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Like in English we could type the days of the week as "Sun, Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Fri, Sat."

Does Japanese have shortenings for weekdays? Like:

日,月, 火, 水, 木, 金, 土

Instead of:

日曜日, 月曜日, 火曜日, 水曜日, 木曜日, 金曜日, 土曜日

Or:

にち, げつ, か, すい, もく,きん, ど

Instead of:

にちようび, げつようび, かようび, すいようび, もくようび, きんようび, どようび

Or do the short versions not make sense?

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Yes. You can address any day of the week by its first kanji, and you can refer to it in short using the respective onyomi. For example, you can say 月{げつ}水{すい}金{きん}はお休みです。 In fact you often hear the weekend referred to as (きん)どにち. You can also go half way and abbreviate it just to ◯曜, as in 日曜.

Outside of spoken language you see the kanji used to represent days of the week all the time, so you might see on a poster something like 8月5日(月). Other abbreviations that you might see that are related to the day of the week are 休 (when somewhere is closed), 祝 (for holidays), 平 (for weekdays), and probably some others.

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  • I've never heard きんどにち for the weekends; just どにち. I don't know if Japanese people really consider Friday evening part of the weekend like Americans do, especially since many of them have work/school part time on Sat.
    – istrasci
    Aug 5 '13 at 15:20
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    I have definitely heard きんどにち on numerous occasions, though I guess it might not be universal. I'll edit it. It may very well just be a context thing about whether the thing in question explicitly includes Friday or if it's just a general reference to the weekend.
    – ssb
    Aug 5 '13 at 15:22
  • Friday is definitely considered different from other weekdays. See 花金{はなきん}
    – jmac
    Aug 6 '13 at 2:50

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