lundi 25 mai 2015

What to say in French when someone sneezes !

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What do the French say when someone sneezes ?

In France, people respond to sneezing by saying often "à tes souhaits" to people they use "tu" with and "à vos souhaits" to people they use "vous" with. And the person who sneezed replies "merci".

Another common response is "à tes amours" but you cannot say "à vos amours" to someone you use vous with because it's informal. And the person who does the sneezing replies "que les tiennes durent toujours" which means "may yours last forever".

Some people say "à tes souhaits" (to your wishes) after the first sneeze, "à tes amours" (to your loves) after the second sneeze, and "qu'elles durent toujours" (may they (loves) last forever) after the third. Young people in France, add a fourth one if the person continues by saying "crever" or "va crever"which means "die" or the popular Adam Osimole's expression "go and die".
(In November 2013, a widow roadside hawker begged the Governor of Edo State to release her goods that were siezed because she sold by the roadside. Despite pleas from the woman that she be pardoned, the governor kicked the siezed goods and scornfully told her “go and die”!)

Wishing someone well after they sneeze is said to have started a thousands of years ago, it was believed that when one sneezes, it is because a divine spirit is passing by and one has to say his wishes before he left.

A very long time ago, the French used to say "Santé" which is said to have originated from the Romans who used to say "Jupiter preserve you" or "Salve," which meant "good health to you". The French christains at this period used to say "Dieu te/vous bénisse"which must have been gotten from the translation of what we say in English "God bless you" or "bless you".

The phrase "God bless you" is said to have started with Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic.

The Yoruba's say "pele" which means "sorry" and the response is "ese/ose" which means "thank you". In Igbo, the response to sneezing is "ndo" which aslo means "Sorry" and the person who sneezes replies "daalu" which means "thank you."

This is why several people from the south west region of Nigeria say "sorry" when someone sneezes. But if you say this to the English or the Americans, they'll be surprised and say "but it's not yor fault", because you are meant to say sorry "when you are responsible" for something.

The Italians say "salute" which means "health" and the reply is "grazie" meaning "thank you".

In Spanish, they say "salud", "Jesús", or "Dios te bendiga" meaning "health", "Jesus", or "God bless you", or "Health". Some say "salud" (health) after the first sneeze, "dinero" (money) after the second, and "amor"(love) after the third. And the reply is "gracias"meaning "thank you".

In Portuguese, it is "saúde" or "Deus te crie" or "Santinho" meaning "health" or "God brings you up" or "little Saint". The person who sneezed replies "obrigado" (masculin for thank you) or "obrigada" (feminine for thank you) or "amen" ".

In German, they say "gesundheit" (Health) and the reply is "danke (schön)" meaning "thank you (very much)".



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