As english speakers we need to understand that not everything is going to translate directly and same goes with the grammar rules.
but the guy above is still correct when he says the idea should be introduced or explained first. However having said that, all the people saying that it's weird and sounds stupid have to realize there is something similar in English... you can say in English as a question - "what day are we?" Its just that we dont usually use the full "we are in Monday" or "we are Monday" (dropping the "in") as a response, but if we were answering the question technically correct we should answer it that way. Normally an English person would just answer "Monday"... so its not that strange to see the French say this.
Actually, I think it is quite accurate. You can check this page as well (also a machine), the pronunciation is very similar. http://www.languageguide.org/french/vocabulary/time/ I've heard this pronunciation on French radios too. Any native speakers around to confirm this?
I don't know why. It's a rule in french, I can't explain you why we say that. Remember that, usually, for days, use "nous sommes", and for hours, "il est". Some examples: "Quel jour sommes-nous ?" -> "Nous sommes lundi." "Quelle heure est-il ?" -> "Il est 11 heures." To find out the date, we often use: "On est le combien aujourd'hui ?" -> "Le 20 janvier." It's less "elegant" than "Nous sommes le combien aujourd'hui ?", or than "Le combien sommes-nous aujourd'hui ?", but it's very common. You can also use the impersonal form "on est" for "It is Monday": "On est lundi"; and for the question: "On est quel jour ?". Again, it's less elegant, but it is a widely used turn of phrase (orally).
If you follow that method, shouldn't it be "Il est lundi?". Every french teacher I have worked with has always discussed the widely used phrase as "c'est lundi" to say it is Monday (or whatever other day it would be). I'm sorry but this isn't the first translation that has been incorrect or completely unused. Before this I had "Nous sommes lundi" which is "we are Monday"...that makes no sense at all
This gives you all the options for saying the same thing:<pre>
Quel jour est-ce ? Quel jour est-on ? Quel jour sommes-nous ?</pre>
To answer, simply uninvert one of the verb-subject pairs above and then say the day of the week. So "It's Saturday" can be said<pre>
C'est samedi. On est samedi. Nous sommes samedi.</pre>
To say "Today is Thursday," say Aujourd'hui, followed by any of the above phrases.<pre>
Aujourd'hui, c'est jeudi. Aujourd'hui, on est jeudi. Aujourd'hui, nous sommes jeudi.</pre>
Before you comment on how strange and unexpected this is, as if French were an especially crazy language, read the previous comments and maybe this: https://www.netjeff.com/humor/item.cgi?file=english.txt And think about the pronunciation of "The tough guy coughs as he ploughs the dough."
This website described it best for me. There is no direct translation as this is just a common phrase.