Micamo wrote:In English, we say things like "How are you?" and "What are you up to?"
But I recently came across that in Navajo, instead you say things like "Where are you going?" and "Why are you here?"
What kinds of greetings and conversation-starters are there in other cultures?
I'm not really interested so much in the linguistic form of the expressions, but rather in the differences of what is considered polite. Greeting someone in English with "Why are you here?" sounds very rude and unfriendly. I don't know if the English expressions sound unfriendly in Navajo as well.
I know I am a little late to the party but here I go anyway
In swedish a translation of the english What are you up to? Vad håller du på med
would sound quite rude, especialy (aaarrh! English spelling!) if you don't know the person from before. "How are you" would just sound wierd.
Besides the normal "hi" = "hej", "bye" = "hejdå" (or) "hej hej" there are a few funny ways to greet someone:
Vad är du för en? What kind of [something] are you?
Used if you don't know some one's name or who you are
Vad händer? What happens?
Kinda the same as "What's up?"
Tjena(re) Well hallo there
This one is interesting since it comes from the Swedish word for servent, "tjänare". No idea why
Hur är det? How is it?
Kinda the same as "how are you?"