Have you just started learning German, and you’re eager to improve your vocabulary? Then learning the days of the week in German might be a perfect step in your journey right now as you begin to familiarize yourself with the language.
Die Wochentage (woh-hen-tahke) - the German word for days of the week - are very EASY to learn. The reason is twofold.
1. First of all, die Wochentage are very similar to the English days of the week.
2. And the second reason is repetition.
Apart from one exception, every day of the week ends in the suffix -tag and as you might have already guessed, Tag means day in English.
Knowing the days of the week is a great way to prepare for a trip to a German-speaking country (e.g. Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg). It doesn’t matter if you plan to go sightseeing or you’re traveling for business purposes.
Knowing a bit of German makes it easier to manage everyday activities and makes it easier to form friendships with Germans. Just like anywhere else, locals appreciate it if a visitor (even when visiting on a short-term trip) puts in the effort to learn their language.
Are you worried about difficulties when it comes to German pronunciation? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered! The phonetic spelling will explain how to pronounce the words. Moreover, we’ve also added the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) behind each of the German days of the week. As you might have already noticed, German words are written in cursive while the phonetic spelling is underlined.
Need a little extra? We’ve also added some helpful links to YouTube videos explaining this subject. They use music to teach the Wochentage (plural) and guarantee that you will have a lot of fun while learning. You can also learn the days with your kids – the songs especially will be entertaining for them.
We hope you enjoy this little lesson!
Days of the week in German and pronunciation
Learning how to pronounce German words can be tricky, but we have good news: the days of the week are generally straightforward. In the table you can see below, we have added the phonetic spelling and the IPA for every day of the week. The phonetic spelling is intended to be pronounced like you would pronounce the letters when reading English.
The IPA takes a bit more effort as you will have to learn the alphabet and symbols first. The amazing advantage of the IPA is its accuracy. Once you have mastered it, you can pronounce all words with absolute precision and confidence. The IPA is also used for other languages, so learning it can be worthwhile and rewarding if you are a polyglot, or want to become a polyglot.
Make sure to compare your days of the week German pronunciation with the one you will find in the videos below. You can also practice with your friends or family members to give each other feedback and hints on what areas of your days of the week German pronunciation should be improved.
Keep in mind that Saturday can also be translated as Sonnabend (zon-ah-bend - ˈzɔnˌʔaːbn̩t)
FAQs for learning the days of the week in German
There are quite a few common questions learners usually ask when coming in contact with the days of the week in German for the first time. In this chapter, we have tried to answer them and hope to make things a little bit clearer for you.
What do the days of the week have in common with Germanic gods?
Even though most Germans are probably not even aware of it, some of the Wochentage indeed refer to gods.
- Montag means the day of the moon and refers to the German moon goddess Luna.
- Dienstag refers to the god Zio.
- Mittwoch refers to the middle of the week (Mitte means middle).
- Donnerstag refers to the German god Donnar.
- Freitag refers to the Germanic goddess Frigg (Freya).
- Samstag refers to the Latin word sabbatum (rest).
- Sonntag refers to the sun god Helios.
Do days of the week get capitalized in German?
Yes, always remember to capitalize them. Wochentage are nouns, and all nouns are capitalized in German. This also applies to months and seasons.
Be careful here. Germans also use the days of the week as adverbs - a good example of that would be: Ich spiele montags immer Fußball (I always play football on Monday).
How do you abbreviate days of the week in German?
To keep this article easy to read, we have created a little table to help you correctly abbreviate the German days of the week.
|Day of the week||Abbreviation|
|Mittwoch||Mi. oder Mittw.|
How do you write dates in German?
Germans use the DD/MM/YYYY format. Sometimes we also spell out the months. In that case, we would write it like this: 14. Oktober 2020 (just an example). That’s all you need to know. It’s very easy to write dates in German.
What about the articles?
Every day of the week uses the article der. Unlike other vocabulary die Wochentage make it very easy for us! It’s der Montag, der Dienstag and so on.
What else do I need to keep in mind about the days of the week in German?
You should be aware of a few tricky phrases that can be quite important in everyday conversations. Some of the most important ones are:
- Germans often use unter der Woche which means "during the working days" (Monday to Friday).
- The term Werktag is also important, it means working day.
- Wochenende means weekend.
- In all German-speaking countries, Monday marks the beginning of the week.
Songs that will help you learn the days of the week in German
YouTube is an excellent place for learning languages online. There are countless videos for every possible language imaginable and the days of the week German pronunciation is no exception to that. Some people find learning with audio files and videos particularly easy. Maybe you are one of them, that’s why we have collected some of the best YouTube videos for learning the German days of the week.
One of the best songs to learn how to say the days of the week in German is the children's song Das Wochentagelied. It offers a fun cartoon style video as well as lyrics on screen. It also gives you a great example of how to use the days of the week in everyday situations.
Wochentage lernen für Kleinkinder
Was the Wochentagelied a little too fast for you? Then we have the perfect alternative, the Wochentage lernen für Kleinkinder. What makes this song so good is its slow pace. It aims at helping German kids learn the days of the week but also serves foreign learners.
How to use the days of the week in sentences
Learning how to say the Wochentage only helps if you can also use this vocabulary in everyday German conversation. The following examples show you some of the most often used phrases that you should have heard at least once.
Freitag ab eins macht jeder seins.
Everyone does his/her own thing after 1 pm on Friday. (humorous)
Das Wochenende ist am Samstag und Sonntag.
The weekend is on Saturday and Sunday.
Ich arbeite nur an den Werktagen, von Montag bis Freitag.
I only work on the working days from Monday to Friday.
Unter der Woche habe ich keine Freizeit.
During the workdays, I have no free time.
Der Montag ist der schlimmste Tag der Woche.
Monday is the worst day of the week.
Am Freitag freue ich mich aufs Wochenende.
On Friday I am looking forward to the weekend.
Am Sonntag lese ich gerne oder gehe spazieren.
On Sunday I like to read or go for a walk.
An Werktagen muss ich früh aufstehen.
During the working days I have to get up early
There’s no time like the present to improve your German vocabulary
The days of the week in German are fun to learn, and there are lots of valuable resources to help you learn them.
Moreover, it shouldn’t take you more than around 30-40 minutes to finish memorizing these words and learning the spelling as well as the pronunciation - and to really get it to stick in your brain, practice makes perfect!
When learning how to say the days of the week in German, it’s also important to hear for yourself how fluent German speakers pronounce the days of the week. Remember to check out the fun videos we have included in this article.
Once you’re done learning how to say the days of the week in German, keep using your new German vocabulary as often as you can so you can get the confidence to be able to communicate about days, dates and times fluently. And then – you’ll have a fantastic reason (not that you really need one!) to plan a holiday to a beautiful German-speaking country!