In ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'', The Tasen and Komato use "cycles", "pulsecycles", and "starturns", although how they correspond to human units of time is unknown. Starturns would presumably be a Komato year, but since we don't know how long it takes their planet to orbit, it doesn't help much.
** According to WordOfGod, a Starturn equals a year (how long it takes Origin [[spoiler:(i.e. [[EarthAllAlong Earth]])]] to make a full orbit around its star), a Longturn equals a month (but it's unknown how many make up a Starturn), a Turn a day (how long it takes Origin to make one rotation around its axis), a Cycle an hour (unknown how many make up a Turn), a Shortcycle a minute (unknown how many make up a Cycle), and a pulsecycle a second (whatever the Komato pulse was when they came up with it).

[[AC:WebComics]]
* In ''TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' the dragons and Nemesites measure time in "zarps." Since "half a zarp" seems to equal at least a short night's sleep, we can guess a full zarp is probably something between 12 and 16 hours. An author's comment when they first appear compares them to [[{{Transformers}} astroseconds,]] [[Series/BattlestarGalacticaClassic centons,]] and [[Series/DoctorWho rels.]]
* The trolls in {{Homestuck}} call years "sweeps", although the Alternian year is equal to around 2.17 Earth years.
* In ''Webcomic/EscapeFromTerra'' most Belters use a decimalized calendar and time-keeping system designed by the Mars colonists. Particularly "centimes" (about 14.8 minutes, if my math is correct) and "decadays" (10 Martian days).
* In ''LastRes0rt'' the galaxy has apparently adopted [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swatch_Internet_Time Swatch Internet Time]]

[[AC:WesternAnimation]]
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/BeastWars Beast Wars: Transformers]]'', 'cycles' are used for minute-like timespans. There are also "nano-kliks" (roughly a second), "decacycles," "megacycles," and "stellar cycles," which varied DependingOnTheWriter (megacycles at one point going from roughly an hour to, from context, roughly a year).
* In ''[[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'', Donatello calculates a ratio of 1 Triceraton trigon to 10 minutes.
* ''TransformersAnimated'' uses this so much you really wish they'd just break down and convert the damn units. "Wait a cycle!" "I haven't done this in deca-cycles!" "I have bided my time for eighty mega-cycles..."
** The original Transformers series had the infamous "astroseconds," "astrominutes," "astrolitres," "a Cybertronic mili-inch," etc. The first episode mentioned a unit of time called a "quartex," but it was never mentioned again.
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Reboot}}'', the characters said things like "In a nano" or "Gimme a nano." Nano as nanosecond. The characters living in a computer, this actually makes sense.

[[AC: RealLife]]
* Historically, attempts to replace seven-day weeks with something else have failed. This has been attributed to, of all things, bearded men preferring to trim their facial hair on the same day each week: wait longer than seven days and it grows enough to get tangled; don't wait as long, and they're grooming themselves before there's much need to do so.
** The Metric calendar failed in part because pretty much everyone (this was revolution-era [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Republican_Calendar France]]) still had to use the old calendar to track the Sundays. A calendar change also causes problems for holidays like Easter, the date of which is based on the interface between a seven-day week and the lunar cycle and moves every year [[note]]This was intentional, trying to undermine the power of the church[[/note]].
* When NASA scientists are talking in terms of subjective time on another planet, they use "sols" to cover a single rotation[[note]]technically, a single ''solar day'', the amount of time it takes the planet to rotate so that the sun comes back to the same position in the sky[[/note]] of the planet, to keep the Earth measurements lined up with the clock. The Martian sol is 2.7% longer than an Earth day, so the difference is about 40 minutes a day. This can really add up over the months and years. Since all on-site equipment is solar powered, all scheduling is done according to the length of sols, and some team members have Martian time watches. Some particularly dedicated researchers end up having rather peculiar sleep schedules by Earth standards.
** Martian time isn't that bad; the 24-hour-40-minute day will let you keep a reasonably stable sleep cycle that's consistent with the rhythms of the human body. Heaven help you if you were dealing with a planet that has 16-hour or 30-hour days, though...
** Although continually sleeping 40 minutes later everyday means that after about two-and-a-half weeks your AM/PM has completely flipped over and you're going to bed around noon and getting up in the late evening.
*** Another ''Film/MenInBlack'' joke:
-->'''Zed:''' ''The twins keep us on Centaurian time, standard thirty-seven hour day. Give it a few months. You'll get used to it. Or you'll have a psychotic episode.''
* In 1969 the Swiss company Helbros brought out a "lunar watch" for the use of astronauts, which divides the lunation into 30 "lunes" of 24 "lunours". (Centilunours and decilunours for shorter periods.)
* Various forms of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decimal_time decimal divisions of the day]].
* TheOtherWiki lists [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_unusual_units_of_measurement#Time several unusual time units]], such as the 1.2096 second "microfortnight".
** An in-joke in the Arch Linux community are [[https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Kiloseconds kiloseconds]].
** Combining the above, note that a "millifortnight" comes out to 1,209.6 seconds, i.e., very close to 20 minutes, or a third of an hour.
* The stereotype of Native Americans using the phrase "many moons ago", or similar, comes from some of them using a lunar calendar rather than a solar or lunisolar one ("moon" meaning "actual lunar month" as opposed to the abstraction called a "month" on a lunisolar calendar). Other cultures primarily speak in terms of seasons; Navajos, for example, are religiously forbidden to discuss certain religious subjects or do certain tasks (like weaving) except in winter, "the Season when Thunder Sleeps". Some cultures may have eight or six seasons instead of four, depending on the local climate or what the calendar is designed around (hunter-gatherers, for instance, may find the breeding seasons of deer more important than the planting seasons for grains).
* There's a "bilisecond"(sic) in [[http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa326471%28v=vs.71%29.aspx Microsoft .Net SQL API]]. Documentation describes it as 1 billionth of a second. Actually, it's 1/1000th of a millisecond, i.e. a microsecond. There were suggestions that whoever designed the API had no idea of metric prefixes and assumed "milli-" to be 1 millionth and "billi-" 1 billointh. Or maybe named the unit after Bill Gates. And misspelled it.

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