Urdu: days of the week

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by panjabigator, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I'd like to know more about the colloquial variants for the days of the week in Urdu. For example, how often to people say <somvaar> for <piir> or <shanivaar> (or even <shanichar>/<shanicharvaar>) for <hafta>? Are these variants falling into disuse with passing generations?
     
  2. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I remember these from my schooldays! Some friends did use them esp. sanichar (i.e. without the ‘h’ after the ‘s’) for 'haftah'. Rarely, did I hear ‘somvaar’ etc.
     
  3. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Where did you grow up, if you don't mind me asking. Lucknow or Karachi? If Lucknow, I wouldn't be that surprised if you heard them, but I would be intrigued if it were Karachi.

    I have a Pakistani friend (from Bihar via Karachi) who uses Somvar and Sanichar exclusively. I would be shocked if I heard anythin but <juma'raat> and <juma'> for <guruvaar> and <shukravaar>, though.
     
  4. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    No, I don't mind! Bit of both! Then the M.E. and later London!! But it was in Karachi too that I heard these. Mostly from Gujaratis etc. But there are also plenty of UPites there as well, including numerous Luckhnavi families. I think now you perhaps won't.
     
  5. Illuminatus Senior Member

    Mumbai, India
    India, Hindi, English, Marathi
    In India, we mostly use the English forms in normal communication. Otherwise, the Hindi forms:
    Somwaar, Mangalwaar, Budhwaar, Guruwaar (also Brihaspatiwaar, rarely used in spoken Hindi), Shukrawaar, Shaniwaar, Raviwaar (also Itwaar)
     
  6. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    Here is what I commonly hear and also say, context is Pakistani Urdu speakers of variety of ethno-linguistic backgrounds:

    Juma
    Hafta
    Itvaar
    Peer
    Mangal
    Budh
    Jumeraat

    Saying the Hindi equivalents would sound "marked." Many people also use the English words.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  7. BP. Senior Member

    Karachi
    Urdu
    The only two I've heard are saneechar and soamvaar. That too from an elderly lady who had lived in Kanpur.
     
  8. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Icfatima, the list you present is also something we used in Luckhnow, so it is not Pakistani Urdu specific. In our home we used these no matter where I was growing up…and of course still use them. Additionally, we and some Luckhnavi friends also use their Farsi equivalents, e.g. Sunday = shambah /..mbeh; Monday = Doshambah / …mbeh etc. There is even a third way, also from Farsi, e.g ‘shab-e-doshambah , shab-e-juma etc. But the ones in your list are the ones we normally use.
     
  9. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    Okay. I realize it is not Pakistani Urdu specific. I was just reporting what I observed in the speech community around me, and defining the speakers based on PG's query.

    I have never actually heard these Farsi words. Interesting.
     
  10. BP. Senior Member

    Karachi
    Urdu
    Icf, these are more widely understood and are really easy to remember: add numbers before shumba eg {do, chahaar...}shamba. Several languages follow this pattern apart from Urdu/Farsi eg Mandarin: xingqi{yi, er, san...} and some others I can't recall.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  11. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    Precisely! All you need to remember is that Sunday = yakshambah (I forgot the 'yak' above! 'Shambah' is Saturday but we never used it) and that Friday is still 'juma' and Saturday is still 'haftah'. The rest is as BP says. Also, for the use of shab-e-XX, it is, as the 'shab' shows, the evening before. So shab-e-juma' is Thursday evening.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2008
  12. Cilquiestsuens Senior Member

    French
    Just two notes to this interesting thread : somvaar, I've heard it a lot from Punjabi Urdu speakers... It is also a Punjabi influence... Punjabi has retained the word vaar meaning day of the week : ajj kih vaar ai ??

    Second note : if you think about it, Urdu has one of the most 'messed up' days of the week system in the world. In all other major languages, two systems are used, planets and numbers... Urdu uses neither one or a little bit of both (mangal, budh = planets, and hafta = 7)....

    I wonder where the name of monday (piir, meaning old in Persian) comes from ????
     
  13. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    Faylasoof, could you list all of these Persian versions you mention?
     
  14. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    What are the most common words used for the days of the week in Urdu and Hindi?

    I quote this from Illuminatus for Hindi:
    and this from lcfatima for Urdu:
    Could someone confirm on them? especially the Urdu ones, since they were written by a non-native speaker? Also, what word is used for "week"? and do Indians understand all of the Urdu words quoted above?
    I am asking this because there are many different words in the dictionary including the Persian ones. I just want to know the most common and official ones in Urdu, that's it.
     
