Before you learn how to ask and say when your birthday is, you need to learn how to say the dates.
月, がつ, is a kanji that represents ‘month’. Refer to the kanji section for other meaning and readings. Saying the months of the year is extremely simple in Japanese.
Number + 月 = Month of the Year
Following the above formula, January, which is the 1st month of the year is 一月（いちがつ）.
Dates work similarly in writing.
日,にち, is used to mean day. Therefore, the first day of the month is written as 一日, second, 二日, third, 三月 and so on. Then, 二十四日 represents the 24th day of the month.
However, these combination of kanji are not read the same way and require you to memorise a rule. Use the following hints to help you remember!
Numbers beyond 10th
From 11th to 31st of the month, you use the normal number system with 日（にち）.
Number + にち
In other words, 11th is 十一日（じゅういちにち）, 25th, 二十五日（にじゅうごにち）.
20th, 二十日, はつか.
Except for 14th and 24th of each month, which are read as 十四日（じゅうよっか）and 二十四日（にじゅうよっか）respectively.
Practice saying all the dates of the month. Sing along to the song below.
Days of the week
When is your birthday?
お is used as an honorific device to refer to another person’s birthday politely. DO NOT use this for your own.
We now know how to say the month of the year, a date and days of the week.
In order to say for someone’s birthday, use the following structure:
おたんじょう日 (1) は いつ (2) です か。or
おたんじょう日 (1) は 何月何日 (2) です か。
(2) Interrogative/Question word
- オーストラリアデーは いつですか。
- きょうは 何月何日ですか。
When responding, you do not need to mention たんじょう日 or the relevant topic again. Just state:
Month and Date + です。
In Japanese, you provide the largest unit before the smaller ones.
I.E. Year, Month, Date
- Make your own mnemonics for dates from 1st to the 10th of each month.
- Use the interactive calendar to revise the months, dates and days of the week.
- Alternatively, use the interactive calendar.
- Go to http://web-japan.org/kidsweb/explore/calendar/april.html
Using the Kids Web Japan site, find out when these events occur throughout the Japanese calendar and answer the questions below. Write your answers in Japanese.
a) From what month does the Japanese schools start?
b) When do you go ‘flower watching’?
c) When is the ‘Golden Week’?
d) Write down the date of the Children’s Day.
e) In which month are the school excursions and picnics held?
f) During which months is the ‘flooding season’?
g) What is on 七月七日?
h) When is summer holidays?
i) When is the anniversary of the end of WWII