Arabic names of calendar months

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The Arabic names of calendar months of the Gregorian calendar are usually phonetic Arabic pronunciations of the corresponding month names used in European languages. An exception is the Assyrian calendar used in Iraq and the Levant, which is inherited from Classical Arabic that correspond to roughly the same time of year.[1]

The Gregorian calendar is and has been used in nearly all the countries of the Arab world, in many places long before European occupation of some of them[citation needed]. All Arab states use the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes. The names of the Gregorian months as used in Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen are widely regarded as standard across the Arab world[citation needed], although the Syro-Mesopotamian names are often used alongside them[citation needed]. In other Arab countries some modification or actual changes in naming or pronunciation of months were observed. The names of the Gregorian calendar months in the different countries of the Arab world were as follows:

Levant and Mesopotamia[edit]

These names from Classical Arabic are used primarily in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan. Nine of these names were used in the Ottoman Rumi calendar, of which five remain in use in modern Turkish. These months are derived from the Syriac Aramaic names of the Assyrian calendar. These month names are cognate with some of the month names of the Babylonian and Hebrew calendars.

No. Month Arabic name Transliteration
1 January كَانُون ٱلثَّانِي Kānūn ath-Thānī
2 February شُبَاط Shubāṭ
3 March آذَار Ādhār
4 April نَيْسَان Naysān
5 May أَيَّار Ayyār
6 June حَزِيرَان Ḥazīrān
7 July تَمُّوز Tammūz
8 August آب Āb
9 September أَيْلُول Aylūl
10 October تِشْرِين ٱلْأَوَّل Tishrīn al-Awwal
11 November تِشْرِين ٱلثَّانِي Tishrīn ath-Thānī
12 December كَانُون ٱلْأَوَّل Kānūn al-Awwal

Egypt, Sudan, Persian Gulf countries[edit]

The names of the Gregorian months in Egypt, Sudan and the Persian Gulf states are based on the English names of the months, reflecting Britain's long colonisation of these countries.

No. Month Arabic name Transliteration Egyptian pronunciation
1 January يناير Yanāyir [jæ'næːjeɾ]
2 February فبراير Fibrāyir [febˈɾɑːjeɾ]
3 March مارس Mārs [ˈmæːɾes]
4 April أبريل / إبريل Abrīl / Ibrīl [ʔɪbˈɾiːl, ʔæb-]
5 May مايو Māyū [ˈmæːju]
6 June يونيو / يونية Yūnyū / Yūnya [ˈjonjæ, -jo]
7 July يوليو / يولية Yūlyū / Yūlya [ˈjoljæ, -ju]
8 August أغسطس Aghusṭus [ʔɑˈɣostˤos, ʔoˈ-]
9 September سبتمبر Sibtambar [sebˈtæmbeɾ, -ˈtem-, -ˈtɑm-]
10 October أكتوبر Uktūbar [okˈtoːbɑɾ, ek-, ɑk-]
11 November نوفمبر Nūfambar [noˈvæmbeɾ, -ˈvem-, -ˈfæm-,
-ˈfem-, -ˈvɑm-, -ˈfɑm-]
12 December ديسمبر Dīsambar [deˈsæmbeɾ, -ˈsem-, -ˈsɑm-]

Libya (1969–2011)[edit]

The names of months used in the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya were derived from various sources, and were assembled after Muammar al-Gaddafi's seizure of power in 1969 and abolished in 2011 after the 17 February Revolution. The decision of changing calendar names was adopted in June 1986.[2] Although the Libyan calendar followed the same sequence of the (renamed) Gregorian months, it counted the years from the death of the prophet Muhammad.[3] This reckoning was therefore ten years behind the Solar Hijri calendar used in Afghanistan and Persia.

No. Month Arabic name Transliteration Meaning[4]
1 January أي النار Ayy an-Nār that of the fires
2 February النوار an-Nuwwār the mornings
3 March الربيع ar-Rabī‘ the spring/fall
al-Mirrij was also used[5]
4 April الطير aṭ-Ṭayr the bird
5 May الماء al-Mā’ the water
6 June الصيف aṣ-Ṣayf the summer
7 July ناصر Nāṣir from Gamal Abd el-Nasser
8 August هانيبال Hānībāl from Hannibal
9 September الفاتح al-Fātiḥ the lightened
10 October التمور / الثمور at-Tumūr / ath-Thumūr the dates
11 November الحرث al-Ḥarth the tillage
12 December الكانون al-Kānūn the canon

Algeria and Tunisia[edit]

The names of the Gregorian months in Algeria and Tunisia are based on the French names of the months, reflecting France's long colonisation of these countries (1830–1962 in Algeria; 1881–1956 in Tunisia). The original French names are therefore listed below.

No. Month Arabic name Transliteration French name
1 January جانفي Jānvī Janvier
2 February فيفري Fīvrī Février
3 March مارس Mārs / Māris Mars
4 April أفريل Avrīl Avril
5 May ماي Māy Mai
6 June جوان Juwān Juin
7 July جويلية Juwīliyya Juillet
8 August أوت Ūt Août
9 September سبتمبر Sibtambir Septembre
10 October أكتوبر Uktūbir Octobre
11 November نوفمبر Nūvambir Novembre
12 December ديسمبر Dīsambir Décembre

Morocco[edit]

As Morocco was long part of the Roman Empire, the long-standing agricultural Berber calendar of the country preserves the Julian calendar and (in modified form) the names of its months. There are regional variations of the Berber calendar, since some communities did not recognise the Julian 29 February in century years where the Gregorian calendar had no equivalent date. When Morocco adopted the Gregorian calendar for civil purposes, the names of the months were taken from this local tradition.

No. Month Arabic name Transliteration
1 January يناير Yannāyir
2 February فبراير Fibrāyir
3 March مارس Mārs
4 April أبريل Ibrīl
5 May ماي Māy
6 June يونيو Yūniyū
7 July يوليوز Yūliyūz
8 August غشت Ghusht
9 September شتنبر Shutanbir
10 October أكتوبر Uktūbir
11 November نونبر Nuwanbir
12 December دجنبر Dujanbir

References[edit]

  1. ^ The months of the Gregorian (Christian) calendar in various languages: Arabic
  2. ^ "Libya Changes Names Of Months On Calendar - Sun Sentinel". Articles.sun-sentinel.com. Agence France-Presse. 1986-06-23. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  3. ^ "ACM: Months". Library.princeton.edu. Archived from the original on 20 June 2010. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  4. ^ "Libyan Arab Jamahiriya - الموقع غير الرسمى للقنصلية الليبية بالاسكندرية". Sites.google.com. Retrieved 2013-03-25. 
  5. ^ "Tratamiento del árabe". Conf-dts1.unog.ch. Retrieved 2013-03-25.