  15. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Starting from Sunday۔۔۔
    اِتوار
    (سوموار (پیر
    منگل
    بدھ
    جمعرات
    جمعہ
    (ہفتہ (سنیچر

    For "week" it is always "ہفتہ".
     
  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    It seems "som-vaar" is known in Kanpur as BP SaaHb's old lady confirms. It is also shown in Farhang-i-Asifiyyah and Nurul Lughaat.

    I would say more a depiction of "diversity" than "being messed up".

    som, mangal, budh..sanii (shani)...Sanskrit

    jum3ah..Arabic

    raat...KhaRii-Bolii

    piir/haftah ...Persian
     
  17. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Qureshpor SaaHib has already confirmed so nothing is left for me but to reconfirm it. However in fact we don't need to confirm or reconfirm and the notion of a native speaker versus a non-native one is false and you should take it for granted that if there is no correction to some particular post in subsequent ones in a thread, the information is kosher. Frankly, I know some non-natives who are light years ahead of the natives in Urdu (and this is also the case here with Icfatima SaaHibah).

    BTW, we use piir for Monday but don't frown upon somwaar. It is not a Punjabi thing.

    Depends which languages they can speak! There are more Urdu speakers in India than in Pakistan (at least those who define themselves as native speakers).

    Here my old post from another sub-forum with more information:
    http://forum.wordreference.com/showthread.php?t=273216&page=7&p=12653368#post12653368
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  18. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    Just one question: what words would be used for the days of the week in a conversation between an Urdu speaker and a Hindi speaker?

    I want you to come up with the most common words which are used and understood by all Urdu-Hindi speakers. Only seven words, mind you.

    I do not want to memorize more than a dozen of words for the days of the week because that is just unnecessary and a waste of the brain's space.
     
  19. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^ Stranger_ SaaHib, it's a simple question but I am afraid I can't give a single answer to it. It all depends on those two persons and their exposure to each other's languages; moreover it's very likely they would use the English nouns.

    Whenever I have a conversation with a Hindi speaker and use the names of the days, I try to use the Hindi ones because I noticed some confusion when I use the Urdu ones, but not every Urdu speaker knows Hindi.

    At the other hand, Hindi speaking friends of mine do use jum3ah - it's probably very familiar to them. When I use "mangal, budh" they usually reply with "mangalvaar, budhvaar" when e.g. confirming an appointment but tend to understand the former, however not always as far as my memory can reach.
     
  20. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    Ahan, I see how it works now.

    Just one last question: what words are usually used in Bollywood movies for the days of the week? I think the words used there are the most common ones, don't you agree?
     
  21. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    ^ I only seldom happen to watch something from Bollywood these days so I can't help you further.
     
  22. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib used "somwaar" when signing his letters.
     
  23. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Shaniichar and Saniichar are also used for Saturday in Hindi.
     
  24. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    That is tough to simply remember. Vocabulary can also vary from one movie to another. Generally, I think probably the Hindi and English words, plus the Urdu jumah and jumeraat sometimes.

    If you communicate a lot with both Hindi and Urdu speakers your best option is to study both sets of words. If you're not interested in that then you should be fine with just the English words. Even those with limited English abilities are often familiar with the days of the week.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  25. eskandar

    eskandar Moderator

    English (US)
    Not to discourage you from your goal of just memorizing the most useful words, but perhaps it may surprise you to learn that 'space' in the brain does not work the same way as physical space in a drawer. When too many things are put in a drawer, it becomes cluttered and eventually filled. However, the more the brain learns, the more space there is, not less. In that sense the brain is comparable to a muscle: when you exercise a muscle (such as by lifting weights) you temporarily deplete your strength, but as you continue it over time, you actually create more and more strength rather than using it all up. Similarly, when you memorize words it may temporarily clutter your mind, but over time the more you learn and memorize, the more capacity you have for additional learning and memory. :)
     
  26. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    :thumbsup:
     
  27. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    gol goftee eskandar jaan. This might be due to a mental laziness on my part but, still, this is ridiculously frustrating to me as it puts me in crazy situations where I have to say two or three words for only one day in order to get my message across.

