May 18, 2008

Thoughts on the similiarities betwixt languages including Japanese

Take for example the days of the week. First off in almost every single language in the world there is a day denoted as the Sun’s day or the day of the Sun, and a moon day, or day of the moon. the words for the days of the week in Japanese, we are liable to pass it off as mere coincidence, the similarities are striking. The following table shows the words for days of the week in Japanese and in English.

Kasei are made of two kanji, ka and sei, or fire and star. Kasei translates as fire day. In English our equivalent of fire’s day is Tuesday, named after the Tiu the god of war and the sky. But before the Germanic peoples renamed the second day of the week Tuesday, the Romans had a system of naming the days of the week after their god and had called it dies martis ‘day of mars’, after the war god (source of French Mardi ‘Tuesday’). (Ayto, 544)

The kanji for Saturday being read do or basically the term for dirt or dirt’s day but is also the root of the Japanese word for Saturn, which is Dosei.

As for the third day of the week, some languages call it the 3rd day or day 3 (Vietnamese). In Japanese this day is denoted as Suiyobi or day of the water, water’s day. The Germanic peoples called this day woden’s day or day of Odin after one of their mightiest gods. It seems that Wednesday got all screwed up being filtrated through the evolution of languages. It makes sense because Wednesday is in the middle of the week and if there are going to be corruptions from the pure form from whence the original words came from then the word for the middle of the week makes sense. In Japanese the word for mercury is kasei which would find its relations to our Tuesday. The Japanese Suisei is the planet Mercury.

Now Thursday was named after the god Thor (where our English thunder comes from) but in the Roman system of naming the days of the week the fourth day was names dies jovis or day of Jupiter. In Japanese the fourth day is denoted Moku sei or day of the tree which is from the same root as that for their word for Jupiter, and that word being Mokusei.

Now Friday is denoted as Kinsei or day of gold in Japanese which is the same root for the word for planet kinsei which is Venus. The Germanic peoples called it after Odin’s wife Frigg (Ayto, 241) ‘Frigg’s day’ was a direct adaptation of Latin Veneris dies “Venus’s day’ (whence French vendredi ‘Friday’)

Brett McCluskey, Basic Author


Japanetics is Language learning to the max