There is no capitalization in Japanese. Months are basically numbers (1 through 12) + gatsu, which means, literally, “month” in English. So, to say the months of the year, you generally say the number of the month, followed by gatsu. But, there are exceptions: Pay attention to April, July, and September. April is shi-gatsu, not yon-gatsu, July is shichi-gatsu, not nana-gatsu, and September is ku-gatsu, not kyuu-gatsu.
The audio files in the lists below provide verbal guides on how to pronounce the months, days, and seasons in Japanese. Click the link for each Japanese word, phrase or sentence to hear the correct pronunciation.
The Months in Japanese
For this list of months, the English name of the month is printed on the left, followed by the romaji, or transliteration into English letters of the Japanese word for the month, followed by the name of the month written with Japanese letters. To hear the pronunciation of the month in Japanese, click the link for the transliteration of the month, underlined in blue.
The Days of the Week in Japanese
As with the section above, detailing how to pronounce the months, in this section, you can learn how to say the days of the week in Japanese. The name of the day is printed in English on the left, followed by the transliteration in Japanese, followed by the day written with Japanese letters. To hear how a specific day is pronounced in Japanese, click the link for the transliteration, which is underlined in blue.
It’s important to know key phrases if you plan to visit Japan. The question below is written in English, followed by the transliteration in Japanese, followed by the question written in Japanese letters.
What day is it today?
The Four Seasons in Japanese
In any language, it’s helpful to know the names of the seasons of the year. As in the previous sections, the names of the seasons, as well as the words, “four seasons,” are printed on the left, followed by the transliteration in Japanese, followed by the names of the seasons written in Japanese letters. To hear the pronunciation of a particular season in Japanese, click the link words for the transliteration, which are underlined in blue.
It’s interesting to note that kisetsu means “season” or “the season” in Japanese, as noted in this sentence. For example, to ask: Which season do you like best? You would say:
- Dono kisetsu ga ichiban suki desu ka. > どの季節が一番好きですか。
Yet, “four seasons” has its own word in Japanese,shiki, as noted above. This is just one of the many ways in which Japanese differs from English—but it provides a fascinating look at how these Western and Eastern cultures even describe something as basic as the four seasons differently.