Portuguese Days of the Week

Portuguese Days Of The Week

Hello everyone! Today’s post is about the Portuguese days of the week. Have you ever been confronted with it? Do you know how to say them? Well, search no more. Here they come:

Portuguese Days of the Week

Segunda-feira – Monday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Segunda.mp3]   

Terça-feira – Tuesday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Terça.mp3]   

Quarta-feira – Wednesday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Quarta.mp3]   

Quinta-feira – Thursday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Quinta.mp3]   

Sexta-feira – Friday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sexta.mp3]   

Sábado Saturday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sábado.mp3]   

Domingo – Sunday [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Domingo.mp3]   

 

Some terminology related to the topic

In order to know how to refer to the week, there are also some other words you should be aware of. Let us take a look:

Semana – Week

Dias – Days 

Dias da Semana – Days of the Week

Fim-de-semana – Weekend

Portuguese Days of the Week

 

The origin of the days

Do you know that the Portuguese days of the week are defined by completely different words than those that define the week of other Romance languages?

In fact, to the Romance languages belong Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian. This means that these languages share the same roots, they come from Latin. The good, old Latin! What this also means is that many parts of their lexicon and even grammar are identical. This also happens with the days of the week. In all the languages, but one. You’ve guessed it: Portuguese!

Take a look at the days of the week in the other languages:

SpanishLunes, Martes, Miercoles, Jueves, Viernes, Sabado, Domingo

ItalianLunedi, Martedi, Mercoledi, Giovedi, Venerdi, Sabato, Domenica

FrenchLundi, Mardi, Mercredi, Jeudi, Vendredi, Samedi, Dimanche

RomanianLuni, Marti, Miercuri, Joi, Vineri, Sambata, Duminica.

Crazy how similar they are, right? Well, I would say that even crazier is the fact that besides “sábado” and “domingo”, the Portuguese days of the week in nothing resemble the other languages.

But why is this?

Well, Spanish, Italian, French and Romanian all use planets to identify the five days of the week. This comes from the Roman empire and its mythology. Lunes or Lundi is for moon and the -es at the end is an abbreviation for the latin word for day. The same happens with Tuesday – Martes, Martedi, Mercredi or Marti – designated by the planet Mars, and so on.

The only names that did not retain their Roman influence were those of the weekend days. Saturday comes from Sabbat, a Hebrew word that designates the resting day. Like God, people would take this day to rest and Jewish tradition even forbids some kind of work on this day.

Sunday, on the other hand, is designated as Domingo or Dimanche or Domenica and it comes from the Latin word that means “the day of God”.

In Portuguese, Saturday and Sunday – Sábado and Domingo – have exactly the same meanings than in the other languages. However, where do the other days come from?

When the Romans invaded the Peninsula, they brought the pagan names of the week with them, as we saw from the other languages. Later on, the Christians in Portugal and Galicia did not want to continue using this terminology. Since they counted the Sunday as the first day of the week Portuguese Days of the Weekand also the day to rest and pray to God – also known as feria or holiday – they then started ordering the rest of the days from then on. Therefore, Sunday was the first feria and Monday was the second one – or Segunda-Feira -, Tuesday was the Third feria – or “Terça-feira” and so on. At the beginning, the days had a slightly different spelling, but they evolved until what we have today and they remained like this till our days.

Interesting, huh?

Do you know the etymology of the words of the week in your language? Does any of them have a similar story to the Portuguese days of the week?

If so, let me know in the comments section below. I will be glad to hear about it.

But first, do you want to try to do some exercises? Go back, try to memorize the days of the week and then try to do the following exercises 😉

Exercises – Portuguese Days of the Week

Exercise one: Fill in the blanks with the days that fit.

1)_________ são sempre mais difíceis porque a semana de trabalho começa.

_________ are always harder because the working week starts.

 

2) _________ é o dia para descansar e algumas pessoas vão à Igreja.

___________ is the day to rest and some people go to church.

 

3)__________ é um dia bom porque começa o fim-de-semana.

___________ is a nice day because the weekend starts.

 

4)__________ é o meu dia favorito porque não tenho que trabalhar e no dia a seguir ainda é fim-de-semana.

___________ is my favorite day because I don´t have to work and the next day is still a weekend day.

 

5)__________é o meio da semana de trabalho.

