Dates, Days and Months
It's difficult to understand other languages. Even the most rudimentary things like days and dates turn into a morass if you don't understand the language. It's even worse if calendars changed! We hope to offer a little help here.
The following days of the weeks and months of the year may help you translate tombstones or documentary material:
THE DAYS OF THE WEEK ENGLISH GERMAN CZECH NORWEGIAN WELSH *(Dydd/Nos) FRENCH Sunday Sonntag Nedele Sondag Dydd Sul/No Sul dimanche Monday Montag Pondeli Mandag Llun Lundi Tuesday Dienstag Utery Tirsday Mawrth/Fawrth mardi Wednesday Mittwoch Streda Onsdag Mercher/Fercher mercredi Thursday Donnerstag Stvertek Torsday Iau jeudi Friday Freitag Patek Fredag Gwener/Wener vendredi Saturday Samstag Sobota Lordag Sadwrn samedi
* Welsh does not use Sun-day as in English. Sunday would be Dydd Sul. Sunday night (Sun-night) would be Nos Sul. One also has to watch for mutations in night references to Tues-night, Wednes-night, and Fri-night which become Nos Fawrth (instead of Mawrth), Nos Fercher (instead of Mercher), and Nos Wener (instead of Gwener).
THE MONTHS OF THE YEAR ENGLISH GERMAN CZECH NORWEGIAN WELSH FRENCH January Januar Leden Januar Ionawr janvier February Februar Unor Februar Chefror fevrier March Maerz Mars Mars Mawrth mars April April Duben April Ebrill avril May Mai Keten Mai Mai mai June Juni Cerven Juni Mehefin juin July Juli Cervenec Juli Gorffennaf juillet August August Serpen August Awst aout September September Zari September Medi septembre October Oktober Rijen Oktober Hydref octobre November November Listopod November Tachwedd novembre December Dezember Prosinec Desember Rhagfyr decembre
NOTE: Notice the obvious influence of Latin, the "language of the church," on the days of the week and month, as in March, for the god of war, Mars.
THOUGHTS ABOUT CALENDARS
In the ecclesiastical calendar, December was the tenth month, hence the names September (Sept=7), October (Octo=8), etc. The "Old Style" calendar was in effect in the British Empire before 1752, when the present calendar was adopted. The historical calendar recognized January 1 as the first day of the year, while the ecclesiastical calendar recognized March 25 as the first day. Thus, dates between those two days were often written with both year numbers (e.g., January 5, 1712/13). Also, the old calendar was defective by 11 days, so when the switch was made to the new calendar on September 2, 1752, dates were often made compatible with it by adding 11 days. Folks went to bed September 2 and woke up the next day on September 13; there were many protests against the thought of losing 11 whole days out of one's life!
Example: Under the double-dating system, George Washington was born February 11, 1731/32 ("Old Style" or "O.S."). Adjusting this to the new calendar made it February 22, 1732 ("New Style" or "N.S."). Next time somebody bemoans the fact that we aren't really celebrating George Washington's birthday when we get a holiday on the nearest Monday to February 22, tell 'em when George was actually born: the 11th day of the 12th month of 1731, not the 22nd day of the 2nd month of 1732!
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