Hello Chineasian! 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); (December)
Similar to the number eleven, in Chinese, twelve is a combination of 十 (ten) and 二 (two).
If you want to 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!