    I wish that were the case mudiya jii, but I encounter a lot of people who know only Hindi-Urdu and who are not to blame because they come from poor families and work menial jobs, so their cruel destiny has not really allowed them to get a decent education and life. Many of them are not even native speakers but they learn it very fast since that is what they need to go through life here. As you are probably aware, Urdu is the third language in UAE and it is the only means used by Indians, Bengalis, Pakistanis and some Nepalis to communicate with each other.

    Anyway, I think I will have to learn all of those words as there does not seem to be any other option. I should be grateful that this is not the case for numbers, otherwise I would have to memorize more than one hundred words!

    marrish Saahib, what about Indian and Pakistani media? what are the usual words used there?

    Thanks to all of you guys.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  28. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Yes, it is a bad and sad situation.

    Do you mean Urdu and Hindi? Otherwise if Urdu is the language they use then you have your answer about what to learn. Also Bengali isn't a nationality (you are probably thinking of Bangladeshi).
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  29. littlepond Senior Member

    Hindi
    "peer" would be unfamiliar to most Indians; I learnt this word just now in the sense of this thread. We use "haftaa" only for week, not for a particular day, so that is again the unfamiliar one. "jumaa"/"jummaa" are commonly understood, esp. because of many Bollywood songs having the word in them (and also because every city in India has a "Juma masjid").
     
  30. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Please be mindful that the nationality is "Pakistani" and the term you have used is considered derogatory in some parts of the world.
     
  31. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    Although the question is addressed to marrish saahab, I assume you won't mind if I provide an answer for Hindi. The ones used in the media are pretty much the ones listed by Illuminatus jii, which I will repeat here (starting with Monday):

    Somwaar, Mangalwaar, Budhwaar, Guruwaar, Shukrawaar, Shaniwaar, Raviwaar/Itwaar
     
  32. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Is it called "Juma masjid" or "Jaami'a masjid" (jaami3ah)?
     
  33. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    Well, Urdu is semi-official as it can be found on many signages in public places. I cannot tell if the spoken language is Urdu or Hindi as I still do not know the real difference between them, assuming there is a difference. It might be a mixture because both Indian and Pakistani communities are populous.
     
  34. Stranger_

    Stranger_ Senior Member

    UAE
    Persian (Iran)
    Noted, thanks.
     
  35. littlepond Senior Member

    Hindi
    I was using the usual spelling as used in English. As regards pronunciation, the most common pronunciation is "jaamaa masjid" in Hindi.
     
  36. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Thanks. So, it is not "Friday Mosque". This is what I was hinting at.
     
  37. littlepond Senior Member

    Hindi
    ^ But it is! For many people, including Muslims. Refer to Wikipedia: "Although the word "Jama" means assembly or congregation, it has been conflated with the word for Friday, the primary day of worship in Islam, and hence, originally incorrectly, but still sometimes these are called Friday Mosques ... "
     
  38. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    In Urdu media the Urdu names are used, those have been already given a couple of times:
    piir/somwaar (Mon), mangal (Tue) budh (Wed) jum3eraat (Thu) jum3ah (Fri) haftah/saniichar (Sat) itwaar (Sun)

    QP: Thanks. So, it is not "Friday Mosque". This is what I was hinting at.
    Let's not create more confusion than there already is :)... littlepond jii, please be so courteous as to pass on this one for one time. The usual spelling in English is Jama Masjid and not Juma Masjid and it corresponds with the pronunciation so there's no point in arguing especially that this thread is about days of the week and Friday in Urdu is not jama but jum3ah as you rightly said in the beginning!
    That main mosques are sometimes called "Friday Mosques" doesn't have anything to do with Urdu and its word for Friday whatsoever.
     
  39. gagun Senior Member

    TS,india
    Telugu-TS, Deccani-TS
    i use charshamba(instead of budh)
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014
  40. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    marrish saahab, I've never heard somwaar or saniichar on Urdu news. I don't hear saniichar on Hindi news either, which is why I didn't list it for Hindi. From the comments of Faylasoof saahab, Cilq saahab, and BP saahab it is apparent that these two words are rare or uncommon in Urdu except in Punjabi influenced usage. It is quite telling that BP saahab only knows one native Urdu speaker, out of the thousands he has probably met in his lifetime, that uses these two words.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2014
  41. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Saniichar is not used by Punjabi speakers while speaking Punjabi but while speaking Urdu it would depend on the speaker's preference whether to use haftah or saniichar.

    ​For the rest, we'll wait for marrish SaaHib's response.
     
