the months of the year in Japanese

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.

From our studies of Japanese language, we know that  can convey the idea of moon, abbreviated monday and month of the year. Using  as an idea of the month of the year, its pronunciation changes again. And now the Japanese symbols  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 . 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 . 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.

the months of the year 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 , which in this case will have its pronunciation changed to にち, representing the meaning of “day”. Look at the table below:

The days of the month in Japanese
一日ついたちFirst day
二日ふつかday two
三日みっかDay three
四日よっかday four
五日いつかDay five
六日むいかday six
七日なのかday seven
八日ようかday eight
九日ここのかday nine
十日とおかDay ten
十一日じゅういちにちday eleven
十二日じゅうににちday twelve
十三日じゅうさんにちday thirteen
十四日じゅうよっかday fourteen
十五日じゅうごにちday fifteen
十六日じゅうろくにちday sixteen
十七日じゅうしちにちday seventeen
十八日じゅうはちにちday eighteen
十九日じゅうくにちday nineteen
二十日はつかDay twenty
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
三十日さんじゅうにちday thirty
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.