Learn How to Say the Days of the Week in German

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The names for the seven days of the week originally came from the Babylonians (Babylonier) who named them for the sun, the moon and the five planetary gods. (Other cultures have had between five and ten days in a week.)

Most of the western Romance languages adopted these terms via Greek and Latin. But the Germanic languages (German and English among them) took on the Teutonic forms. For instance, the Babylonian Marduk, the god of war, was Ares in Greek and Mars in Latin. To the Germanic tribes the god of war was Ziu. So Latin dies marti (Tuesday, "Mars Day") became "mardi" in French, "martes" in Spanish, but ziostag in Old High German, or Dienstag in modern German. English adipted Saturn-Day (Saturday), but German used Germanic forms for the days.

Below are the seven days of the week in their Latin, Germanic and English forms. By the way, the European week begins on Monday, not Sunday, as in North America. (Also see our Date and Time Glossary, which includes the calendar.)

Tage der Woche

LATEINDEUTSCHENGLISCH
dies lunaeMontag
(Mond-Tag)
Monday
moon day (lunar)
dies marti
(Mars)
Dienstag
(Zies-Tag)
Tuesday
dies mercuriMittwoch
(mid-week)
Wednesday
(Wodan's day)
dies iovis
(Jupiter/Jove)
Donnerstag
(thunder-day)
Thursday
(Thor's day)
dies veneris
(Venus)
Freitag
(Freya-Tag)
Friday
(Freya's day)
dies saturniSamstag/Sonnabend
("Sunday eve" is
used for Saturday
in No. Germany)
Saturday
(Saturn day)
dies solisSonntag
(Sonne-Tag)
Sunday
sun day (solar)

English-German Glossaries