Miscellaneous items #004
Which is the first day of the week?
What are the days of the week?
Well of course … Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Or …. nedjelja, ponedjeljak, utorak, srijeda, četvrtak, petak, subota.
[It took me a while to realise that Croatians do not capitalise the first letter of the days. Funny buggers!]
Anyway, I have always thought that Sunday is the first day of each week – no doubt influenced by the fact that when I was young, every calendar had Sunday on the left side of each week in the month as you see in this calendar with a photo of beautiful Perth.
In recent times, more and more calendars (including electronic ones) have Monday as the first day of each week.
“What rubbish!” I say. (Who is a creature of habit!?)
“Just some Americanism!” Although I was happy about the fact that each of us can make our own choices about this not-very-important issue.
But hang on! Not if you are Croatian! Croatians have no choice for the days of the week other than ponedjeljak (kao prvi dan), utorak, srijeda, četvrtak, petak, subota, and nedjelja.
Why so? Well, Mateja recently read me some text (testing my aural skills, which are so poor!) that included a teacher-student conversation about the names of the days of the week, and their origins. And then it dawned on me (The last person on Earth, again!) ……
If day 1 is nedjelja, it doesn’t make sense that the fourth day of the week is četvrtak (četvrti dan), and the fifth day is petak (peti dan)!
The names of these days only make sense if day 1 is ponedjeljak. Well I'll be ....!
I digress ..... Can anyone tell me where this is?
And, the notion that subota and nedjelja are the weekend also fits in with ponedjeljak as the first day of the week, doesn’t it?
Wow, another example of how language influences us in so many ways, big and small ..
But then again ……… the name subota is derived from the word Sabbath – a day of rest and the seventh day of the week according to the bible - as practised (I think) by people of Jewish faith. So Sunday is day 1?
But Christians regard Sunday as the day of rest. I give up!
Addendum, much later: Wow! I realise that there is a Croatian verb djelovati (to act, or to do/make something). So the name nedjelja is consistent with the notion of a day that do not work. Interesting!
I am gradually coming to see that black is actually (not very) darkish grey, and white is (not very) lightish grey.
Napisao sam ovaj post u utorak – drugi (ili treći?) dan tjedna.
You can browse or search this website in the following ways:
AHA! Learning Croatian with Bob