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Ian_Lee

Days of the Week

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Ian_Lee

Does anybody feel strange why there is difference in the naming of the days of the week among the Chinese, Korean and Japanese languages?

Their translations should be roughly in the same time -- late 19th century.

Korean and Japanese followed more closely with the German (English has deviated somewhat) by following the solar system.

So Monday is the day of the Moon, .........Saturday is the day of the Saturn.

The latter the day of the week, the farther planet from the earth.

But in Chinese, except Sunday, the other days are just named the first,...sixth day of the "star term".

In Cantonese, sometimes it is also called the "Day of the Prayer" -- Sunday. And then day 1 of Prayer (Monday) and so forth.

Why exists such difference?

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smithsgj

Also why are there three terms (libai, xingqi, zhou)? Libai and xingqi seem to be completely interchangeable, a rare example of 100% synonymy. Zhou is more formal, is that right?

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skylee

Thanks for raising this topic, Ian. Very intersting indeed. But I have no answers.

Smith, I'd say that is right.

Monday = 星期一 = 禮拜一 = 周一

Sunday = 星期日 = 禮拜日 = 周日

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pazu

Ian, for sure the Japanese/Korean imported the 曜日 concepts from China, ;P

When I was in the A-level I was required to read a book called "中國古化文化知識趣談", or something like this,,, the name is just too long to remember.

And the book said in ancient China people also used the same system of "曜日", but later abolish it because it's less convenient to remember than yi er san.

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roddy

If I remember my textbook correctly, libai has religious implications - something about kneeling / worshipping? and was therefore discouraged. I hear it quite commonly now, though xingqi is still more common. You do hear zhou in speech, but as you say it is more formal / written.

Roddy

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skylee

I have done a search and found this webpage, which seems to be quite interesting. The second last item is relevant to this discussion. It is a pity that many characters in that article can't be displayed properly on my PC.

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