22

Both Duden Universalwörterbuch and Wahrig Deutsches Wörterbuch contain the word "montäglich", meaning "happening regularly on Mondays".

But my German professor says he has never heard of this word. He would simply use the word "Montags".

Is "montäglich" just a rare alternative for "Montags"? What about "mittwöchlich"? It is accepted by Wahrig but not Duden.

  • 11
    montäglich is by far now my new favourite word :p – gented Nov 16 at 15:17
  • 1
    To express the regularity, you could also say "findet an mehreren Montagen statt" oder "findet jeden Montag statt". – Bergi Nov 16 at 21:30
  • 5
    @gented Naaah... my favorite word is clearly sonntäglich. So many nice activities come to mind which can be combined with sonntäglich -- after ausschlafen a brunch, followed by a Frühschoppen, a Spaziergang, then Kaffee und Kuchen, topping it off with a Braten -- the Sonntagsbraten. None of these combine as well with Monday: On any given Monday there is either no time or no money for it ;-). – Peter - Reinstate Monica Nov 18 at 13:37
  • 2
    The interesting part of this word is that it is extremely rarely used, but I strongly assume that any native german speaker would understand its meaning immediately (even if they never have heard that word before). – orithena Nov 18 at 16:14
  • Tl;dr It is used, but not commonly and mostly in texts, not speech. – marsze Nov 19 at 9:39
47

Since montags is an adverb and montäglich an adjective, they cannot simply be alternatives for each other. In fact, montäglich is only rarely used adverbially.

Die Rufe nach „Widerstand“ […] hallen seit nunmehr fast einem Jahr montäglich durch die Straßen der Dresdner Altstadt. (1)

Most of the time, is used attributively.

Ob in der S-Bahn, an der Kasse des neuen Supermarktes oder beim montäglichen Friedensgebet in der Nikolaikirche, überall ist diese Frage derzeit zu hören. (2)

Und das betrifft nicht nur den Prüfauftrag für die Streichung der montäglichen Briefzustellung. (3)

Interestingly, and in opposition to the dictionary definition, montäglich is used to refer to a single monday in the following article (this might also be the case for 7 below).

Trotz Kälte und früher Uhrzeit lohnt sich das Aufstehen: Der montägliche "Super-Blutmond" bietet nämlich die letzte Chance für fast zehn Jahre, hierzulande eine totale Verfinsterung des Mondes zur Gänze zu sehen. (4)

As far as Wednesday is concerned, I'd say that words such as mittwöchlich or mittwöchentlich are Gelegenheitsbildungen (eng. nonce words; 5, 6): words that are created occasionally but have not entered common use. The fact that there are two competing forms seems to support this. Two examples:

Die Choreographie hat Sabine Berner beim mittwöchentlichen Training auf den Titel „Trollinger on the Rockz“ einstudiert, der 2014 beim ersten Trollinger Song Contest Platz zwei belegte. (7)

Allein der mittwöchliche Pendelverkehr von der Stettener Festhalle und vom Weiher zum Marktplatz wird wohl für drei Monate kostenlos sein […] (8)

  • 6
    Good analysis and research, including the exceptions (adverbial use and use for a single Monday). – Peter - Reinstate Monica Nov 16 at 12:51
  • Very good indeed. One might add that most Germans will understand these created words (be it any of the two variants for mittwoch given in the last paragraphs) – Pierre Arlaud Nov 18 at 10:42
  • 1
    montäglich is used to refer to a single monday yes, but imo this is wrong. – TaW Nov 18 at 11:44
  • 3
    Also, I agree with TaW: the third example's author is using "montägliche" erroneously. It needs to be "Der am Montag sichtbare" or whatever. But "montägliche" would mean that there's a blood moon each Monday. – sixtyfive Nov 18 at 12:52
  • 1
    The second-to-last-example (7; "beim mittwöchentlichen Training") seems to be a differently motivated neologism. It could be literally translated as "always occurring in the middle of the week". I quite like that word, too! – sixtyfive Nov 18 at 12:54
17

Montäglich is indeed a very rare alternative for montags, and most people would say

Die Veranstaltung findet montags statt

and not

Die Veranstaltung findet montäglich statt.

There is however a construction where you could not use the more common word.
If you say

Unser montägliches Treffen findet diese Woche eine Stunde früher statt

the alternatives would be either

Unser Montags-Treffen findet diese Woche eine Stunde früher statt

if you have more than one meeting each week,
or

Unser wöchentliches Treffen findet diese Woche eine Stunde früher statt

if there is only one weekly meeting.

In this case I would slightly prefer the version with montäglich.

  • 2
    absolutely right. I clicked here because I understand the word without recalling I ever heard it. But "unser montägliches Treffen..." would sound normal to me. – Thorsten Staerk Nov 16 at 15:48
  • 2
    "Die Veranstaltung findet montags statt" bedeutet für mich nicht, dass sie regelmäßig montags stattfindet, im Ggs. zu "montäglich". – user unknown Nov 16 at 21:29
  • Wer "montags" korrekt verwendet, meint allerdings sehr wohl "jeden Montag". – rvf Nov 18 at 8:19
  • 1
    I think "montägliche Veranstaltung" is used where "montagsne Veranstaltung" would sound too wrong. – glglgl Nov 18 at 9:53
  • Montäglich nutze ich nicht, aber der "sonntäglichen Spaziergang zur Kirche" ist bei uns zuhause gebräuchlich. – Iris Nov 18 at 16:40
5

For real data of German word usage there is the Wortschatz portal at Leipzig University. The query for montäglich gives as of today an indication of its frequency (class 22, which translates to "extremely rare" according to the FAQ) and some usage samples.

EDIT: The Wortschatz portal discriminates by word form, so montägliche is counted as a different word (frequency class 20). The word form mittwöchlich is not found in the corpus, mittwöchliche has frequency class 23.

  • 2
    It is a pity they only count word forms and not lexemes. The most frequent ending seems to be -en, giving montäglichen a frequency class of 18. The form sonntäglichen has frequency class 15, probably because of the obvious shift in meaning (from every Sunday to characteristic for a Sunday). However rare these words may be, their morphological transparency ensures that they are understood (which is what distinguishes them from a form such as eskamotiert, frequency class 22). – David Vogt Nov 18 at 12:13
  • 2
    I feel a little bit offended that eskamotiert has the same frequency class as montäglich. – kap Nov 18 at 13:24
  • 2
    @kap So we should discuss this word until it goes away? – Klaws Nov 18 at 15:30
  • Wenn die Schüler weiterhin jeden Freitag für die Zukunft demonstrieren, wird sich hierfür das Adjektiv "freitäglich" gelegentlich zeigen. Obwohl "Freitags-Demo" sicher der normale Ausdruck bleiben wird. Ich denke das war ein Grund für die Hervorhebung des "montäglich" über z.B. "dienstäglich". Sonntag war hier im christlichen D A CH immer ein besonderer Tag, daher zeigt sich das auch im nicht ganz so seltenen "sonntäglich". – datafiddler Nov 23 at 9:08

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.