Tswana: Theme 3 - Numbers, days, months, seasons

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Days of the week

The days of the week changed their original Setswana names because of the Western influence of the missionaries.  They brought along with them working days, i.e. Labobedi (the second working day - Tuesday), Laboraro(the third working day), Labone (the fourth working day), Labotlhano (the fifth working day).   Sunday became known as the day of going to church when the iron (tshipi) bell rings, thus Latshipi.

Months in Setswana

Traditionally, the Batswana named the different times of the seasons in relation with the various activities within those seasons.  July is Phukwi,  so called because new green leaves appear after winter. The month of August is Phatwe which indicates the winds that blow leaving the tree broken open. Phalane is the name for October.  This word has the meaning of ‘ young implala’ because it is when they are born.