Days of the Week, Months, and Seasons in Catalan

Do you know how to say the days of the week in Catalan? How about the months? The seasons? Learn all these and more in this blog post, including where these words came from and some extra time phrases that might come in handy.

Days of the week in Catalan

Mondaydillunsinherited from Latin diēs Lūnae (day of the moon, Monday)
Tuesdaydimartsinherited from Latin diēs Martis (day of Mars, Tuesday)
Wednesdaydimecresinherited from Latin diēs Mercuriī (day of Mercury, Wednesday)
Thursdaydijousinherited from Latin diēs Jovis/Iovis (day of Jupiter, Thursday)
Fridaydivendresinherited from Latin diēs Veneris (day of Venus, Friday)
Saturdaydissabteinherited from Latin diēs Sabbati (day of the Sabbath, Saturday)
Sundaydiumengeinherited from Late Latin diēs Dominicus (Sunday, literally ‘day of the Lord’)

As with many other Romance languages, the days of the week in Catalan are generally derived from Latin.

However, two of the Catalan days of the week deserve special attention because of their interesting evolutions.

The first is dissabte (‘Saturday’), which comes from the Latin diēs Sabbati, or ‘day of the Sabbath’. The Latin is derived from the Ancient Greek word sábbaton, which in turn came from the Hebrew word shabát. Shabbat is the name given in Judaism to the day of religious observance that begins Friday before sunset and ends on Saturday evening after nightfall.

In a similar way, the Catalan word diumenge (‘Sunday’) comes from the Late Latin diēs Dominicus, meaning ‘day of the Lord’. It was given its name by the Christian faith, replacing the earlier pagan diēs Sōlis, meaning ‘day of the sun-god Sol’.

So, the Catalan words for Saturday and Sunday obliquely reference two different faiths!

Months in Catalan

The months in Catalan also have a mix of different roots. They include different stages of Latin (Vulgar Latin is the name given to the Latin spoken by everyday people), Old Catalan, and Old Occitan.

Januarygenerinherited from Vulgar Latin ienuārius, from Latin iānuārius
Februaryfebrerinherited from Late Latin febrārius, from Latin februārius
Marchmarçinherited from Old Catalan març, from Latin mārtius
Aprilabrilinherited from Latin aprīlis
Maymaiginherited from Latin māius
Junejunyinherited from Old Catalan juny, from Latin iūnius
Julyjuliolfrom a semi-learned alteration of Old Catalan jullol, juyol, itself a modification of juyl (to differentiate it from juny), from Old Occitan, from Latin iūlius
Augustagostinherited from Vulgar Latin agustus, from Latin augustus
Septembersetembreinherited from Old Catalan setembre, from Latin september
Octoberoctubreborrowed from Latin octōbrem
Novembernovembreborrowed from Latin novembrem
Decemberdesembreinherited from Old Catalan dehembre, deembre, from Old Catalan decembre, from Latin decembrem

There’s a good reason why some of these names have come from Old Occitan!

Until the end of the 19th century, Catalan was considered a dialect of Occitan. The distance between Catalan and some Occitan varieties (such as Gascon) is similar to the difference between different Occitan varieties, and today, Catalan and Occitan are each other’s closest relatives.

Seasons in Catalan

You might see some more obvious relationships to Latin here (especially if you speak some Spanish!), but some of these season names might look a little different at first glance.

springla primaverainherited from Late Latin prīma vēra, derived from Latin prīmus (first) + vēr (spring)
summerl’estiuinherited from Old Catalan estiu, from Latin [tempus] aestīvum (literally ‘summertime’)
autumn, fallla tardorinherited from Old Catalan tardaó, from Latin tardātiōnem, from tardus (‘late’)
winterl’hiverninherited from Old Catalan ivern, from Latin hībernum [tempus] (literally ‘wintry time’)

Other Catalan time phrases

Here are some more words and phrases that you might find useful if you want to talk about when things are happening.

dayel dia
nightla nit
weekla setmana
monthel mes
day before yesterdayabans d’ahirabans de (‘before’) + ahir (‘yesterday’)
yesterdayahirfrom a (‘to’) + Old Catalan hir, from Latin herī (‘here’)
todayavuifrom a- + vui, the latter from Latin hodiē (‘on this day’); you might also hear hui, vui or avuy
tomorrowdemàinherited from Late Latin dē māne (‘early in the morning’)
day after tomorrowdemà passatday after tomorrow
el matímorning
la tardaafternoon
el vespreeveningultimately from Latin vesper (‘evening, vespers’)

Did you enjoy learning how to say the days of the week, months of the year, and seasons in Catalan? Let us know!

All the Catalan words and phrases in this post can be found in the Calendar topic on our app. Learn Catalan with uTalk, and you’ll learn around 2,500 useful words and phrases that are helpful for any occasion. Play games, score points, and most importantly, have fun!

Happy language learning!

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