To understand how to write the months of the year in Japanese, it is necessary to know the numbers in Japanese. This is necessary because the months of the year are formed by the numbers in japanese and by the Japanese symbol月.
From our studies of Japanese language, we know that 月 can convey the idea of moon, abbreviated monday and month of the year. Using 月 as an idea of the month of the year, its pronunciation changes again. And now the Japanese symbols 月 will be read as がつ.
How to form the months of the year in Japanese
To form the words that represent the months of the year in Japanese, just add one of the numbers in japanese on the left side of 月. This is because the Japanese language does not have specific words to represent each month of the year (such as January, February, etc.). Instead, the Japanese use the numbers 1 to 12 followed by the symbol 月. Therefore, March is 三月, which means “third month of the year”.
I imagine this is not a very complicated concept to learn, as we also treat the months of the year in a similar way. The table below shows what the months of the year look like in Japanese.
|一月||いちがつ||January, first month of the year|
|二月||にがつ||February, second month of the year|
|三月||さんがつ||March, third month of the year|
|四月||しがつ||April, fourth month of the year|
|五月||ごがつ||May, fifth month of the year|
|六月||ろくがつ||June, sixth month of the year|
|七月||しちがつ||July, seventh month of the year|
|八月||はちがつ||August, eighth month of the year|
|九月||くがつ||September, ninth month of the year|
|十月||じゅうがつ||October, tenth month of the year|
|十一月||じゅういちがつ||November, eleventh month of the year|
|十二月||じゅうにがつ||December, twelfth month of the year|
The days of the month in Japanese
Just as there is no specific word for the days of the month in Portuguese, there is also no word for the days of the month in Japanese. This seems to be a concept much closer to our reality.
When someone asks us the question – “What day is today?”, we simply reply “Today is day first.” or "the twenty-seventh." In the Japanese language, things work in a very similar way.
The only different thing we need to do is use the Japanese numbers and add the kanji 日, which in this case will have its pronunciation changed to にち, representing the meaning of “day”. Look at the table below:
|二十一日||にじゅういちにち||day twenty one|
|二十二日||にじゅうににち||day twenty two|
|二十三日||にじゅうさんにち||day twenty three|
|二十四日||にじゅうよっか||day twenty four|
|二十五日||にじゅうごにち||day twenty five|
|二十六日||にじゅうろくにち||day twenty six|
|二十七日||にじゅうしちにち||day twenty seven|
|二十八日||にじゅうはちにち||day twenty eight|
|二十九日||にじゅうくにち||day twenty nine|
|三十一日||さんじゅういちにち||day thirty one|
When we look at kanji from one to ten, we are faced with the first complications. Numbers, when used to represent the days of the month, have a different reading than what we learn in articles about the numbers in japanese. For example, four in japanese is よんwhile “the fourth or fourth day of the month” is よっか. Furthermore, we must be especially careful not to confuse 四日 with 八日.
Also note that reading よっか is repeated for the 14th and 24th. And, finally, the 20th has a special reading はつか. As for the other numbers, they follow the same pattern as the numbers we've learned so far.
Indo-Arabic numbers and months of the year in Japanese
Despite having written this page entirely in kanji, it is very common to find the words we learn today written with the Indo-Arabic numbers (the western numbers 1, 2, 3, 4…). In cases like these, just swap the Japanese numbers for the Western numbers.
The thirtieth day, for example, can be written as 三十日 or how 30日, and the month 八月can also be written as 8 月. Despite this, remember that the pronunciation will always be in Japanese.
Kanji calligraphy exercise
Below are the Japanese ideographic symbols used in this article. Selecting the desired kanji, copy and paste them into Worksheet for Kana and Kanji Practice , a new window will open where you can view the printable file and practice Japanese calligraphy by covering the gray symbols and then trying to write yourself. Just print and practice.