___________ is the mid of the work week.

 

6) ___________ é quase fim-de-semana.

_____________ is almost a weekend.

 

7) ____________ ainda é o começo da semana de trabalho, mas não o primeiro dia.

______________is still beginning of the work week but not the first day.

 

Exercise 2: Listen to the days and write the names down next to each audio note:

  1. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sexta.mp3]   __________________________________________;
  2. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Terça.mp3]    __________________________________________;
  3. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Quarta.mp3]   __________________________________________;
  4. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Domingo.mp3]    __________________________________________;
  5. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Segunda.mp3]  __________________________________________;
  6. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Quinta.mp3]    __________________________________________;
  7. [sc_embed_player fileurl=https://learn-portuguese.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Sábado.mp3]    __________________________________________;

 

Find the solutions to these exercises here.

 


I hope you liked this article. Have fun and enjoy your journey through Portuguese!

Beijinhos,

Mia

9 Comments to “Portuguese Days Of The Week”

  1. It sure was different thinking of each weekday a day before you would think of. I love Portuguese and was happy to live last year in Lisbon. My accent went from Brazilian to Portuguese as I learned to eat my words. Keep up the blog!

    1. Hey!
      Thank you so much for your comment! Yes, it is kind of interesting how the Portuguese language defines the weekdays =)
      Ah, nice that you lived in Lisbon. Did you like it?
      Please come back to my blog as I am constantly updating it and I will soon upload more materials.
      Kind Regards,
      Mia

  2. As a teacher, I appreciated all the different ways you included in your article to work on the days of the week. My favorite, by far, was how you included actual sound links so I was able to hear how they are supposed to sound. This helped me so much when I was practicing!

    Do you find that it is easier to learn protuguese if you are already fluent in one of the other romance languages? (For example Spanish?)

    Thank you so much for this great info!
    Jennie

    1. Hey Jennie!

      I am glad you found the audio files helpful =)

      Yes, I do think that knowing Spanish or another Romance language (Italian or French…Romanian is a bit less similar) could really help when learning Portuguese. The grammar and structure is quite similar, as well as the vocabulary. However, the pronunciation is quite different, so this could actually be more difficult to change if you have the Spanish accent, for example. You would need a lot of practice. 

      In general, however, I would say it is beneficial to know other languages already, also because your brain is already more prepared to learn another language.

      I hope this helped and answered your question!

      Please do come back if you want to check more articles and materials. I am constantly uploading new content 😉

      Thank you!

      Mia

  3. The names of the days of the week in Portuguese I understand follow the Abrahamic/Judeo-Christian tradition while the other Romance languages mostly follow the Greco-Roman tradition. Likewise the English names are of the Norse/Germanic tradition.

    1. Hi Otis!
      Thank you for your input, that is indeed very interesting!
      Beijinhos,
      Mia.

  4. Obrigado Mia! I know mostly Spanish but I have dabbled somewhat in Portuguese as I know it was originally joined with another Iberian language- Galician.

    1. Hello! 🙂
      Yes, you are right! The language spoken in the north of Portugal originally was galeacean-Portuguese, that then separated and gave origin to Galaecean and Portuguese! It was a very interesting language and many marks are still present in Northern Portuguese to this day (like the pronunciation of the /v/ as a /b/, for example!).
      Thank you again for your comment!
      Beijinhos,
      Mia.

  5. Hello again Senhora Mia! Aside from the languages, Iberian culture in antiquity has always fascinated me. The ancient ancestors of the Portuguese and Galicians were the Lusitani and Galleci, and they were Celtic peoples along with the Cantabrians in present-day Asturia. Together with the native Iberian tribes they were called Celtiberians. That’s why in both Spanish and Portuguese, there are many words of Celtic/pre-Celtic origin.

    When the whole of the Iberian peninsula was under Roman colonization, all of the Celtiberian people were Spanish/Hispanic (Hispania, not modern Spain). For a time, the Lusitani resisted the Roman empire, but was ultimately pacified and became Hispania Lusitania. Viriatus was the tribal leader of the Lusitani and he is a well known figure in Iberian history. The Spanish province of Valencia was named in honor of Roman victory over the Lusitani, from the Latin Valentia, “valor” or “courage.” In modern times, the classical name for Portuguese people are Lusitanic.

Leave a Reply to Otis Beck Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *