понедельник начинается в субботу

This week, Timur had a French lesson in his new (Spanish) school. Among things he did not know was the names of days of the week, in either Spanish or French. A perfect excuse for me to create one more table! I also added here German words as Yuri is going to continue studying German in high school.

English German Finnish French Spanish Russian
Monday Montag maanantai lundi lunes понедельник
Tuesday Dienstag tiistai mardi martes вторник
Wednesday Mittwoch keskiviikko mercredi miércoles среда
Thursday Donnerstag torstai jeudi jueves четверг
Friday Freitag perjantai vendredi viernes пятница
Saturday Samstag lauantai samedi sábado суббота
Sunday Sonntag sunnuntai dimanche domingo воскресенье
day Tag päivä jour día день
week Woche viikko semaine semana неделя

In many European languages the names for Monday mean “moon day”. Germanic languages refer to Sunday as, well, “sun day” while Romance languages have “day of the Lord” (Latin dies Dominica) instead. Also, Tuesday through Friday in French and Spanish refer to the Roman gods Mars, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus (but, strangely, not Saturn, which is still present in English Saturday); the same days in English correspond to the Norse deities Týr, Odin, Thor, and Freyia. Saturday is the day of rest: Samstag, samedi, sábado and суббота are all ultimately derived from Hebrew שבת shabbat.

Apart for суббота, Russian words do not follow this pattern. Воскресенье, from воскресение “resurrection” (of Christ), has replaced the older word for Sunday, неделя (from не делая, “not doing”, i.e. day of rest). (In modern Russian неделя only means “week”, but in Bulgarian this word kept the Sunday meaning as well.) Понедельник means a day after Sunday. Среда (from середа) stands for “middle” (of the week; cf. German Mittwoch). The names вторник, четверг and пятница mean “second”, “fourth” and “fifth”, respectively.


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