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Answer to a sneeze


eric l
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When somenone sneezes, the standard answer in English is "bless you" (even for atheists). In German, the answer is "Gesundheit" (health).

I would like to know the answer in other languages too, if possible with something like a phonetical transcription. Hypography is a multi-language comunity after all, even if a previous question after the different translations for "traffic lights" in the thread "Idioms" remained unanswered. (http://hypography.com/forums/linguistics/9457-idioms.html)

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Russian

"будьте здоровы" formal (m&f), "будь здоров" informal m. or "будь здоров" informal f. - be healthy

sometimes further expanded to

"будь здоров, не кашлей" - be healthy, don't cough

other variations would not surprise me either

 

 

French

"À vos souhaits" in the formal sense, or "à tes souhaits" for someone you know well, you can also use "à tes amours" usually to multiple sneezes, you may respond with "que les tiennes durent toujours"

 

and forgive me if i am wrong (my french is rusty and needs to be polished)

à vos souhaits - with your wishes (formal)

à tes amours - with your love

 

once again excuse if my translation is bad, i will fix it if i'm wrong

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and forgive me if i am wrong (my french is rusty and needs to be polished)

à vos souhaits - with your wishes (formal)

à tes amours - with your love

 

once again excuse if my translation is bad, i will fix it if i'm wrong

 

It's actually "to your wishes" (instead of with...) and "à vos souhaits" probably started as an onomatopeia. (The informal "à tes amours" (which I never heard myself in this context) must come from people who are unaware of this onomatopeia.) I did hear "à tes amours" as a kind of informal toast - and apparantly in many languages this informal toast is also used as answer to a sneeze.

 

BTW, how does one spell a sneeze in a text or dialogue in all these languages ? In Dutch : "atchie" (sounds like atchee, in French mostly "atchoum".

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Afrikaans: "Gesondheid", meaning "health".

 

Obviously from the germanic root "Gesundheit", but pronounced differently.

The "Ge" is pronounced like the "ch" in the Scottish "Och aye!", and the "o" is pronounced like the "a" in the English "ball". And lastly, the "heid" is pronounced like the English "hate".

 

So, yes. That's what you say over here when someone has a good sneeze.

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Here we say "salute" (sah-loo-teh), much like the Spanish, and I've heard people say "salut" in French too.

 

The ever jocular Persians say "khers terekeed" (I can't get the unicode straight). It means "The bear exploded." and the sneezer answers that tomorrow we'll celebrate.

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BTW, how does one spell a sneeze in a text or dialogue in all these languages ? In Dutch : "atchie" (sounds like atchee, in French mostly "atchoum".

 

In America, we spell it "achoo".

 

I'm curious to how this custom even started.

Perhaps this formalism dates back to the Black Plague or something? Is this Euro-centric in origin, or do other cultures mimic this tradition?

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since a sneeze is considered a potential terrorist attack

lol, and making what isn't considered a terrorist activity?

fart, sneeze, eek, squeak, blowing the nose, thud, grunt, squack, quack, burp, chirp, hiss, whiz, zip, clank, shud, bang, beep, click, tick, thump, roar, woo, boo, smack, wack, screech, zap, bong, ding, creek ... you know, i am yet to think of one that could not be considered the noise of terrorist activity....

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