Days, Months and Years in Japanese

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Do you know how to write and speak the days, months and years in Japanese? In this article we will examine in detail how to write and pronounce the days, months and years in the Japanese language. Remember that the writing is usually similar to the Chinese language, which can make it easier for you to recognize both.

The days, months and years can be written with both Roman numbers (123) and Japanese ideograms (一二三). There is no rule of thumb when to use each of these forms, they tend to coexist on different occasions. Of course, when speaking, it is recommended to use popular reading in the Japanese language.

How do you say the days of the week in Japanese?

Although the focus of this article is the days, months and years, we should start by looking at the days of the week in Japanese (Monday to Sunday), which are practically the name of the planets or the 5 elements… No Fairs…

PortugueseJapaneseRomaji
Sunday日曜日nichiyoubi
Monday月曜日getsuyoubi
Tuesday火曜日kayoubi
Wednesday水曜日suiyoubi
Thursday木曜日mokuyoubi
Friday金曜日kinyoubi
Saturday土曜日doyoubi

How do you speak the days of the month in Japanese?

The days of the month are accompanied by an ideogram that is pronounced nichi (日)  meaning sun and day. The table below explains better ways to pronounce the days of the month in Japanese. 

We leave below 2 readings, both are correct but are used differently. When referring to a day of a given month, we usually use the special reading that is in bold.

DAYREADING OF IDEOGRAMSWRITINGSPECIAL READING
1ichi nichi一日 tsuitachi
2ni nichi二日 futsuka
3san nichi三 日 mikka
4shi / yon nichi四日 yokka
5go nichi 五日 itsuka
6roku nichi 六日 muika
7nana nichi七 日 nanoka
8hachi nichi八 日 youka
9kyu nichi九 日 kokonoka
10juu nichi 十日 tooka
11juu ichi nichi 十一日 
12juu ni nichi 十二日 
13juu san nichi 十三日 
14juu yon nichi 十四日 juu yokka
15…juu go nichi 十五日 
20nii ju nichi二 十日 hatsu ka
24nii ju yon nichi 二十四日 ni juu yokka
25nii ju go nichi 二十五日 
30san juu nichi 三十日 
31san juu ichi nichi 三十一日 
Dias, meses e anos em japonês

How do you speak the months in Japanese?

In the Japanese language there is no special name for each month. There they usually speak the number followed by the ideogram tsuki (月) which means moon (tsuki) and month (gatsu). It seems strange for us to talk Month 1 Month 2 Month 3, but stopping to think is much simpler and easier.

PortugueseJapaneseRomaji
January一月ichigatsu
February二月nigatsu
March三月sangatsu
April四月shigatsu
May五月gogatsu
June六月rokugatsu
July七月shichigatsu
August八月hachigatsu
September九月kugatsu
October十月juugatsu
November十一月juuichigatsu
December十二月juunigatsu

The Japanese also have an old traditional way of speaking the months in Japanese that is rarely used. Nowadays it is used in horoscope calendars, lunar calendar and other traditional things. 

This calendar is called wafuu getsumei (和風月名) which literally means names of months in the Japanese style.

PortugueseKanjiRomaji
January睦月mutsuki
February如月kisaragi
March弥生yayoi
April卯月udzuki
May皐月satsuki
June水無月minadzuki
July文月fumidzuki
August葉月hadzuki
September長月nagatsuki
October神無月kannadzuki
November霜月shimotsuki
December師走shiwasu

Note that not all months on this traditional list have the moon character.

Dias, meses e anos em japonês

How do you speak the year in Japanese?

The year works in the same way as the day and month, the number accompanied by the ideogram nen (年) which literally means year. See an example below:

  • 2005 年 4 月 1 - April 1, 2005 / Nii sen go nen / shigatsu / tsuitachi 二千五年四月一日

We realize that first the year comes, then the month and finally the day. If we know all Japanese language numbers we can easily write the days, months and years in the language.

Words related to Calendar in Japanese

We can't talk about years, days, months and dates without talking about calendars and other related words like leap year in Japanese, lunar calendar and other words related to dates. Make good use of the vocabulary table below:

カレンダーkarendaaCalendar
KoyomiCalendar
太陽暦TayourekiSolar Calendar
太陰暦TaiinrekiLunar Calendar
平年HeinenCommon Year
閏年JyunenLeap year
西暦SeirekiIt was common

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