  42. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    As you are no doubt aware Quresh saahab, vocabulary from one's native speech (Punjabi) can affect the choice of vocabulary used while speaking another language (Urdu).

     
  43. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Indeed mund jii. lekin har ek aadamii ek jaisaa nahiiN hotaa. ho saktaa hai kih ek mauqah par maiN somvaar isti3maal karuuN aur duusrii jagah par piir kaa lafz isti3maal kar luuN. kahiiN maiN haftah kah luuN aur kahiiN mauqah-maHal dekh kar saniichar ko apnaa luuN.
     
  44. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I might have an answer to your question, Cilquiestsuens SaaHib.

    In Urdu poetry, we find falak-i-piir and charx-i-piir, where piir means old, or in this context the ever-present firmament.

    A couple of examples.

    haaN ai falak-i-piir javaaN thaa abhii 3aarif
    kyaa teraa bigaRtaa jo nah martaa ko'ii din aur

    Ghalib


    mashvarah kyaa kiije charx-i-piir se
    din nahiiN phirte kisii tadbiir se

    Momin Khan Momin

    piir-i-falak construction is also used, where piir is used as a noun (The old man of the sky). Apparently, this term is used for Saturn. So, my supposition is that "piir" is the shortened form for "piir-i-falak" and has come to be used for Monday.
     
  45. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    QP SaaHib, laakh laakh shukriyah! I would never know it! It was a question I believe has been discussed in other threads as well but not only that, I have been asking this question to myself repeatedly. A big question answered... Thanks again.
     
  46. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Mundiya: marrish saahab, I've never heard somwaar or saniichar on Urdu news. I don't hear saniichar on Hindi news either, which is why I didn't list it for Hindi. From the comments of Faylasoof saahab, Cilq saahab, and BP saahab it is apparent that these two words are rare or uncommon in Urdu except in Punjabi influenced usage. It is quite telling that BP saahab only knows one native Urdu speaker, out of the thousands he has probably met in his lifetime, that uses these two words.
    Qureshpor: Saniichar is not used by Punjabi speakers while speaking Punjabi but while speaking Urdu it would depend on the speaker's preference whether to use haftah or saniichar.

    ​For the rest, we'll wait for marrish SaaHib's response.

    Now the awaited marrish' response:

    I will talk about Urdu. Yes, saniichar is rare but somwaar is not so. I use piir but sometimes go for somwaar. F, C and B SaaHib didn't mention Punjabi infulence in their posts and I can only agree with them on this point. If BP SaaHib knows thousands of Urdu speakers it matters not because it is not likely that many of them were talking about Saturday or Monday (please correct me BP SaaHib). On the other hand I myself used to make appointments as a matter of my job then and I found that saniichar does exist albeit it's less in usage according to my experience. I heard saniichar on Urdu news and read it too in newspapers. BBC Urdu which is for a large part based in Pakistan uses it always. haftah is much more common that's why I gave it in the first place. somwaar has been used by Ghalib as I said before and apart from it it is commonly used by native Urdu speakers, *together* with piir (and manDe). This is the nature of this Urdu zabaan that it has plenty of synonymseven in the weekdays. Cf. gagun SaaHib's chaarshambah for Thursday.

    haftah
    for Saturday has a sense of ambiguity so in situation when it's better to avoid it I use saniichar or hafte kaa roz.

     
  47. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    We need not dwell on it but ...

     
  48. mundiya Senior Member

    Hindi, English, Punjabi
    It would be interesting to find out why the word for Saturn was applied to Monday in Urdu. Uncertainty about the use of planet names for days is a possibility.
     
  49. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Right, mundiya jii, we need not dwell on it. After all, this thread has a banner "Urdu" and Hindi has been also introduced, let it be so. You are right, that post by C. SaaHib has escaped my eye but as I said and also others (F, QP) if I remember well, it is used in Urdu. No matter if it's Punjabi influence or not. Mirza Ghalib used it and I can't figure out what I should add to this. Perhaps that there are other languages besides Punjabi in the area...

    About planets: I don't know. Why not? Monday is from the Moon I think in English?

    BTW. We forgot to mention some names which are found in Urdu lexicons but are not used. sanibaar rabibaar etc.
     
  50. marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    اج کہڑا دن اے ਅੱਜ ਕਿਹੜਾ ਦਿੰਨ ੲੇ ajj ke'_Raa dinn e is also Punjabi, without vaar.
     

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