Translation:Is Sunday the first day of the week?
Sunday to Saturday is the original tradition, at least since the Ancient Greeks and probably tracing back to Babylonians, and has its root in astronomy (the celestial bodies in order of magnitude); it's still the official lithurgical week in Christiandom. However, since Christians sanctify Sunday instead of Saturday the original seventh day of rest of the Jewish tradition didn't match, so the order was shifted. That way the week-end including Sunday makes more sense ;-)
In Portuguese it's
Monday = Segunda-feira (something like 2nd fair or market)
Tuesday = Terça-feira (3rd fair)
And all the way to friday (6th fair)
In which the "feira" thing doesn't make much sense to me, but the first words cause the impression of Sunday being the "first day" if the week
Apparently, the order is not the "magnitude" (for example, Venus is the most prominent planet in our sky), but some weird arbitrary rule:
"The ordering of the weekday names are not that of the classical order of the planets (sorted by distance in the planetary spheres model, or, equivalently, by their apparent speed of movement in the night sky). Instead, the planetary hours systems resulted in succeeding days being named for planets that are three places apart in their traditional listing. This characteristic was apparently discussed in Plutarch in a treatise written in c. AD 100, which is reported to have addressed the question of Why are the days named after the planets reckoned in a different order from the actual order? (the text of Plutarch's treatise has been lost)."
If Saturday is the Sabbath, that would make it the seventh day, corresponding with the day God rested from his work of creation. Then that would make Sunday the first day, right? There are debates about when Jesus actually was crucified and rose from the dead, but I thought the early Christian church began meeting on Sunday and called it the Lord's day because of the resurrection.
Depends on your religious beliefs. It seems strange that in many countries where Roman Catholicism is prevalent, the first day on the calendar is Monday. According to tradition, Saturday (the sabbath) was the 7th day of the week for Judeo-Christian cultures. The only cultures I am aware of that name Saturday and Sunday according to this tradition are the ones with language based on Spanish or Portuguese. So sábado is Sabbath and domingo is the Lord's day, relating to dominus, nicht wahr?
You probably mean "based on Latin", or rather "Romance languages", which preserved the original planetary Latin names with the exception of Saturday and Sunday.
French is in the same case. "Samedi" and "dimanche" respectively originate from "dies Sambati" or "dies Sabbati" (day of the Sabbath, that replaced the earlier "Saturni dies", day of Saturn) and "Dominica dies" or "dies dominica" (day of the Lord, that replaced the earlier "dies Solis", day of the sun).
English is a Germanic language, and the names of the days of the week mostly originate from the indigenous deities back when Germanic peoples adapted the Roman system.
Reasons why the week starts on Sunday (despite what the ISO standard says):
- It historically always has.
- Sonntag is named after the sun, Montag after the moon, the rest are named after planets. Since when would the moon come first, then the planets, then the sun last?
- If the week starts on Montag, then Mittwoch ("middle-week") is the 3rd day of 7. That makes no sense. If the week starts on Sonntag then Mittwoch is where it should be, in the middle (4th of 7).
It makes it Genitive (of the week), a rough translation of dative would be "to the"
Example. Ich gebe den Brief der Mutter des Lehrers. Translation: I give the letter to the mother of the teacher.
As you see den Brief is akkusativ because is what I give (direct object), der Mutter is dativ because is who I give it to (indirect obj.) and des Lehrers is genitiv because it is his mother
While this whole discussion of which day is the "true" beginning of the week is basically absurd, Mittwoch actually refers to the middle of the work week, just as "Wochenende" ("weekend", by the way) refers to what is at the end of the (work) week. In my country, Wednesday is also derived from the word "middle", but Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday, are derived from numbers 2, 4, and 5.
Personally, I prefer my workdays and my weekends not to be split, so either Monday or Saturday would be fine for me. I use Monday because it is a universal standard. You could start your week with Thursday if you like, but there is no such thing as a "true" first day of the week".