Learning Spanish weekdays through their roots! ~ Learn Spanish language fast | free memory tricks | Spanish vocabulary lessons.
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Monday, June 18, 2007

Learning Spanish weekdays through their roots!


The names of the days of the week in Spanish and English don't seem very much alike. But in fact they have similar origins. Surprisingly, however, the day with the names in the two languages sounding the most alike — Saturday in English and sábado in Spanish — has names that aren't connected.


The etymology (word history) of most of the days the week are linked to Roman mythology. The Romans saw a connection between their gods and the changing face of the nighttime sky, so it became natural to use their gods' names for the planets — the ones they were able to track in the sky were Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Those five planets plus the moon and sun made seven major astronomical bodies, so when the seven-day week was imported from Mesopotamia early in the fourth century it was a natural to use those astronomical names for the days of the week.

Under Constantine, the first day of the week was named after the sun, followed by the moon, Mars, Mercury, Jupiter, Venus and Saturn.

The names of the week were adopted with little change throughout most of the Roman Empire and even beyond. In only a few cases were changes made.

In Spanish, the five weekdays all retained their planetary names. Those are the five days whose names end in -es, a shortening of the Latin word for "day," dies. Note how the English and Spanish names of the days of the week have common origins:

1. Sunday (domingo) derives from a Latin word meaning, "Lord's Day."

2. Monday (lunes) derives from Luna, Latin for Moon.

3. Tuesday (martes) derives from Mars, the Roman God of war.

4. Wednesday (miércoles ) derives from Mercury, a Roman God.

5. Thursday (jueves) derives from Jovian, the Latin adjective for Jupitar, a Roman God.

6. Friday (viernes) derives from Venus, the Roman Goddess of love.

7. Saturday (sábado) derives from Sabbath, the day of rest.

By now, I hope you know the Spanish week as naturally as the English one! Bienvenidos!

steve nosrat said...

Its a nice idea to learn Spanish, if one can start learning it from the names of the weeks.

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