How To Write Date In Chinese? Express Date In Mandarin Chinese


How To Write Date In Chinese

Writing dates in Chinese might seem tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s quite logical. How to write date in Chinese?

You start with the year, then the month, and finally the day. For example, “2024年1月15日” is how you’d write January 15, 2024. The characters 年 (nián), 月 (yuè), and 日 (rì) stand for year, month, and day, respectively.

In this post, we explore the details on how to write dates in Chinese. Learning this format is a great step into learning Mandarin Chinese and brings you closer to understanding an essential part of Chinese culture.

Is There A Chinese Calendar?

Yes, there’s a Chinese calendar, and it’s quite unique. The traditional Chinese calendar, based on lunar phases and solar terms, still holds cultural significance, especially for festivals and auspicious dates.

How To Write Date In Chinese

However, in the daily lives of Chinese people, the Gregorian calendar is commonly used for most activities. So let’s focus on that.

When talking about dates in Mandarin Chinese, you’ll notice it’s quite systematic. The year comes first, followed by the month, and finally the day.

For example, January 1, 2024, would be written as 2024年1月1日 in Chinese characters. Here:

  • 年 (nián) means “year,”
  • 月 (yuè) means “month,” and
  • 日 (rì) or 号 (hào) for “day.”

In spoken Chinese, you might hear “jīntiān jǐ hào” which means “what’s the date today?”

If you’re learning Chinese, mastering dates is a great start. Numbers in Chinese are quite straightforward. For the digits of the year, 2024 would be expressed as 二零二四.

The months are simply the number of the month plus 月. For days, you just add the number of the day.

Chinese people often use Arabic numerals in informal contexts, just like in English. So, you might also see dates written in part with Arabic numerals, like 2024年1月1日.

This mix makes it easier for Chinese learners and is commonly seen in everyday life.

What Are The Days Of The Week In Mandarin Chinese?

In Mandarin Chinese, days of the week are quite logical. They start with 星期 (xīngqī), meaning “week.” The days are numbered from 1 to 7, starting with Monday. So:

  • Monday is 星期一 (xīngqī yī), where 一 (yī) is the number “one” in Chinese.
  • Tuesday as 星期二 (xīngqī èr), where 二 (èr) is the number “two” in Chinese
  • Wednesday as 星期三 (xīngqī sān), where 三 (sān) is the number “three” in Chinese
  • Thursday as 星期四 (xīngqī sì), where 四 (sì) is the number “four” in Chinese
  • Friday as 星期五 (xīngqī wǔ), where 五 (wǔ) is the number “five” in Chinese
  • Saturday as 星期六 (xīngqī lìu), where 六 (lìu) is the number “six” in Chinese

This pattern breaks on Sundays, when it is called 星期日 (xīngqī rì) or 星期天 (xīngqī tiān).

If you’re learning Chinese, this system makes it easy to remember the days. There’s no need to learn different names; just the numbers from 1 to 7 and the word for week. You’ll get the hang of it quickly.

What Are The Months In Chinese?

In Mandarin Chinese, months are as straightforward as counting to twelve. Each month is named by its number in the year, starting with 一月 (yī yuè) for January. That’s “one month” when you break it down.

February follows as 二月 (èr yuè), and this pattern continues up to 十二月 (shí’èr yuè) for December, which means “twelve month.”

  • January as 一月 (yī yuè), where 一 (yī) is the number “one” in Chinese.
  • February as 二月 (èr yuè), where 二 (èr) is the number “two” in Chinese
  • March as 三月 (sān yuè), where 三 (sān) is the number “three” in Chinese
  • April as 四月 (sì yuè), where 四 (sì) is the number “four” in Chinese
  • May as 五月 (wǔ yuè), where 五 (wǔ) is the number “five” in Chinese
  • June as 六月 (liù yuè), where 六 (lìu) is the number “six” in Chinese
  • July as 七月 (qī yuè), where 七 (qī) is the number “seven” in Chinese.
  • August as 八月 (bā yuè), where 八 (bā) is the number “eight” in Chinese
  • September as 九月 (jiǔ yuè), where 九 (jiǔ) is the number “nine” in Chinese
  • October as 十月 (shí yuè), where 十 (shí) is the number “ten” in Chinese
  • November as 十一月 (shí yī yuè), where 十一 (shí yī) is the number “eleven” in Chinese
  • December as 十二月 (shí èr yuè), where 十二 (shí èr) is the number “twelve” in Chinese

You’ll find this system makes it easy to learn and remember the months in Chinese. There’s no need to memorize different names.

Just know your numbers from one to twelve, and add 月 (yuè), which means “month.” This simplicity is part of why learning dates in Chinese can be quite accessible for beginners.

For anyone diving into Mandarin, this logical pattern is a welcome feature. It reflects the practical and systematic nature of the Chinese language. Once you’ve got this down, you’re well on your way to mastering the Chinese calendar.

What Are The Years In Chinese?

Years in Chinese are fascinating, especially when you start learning how to express them. Each year is made up of four digits, just like in English.

How To Write Date In Chinese

But in Mandarin, each digit is pronounced individually. Take 2024, for instance. In Chinese, it’s 二零二四年 (èr líng èr sì nián). Here, 年 (nián) means “year.”

If you’re diving into Chinese learning, this might seem daunting at first. But don’t worry, it’s more straightforward than it appears.

Each number from 0 to 9 has a unique character and pronunciation in Mandarin. Once you know these, you can say any year.

For example, 1999 would be 一九九九年 (yī jiǔ jiǔ jiǔ nián). This system makes years easy to express once you’ve got the hang of the numbers.

It’s a great example of the logical structure found throughout the Chinese language, making it an interesting aspect for those keen on Chinese learning.

How To Write Date In Chinese?

How that you have learned how to express year, month and day in Chinese, now its time to string everything together into a date. 

You start with the year, then add the month, and finally, the day. Let’s dive into how you can master this.

Say you want to write January 15, 2024:

  • Start with the year: 2024 becomes 二零二四年 (èr líng èr sì nián).
  • Add in the month January, which is 一月 (yī yuè), meaning “first month.”
  • Then, for the day, 15 is 十五日 (shí wǔ rì).

Put it all together, and you get 二零二四年一月十五日. (Year 2024, January, 15th day)

You might notice Chinese characters like 年 for “year,” 月 for “month,” and 日 for “day” are key. They’re like signposts in your date. Once you learn the numbers, you can put any date together.

Many Chinese learners find flashcards helpful for remembering the characters for numbers. You can do this yourself.

If you’re just starting, it’s okay to use Arabic numerals for the day or month in informal settings, like 2024年1月15日. It’s very common and perfectly understood.

Understanding this structure is not just about learning Chinese; it’s a peek into Chinese culture. Dates are part of invitations, festivals, and everyday life.

By learning to express dates, you’re not just mastering numbers; you’re getting closer to the heart of Mandarin. So, give it a try. You’ve got this!

Write The Date In Chinese – Easy Peasy

Mastering how to write dates in Chinese opens a window into Mandarin and its rich cultural context. Remember, it starts with the year, followed by the month, and ends with the day.

Practice with examples, use flashcards for those tricky characters, and soon, you’ll be writing dates like a pro. Embrace the challenge, and you’ll find it’s not just about numbers but connecting with a language that’s several thousands of years old. 

Dr. Nigel Ong

Dr. Nigel Ong has a Ph.D in Applied Linguistics. He started this website to share his interest and passion in languages, and language learning. He speaks four languages.

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