After the days of the week in Russian, I decided to write this post about the name of the months in Russian and, since they are quite simple, I thought of throwing in the name of the seasons in Russian as well.
Months in Russian are no rocket science: they all sound pretty similar to English. Of course you have to learn their pronunciation, memorize it and, above all, remember the right prepositions and cases.
To spice things up, I’ll compare the contemporary name of the months in Russian with the traditional Slavic ones and give you some grammar tips.
Also, I added the name of the four seasons in Russian. Because, why not?! there are only four of them! 🙂
At the end of this post, you’ll find the PDF recap of the name of the months in Russian available for download.
Full speed ahead!
The name of the months in Russian
“Month” in Russian is “месяц.”
The names of the months in contemporary Russian (месяцы) sound very similar to English because both derive from Latin and have arrived to what we now call Russia in the 12th century in ecclesiastical texts written in Greek.
Before that, the Russian had other, traditional Slavic names for the months. They are no longer used in Russian nowadays, but they remained in many other Slavic languages such as Polish and Ukrainian.
Which version is better?
For learners, the contemporary names of the months in Russian are much easier to remember.
However, the traditional ones are more evocative because bring us back to nature and peasant life.
|ENGLISH||CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN||TRADITIONAL RUSSIAN||MEANING OF THE TRADITIONAL RUSSIAN NAME|
|January||Январь||Сечень||The month in which the peasants секут (harvest) the forest for wood.|
|February||Февраль||Лютый||The month of cold лютый (harsh) cold.|
|March||Март||Березень||When берёзы (birches) sprout.|
|April||Апрель||Цветень||When цветут цветы (flowers bloom).|
|April||Май||Травень||The month in which трава (grass) grows.|
|June||Июнь||Червень||The month in which червовые (in Old Russian “red”, now “красные” – see colors in Russian) berries grow.|
|July||Июль||Липень||When липа (lime tree) blooms.|
|August||Август||Серпень||The month in which peasants harvest with the серп (sickle).|
|September||Сентябрь||Вересень||When вереск (heather) blooms.|
|October||Октябрь||Жовтень||When the leaves become жёлтые (yellow).|
|November||Ноябрь||Листопад||The month in which листья падают (leaves fall).|
|December||Декабрь||Снежень||The month in which the снег (snow) falls.|
Again, the traditional names are no longer used, only few know them!
Also remember that in Russian months are not capitalized. And please don’t forget to write an “и” in front of June and July: июнь and not юнь, июль and not юль!
The prepositions for months in Russian
As we know, Russian prepositions can be a real pain in the ass. However, when it comes to months in Russian there’s nothing to be really worried about.
Unlike the days of the week that require using the preposition “в” + accusative, for the months we should always use “в” + the month in the prepositive case.
В каком месяце у тебя день рождения? (What month are you born in?)
В августе поеду на море! (In August I’m going to the sea)
В мае в Москве очень жарко. (It is hot in May in Moscow)
Seasons in Russian
Closely related to the previous topic are the seasons in Russian.
Unfortunately, their names don’t look anything like the English ones, but there’s only four of them. I’m sure you’ll memorize them!
First, the word “season” in Russian is “время года” (time of year) and in the plural is “времена года.”
There are several theories on the origin of the names of seasons in Russian, here I chose to write down the simplest one to help you remember them.
|ENGLISH||RUSSIAN||ORIGIN OF THE NAME|
|Spring||Весна||Within this word is “сон” (sleep). Spring is the season when nature awakens, comes out of sleep mode!|
|Summer||Лето||It looks like the verb “летать” (to fly). Summer is the season when birds fly in the sky.|
|Autumn||Осень||Also within this word is “сон” (sleep). Autumn is the season when nature goes to sleep.|
|Winter||Зима||It comes from the Indo-European word 'ĝheima' which translates as 'cold period'.|
Unlike days and months, seasons in Russian don’t take a preposition and are used in the instrumental case:
Летом Анна отдыхает на море. (In the summer Anna goes to the sea)
Зимой я люблю кататься на лыжах. (In winter I love to ski)
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