How to say 12 months in Chinese (II)
In this post, we’ll introduce you how to say July to December in Chinese. If you’d like to start with January, this post is what you’re looking for.
七 (Seven) + 月 (Moon) = 七月 [literally] (Seven Moons)
A quick review of the number 7: In Chinese, the character 七 means “7,” but this wasn’t always the case! 七 originally meant “to cut” in the oracle-bone, bronze, and seal scripts. The idea of cutting was conveyed through the character, which has a horizontal line symbolizing an object, and a vertical crossing line symbolizing the tool used to break the object into pieces. Later, the form changed to include 一 and ㄣ, and the character came to mean “7.”
When it comes to the 7th lunar month in the Chinese calendar (remember that July isn’t a lunar month), do you know it’s commonly known as the Ghost Month (鬼月; guǐ yuè)? What taboos have you known about the Ghost Month?
八 (Eight) + 月 (Moon) = 八月 [literally] (Eight Moons); (August)
The number 8 is super lucky in Chinese culture. The 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing began at 8 pm on August 8th, 2008. That’s 8 pm on 8/8/2008! You can read all about the massive event here: http://bit.ly/19KViMp
In the oracle-bone inscriptions, bronze inscriptions, and seal scripts, 八 depicted two people opposing each other. Many Chinese characters included 八 as a radical meaning “contrary,” “dispersion,” or “decomposition.” After it was borrowed to mean “eight,” the idea of dividing became associated with this character with a knife added beneath it: 分 (fēn). Now, 八 exclusively means “eight.”
九 (Nine) + 月 (Moon) = 九月 [literally] (Nine Moons; September)
十 (Ten) + 月 (Moon) = 十月 [literally] (Ten Moons); (October)
Here’s a little review for 十: The Chinese character for “ten” is really easy, it’s a cross: 十 (ten). In the oracle–bone inscriptions and the bronze scripts, “ten” was represented by a simple vertical line, or sometimes a vertical line with a dot in the middle, which referenced a very old way to indicate “ten” by making a knot in a rope. Later, in the seal scripts, the dot became the horizontal line we see in the modern character.
十 (Ten) + 一 (One) +月 (Moon) = 十一月 [literally](Eleven Moons); (November)
In Chinese, the number 11 is written (and spoken) as “ten one”. All we need to do is take the character for 10 (十), and add the character for 1 (一).
十 (Ten) + 二 (Two) +月 (Moon) = 十二月 [literally] (Twelve Moons);
Similar to the number eleven, in Chinese, twelve is a combination of 十 (ten) and 二 (two).
If you want to learn Chinese and pronounce like a native speaker, this Talk Chineasy episode is a must listen! What topic do you want to read on our blog? Share with us by hashtag #ChineasyBlog on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram
This blog article was from Chineasy. You can view the original article by Chineasy.