Saying the Day and Date in Japanese

If you’ve been teaching yourself Japanese with the grammar lessons on this site, you ought to have a firm grasp on basic counting in Japanese. You’ll need to know those numbers to be able to say the date in Japanese—but it’s not as simple as saying the word “one” for the first of a month, for example.

Let’s start with the days of the week. The vocabulary for the days of the week are:

Sunday nichiyoubi
Monday getsuyoubi
Tuesday kayoubi
Wednesday suiyoubi
Thursday mokuyoubi
Friday kinyoubi
Saturday doyoubi

Each day of the week is named after an element or the sun or moon. Interestingly, the word for “Sunday” uses the kanji for “sun” and the word for “Monday” uses the kanji for “moon.” These two days of the week are named after the sun and moon in English as well.

The months of the year are a little easier than the days of the month because they follow a basic pattern. Just state the number of the month in Japanese and add one pronunciation of the word for “month,” “gatsu.”

January ichigatsu
February nigatsu
March sangatsu
April shigatsu
May gogatsu
June rokugatsu
July shichigatsu
August hachigatsu
September kugatsu
October juugatsu
November juuichigatsu
December juunigatsu

Most of the days of the month are simply the basic number in Japanese plus one pronunciation for the word “day,” which is “nichi.” However, there are a few exceptions, which are bolded:

1st tsuitachi 17th juushichi-nichi
2nd futsuka 18th juuhachi-nichi
3rd mikka 19th juuku-nichi
4th yokka 20th hatsuka
5th itsuka 21st nijuuichi-nichi
6th muika 22nd nijuuni-nichi
7th nanoka 23rd nijuusan-nichi
8th yooka 24th nijuuyokka
9th kokonoka 25th nijuugo-nichi
10th tooka 26th nijuuroku-nichi
11th juuichi-nichi 27th nijuushichi-nichi
12th juuni-nichi 28th nijuuhachi-nichi
13th juusan-nichi 29th nijuuku-nichi
14th juuyokka 30th sanjuu-nichi
15th juugo-nichi 31st sanjuuichi-nichi
16th juuroku-nichi

Now you should have enough information to say today’s date, minus the year. But first you’ll need to know the word for “today,” which is “kyou.”

Kyou wa shigatsu kokonoka kinyoubi desu. = Today is Friday, April 9th.

(Notice that the order is month, day of the month, day of the week.)

You might also want to say when your birthday is. The word for “birthday” in Japanese is “tanjoubi.”

Watashi no tanjoubi wa juugatsu juugo-nichi desu. = My birthday is October 15th.

There’s one more set of vocabulary you may need to know when talking about the date—the questions to ask when you don’t know what day it is (or what day someone is going to make plans). Just say the word for “what,” “nan,” and add the common ending for that particular question.

What day of the week? nanyoubi
What month? nangatsu
What day of the month? nan-nichi

Kyou wa nanyoubi desu ka. = What day of the week is it today?

Kyou wa nan-nichi desu ka. = What’s today’s date?

Tanjoubi wa nangatsu desu ka. = What month is your birthday?

When is your birthday? When is your friends’ birthdays? State them all in Japanese. Practice stating the day’s date in Japanese every day from now on.

No related posts.

Tags: birthday, date, day, day of the week, japan, japanese, japanese calendar, japanese language, month