Days of the Week

Sorry for taking such a long break. Life just keeps getting in the way, and also we’ve got some more grammar to cover fairly soon and psychologically I think I’m avoiding that. But here’s something that’s grammar-free, mostly: the days of the week. The Persian word for “day” is روز (rūz), and while the full names of the days can be rendered as روز plus the appropriate name from the list below, this is rarely seen.

  • Monday = دوشَنبه (dūshanbah, but pronounced “dou-shaM-beh,” because Persian doesn’t like that N-B sound so it changes the N to an M in speaking)
  • Tuesday = سَهشَنبه (sahshanbah, “se-shaM-beh”)
  • Wednesday = چِهار شَنبه (chihār shanbah, “che-har-sham-beh”)
  • Thursday = پَنج شَنبه (panj shanbah, “panj-sham-beh”)
  • Friday = جُمعه (jumʿah, “jom-eh”)
  • Saturday = شَنبه (shanbah, “sham-beh”)
  • Sunday = یَکشَنبه (yakshanbah, “yek-sham-beh”)

Except for Friday (which comes right from Arabic and signifies Friday’s role as the day for large congregational prayer) and Saturday, these names are all created by simply adding a cardinal number (more on those later) to شَنبه (“Saturday”), so Sunday is literally “one شَنبه,” Monday “two شَنبه,” and so on.

“Week” is هَفته (haftah, “haf-te”) from هَفت (haft) or “seven,” and “days of the week” is روزها‌ی هَفته (rūzhā-yi haftah, “ruz-ha-ye-haf-te”).

The weekend in Iran and in Afghanistan, where the Dari dialect of Persian is an official language, is Thursday-Friday, but Thursday may be considered a half-day of work depending on where you are and for whom you’re working.

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2 thoughts on “Days of the Week

  1. Pingback: Days of the Week | Turkish Word a Day
  2. I am soooo grateful for this particular posting–just found it. I’m going to explore more of your work with the Dari dialect. I am blessed with the opportunity (in Las Vegas NV) to be tutoring a 51 y.o Afghani woman. Her grandmother forbade her to receive any schooling and I understand my student cried and cried for the loss. Today, I who speaks no Farsi of any dialect, work with my student who neither reads nor writes in her native language, nor speaks English…as she works hard at learning to speak American English and being slowly introduced to writing/reading [she’s mastered printing upper & lower case]. I’ve looked for info on Darsi to support our work together. With your posting, I feel more confident about being able to teach her the days of the week and the structure difference. My intention is to learn why English-speakers have labeled our days the way we have and hopefully use that info to support her recall of the days. Linking her Friday prayer day to the English Sunday prayer day is an example. Otherwise, I’ll fall back to “this-day + 1”. Keep up your good work, KNOW that your efforts have value..even if it takes the receivers like myself time to find you. Stay healthy!!!!! PS if you know of an additional website with Dari dialect translations, I will welcome it. Blessings on you.

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