Greetings

Discussions regarding actual culture and history of Earth.
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Micamo
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Greetings

Post by Micamo » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 16:10

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.
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Ear of the Sphinx
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Re: Greetings

Post by Ear of the Sphinx » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 17:06

Polish has funny greeting terms.

Jak leci? - lit. How's it flying?

Co tam? - lit. What there?
Co u ciebie? - lit. What at you?
Co słychać? - What is heard? (There you have also special passive infinitive-like form słychać + ACC - one hears sth; sth is heard.)
(The last three can be combined: Co tam u ciebie słychać? - lit. What's heard there at you?)
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Greetings

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 17:52

Micamo wrote:In English, we say things like "How are you?" and "What are you up to?"
Also, "What do you know?"
And, "How's your hammer hanging?" (answer: "Heavy, man. Real heavy.")

Micamo wrote:But I recently came across that in Navajo, instead you say things like "Where are you going?" and "Why are you here?"
So the Klingon "What do you want?" is not too far-fetched?!?!

Micamo wrote:What kinds of greetings and conversation-starters are there in other cultures?
I understand some Oceanic cultures' greeting is pretty much just a statement that people have noticed one another's locations. If a group of men walking to town happen to see a group of men working in the field one of the men might shout to the women "We are walking to town and the women are working in the field!".

I've read of a culture where the typical greeting is "I see you, (name)".

What about "How are your guts?" (answer: "They function smoothly, thank you.")

What about "Good morning! And how did you lie? And how arise? And how fare?"
Answer: "Well; and well; and well" (if you've had breakfast; if not, maybe something like "well; and well; and I'm about to find out" or something.)
(I read that in a story about Rome around the beginning of the Middle Ages.)

With my daughter, "What are you going to do today?" in the morning, "What did you do today?" at night.
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Testyal
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Re: Greetings

Post by Testyal » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 18:30

Как дела? = How's things? (Russian)

Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
:deu: :fra: :zho: :epo:
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eldin raigmore
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Re: Greetings

Post by eldin raigmore » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 18:46

testyal1 wrote:Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
Thought it meant "Damn!".
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Re: Greetings

Post by cybrxkhan » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 18:49

For Vietnamese, the one I can think off the top of my head translates to something like "Are you healthy?" which is pretty much the same as "Are you well?" in English (although the "healthy" in this case has connotations of having good energy/strength rather than just being healthy).
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Hakaku
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Re: Greetings

Post by Hakaku » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 20:13

Japanese resembles Vietnamese in this respect, using the term げんき【元気】 genki, which mostly encompasses 'healthy', 'strong' and 'energetic'.

お元気ですか。
o-genki desu ka
HON-healthy COP Q
"How are you?" (lit. "Are you healthy?")

Okinawan uses a similar term in meaning: がんじゅー【頑丈】 ganjuu, a "healthy, strong appearance".

ちゃーがんじゅーやいびーみ
chaa ganjuu yaibiimi
always healthy COP-Q
"How are you?" (lit. "Healthy as always?")

But it also has this interesting formal expression using the verb 'to walk':

うがんじゅーあっちゅーみせーみ
u-ganjuu acchuu miseemi
HON-strong walk AUX-Q
"How are you doing?" (lit. Are you walking strong?)

French similarly uses the expression "être en forme", meaning "to be in good health", "to be well rested", as in simply "En forme?". Though in some regions it bears more strongly the connotation of "to be in good shape (form)", so it may not be understood. The more common expression for "How are you?" is "Comment ça va?" (How's it going?), or simply "Ça va?" (lit. It's going?), which is also used as the response answer: "Ça va." (lit. It goes), "Ça va bien." (lit. It's going well).

----
And of course, English has quite a diversity of expressions: "What's up?" (wassup, wut up, t'sup, sup, etc.), "How's it going?", "How do you do?", "What's hangin'?", "What's the hap?" (< happening), "What's shakin'?", "What's going on?", "What's new?", and so on.
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Ànradh
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Re: Greetings

Post by Ànradh » Sat 01 Oct 2011, 20:22

eldin raigmore wrote:
testyal1 wrote:Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
Thought it meant "Damn!".
As far as I'm aware, it does... Both Children of Bodom's interviews and Turmion Kätilöt's (both Finnish bands) lyrics translate it as 'God damn' or 'God damn it'. Apparently it's derived from the surname of an infamous heretic within Finnish history. My girlfriend's Finnish friends confirmed it as a word I had the correct translation for.
EDIT: 'perkeleitä' a similar word meaning 'devils'.
---------------------------------

Gaelic: "Who do you belong to?" because you are judged almost exclusively on your kith and kin.
Inter-clan rivalry is still going strong!
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Greetings

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Sun 02 Oct 2011, 00:01

Lodhas wrote:Gaelic: "Who do you belong to?" because you are judged almost exclusively on your kith and kin.
Inter-clan rivalry is still going strong!
I have never heard of that. I know Gaelic has Hallo, and Irish Dia ghúit for hello and, and ciamar a' tha thu? and conas tá tú? respectively for how are you. But in all the various texts and lessons, I have never seen "who do you belong to?" as anything resembling a greeting.
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Re: Greetings

Post by Hālian » Sun 02 Oct 2011, 00:41

German "Wie geht's?" < "Wie geht es dir?", lit. "How are you doing?" / "How goes it?"
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Ànradh
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Re: Greetings

Post by Ànradh » Sun 02 Oct 2011, 01:39

Thakowsaizmu wrote:
Lodhas wrote:Gaelic: "Who do you belong to?" because you are judged almost exclusively on your kith and kin.
Inter-clan rivalry is still going strong!
I have never heard of that. I know Gaelic has Hallo, and Irish Dia ghúit for hello and, and ciamar a' tha thu? and conas tá tú? respectively for how are you. But in all the various texts and lessons, I have never seen "who do you belong to?" as anything resembling a greeting.
Well, technically speaking, it isn't a greeting, but it sort of gets tacked on when meeting somebody new. Also, it's often translated as 'Where are you from?' which just isn't correct.
You can also respond with 'I'm from Away' (at least in Islay) if you're not a Gael (like me) and they'll take that as "Nobody you'll know." That said, I don't know the Gaelic for that phrase; I just tell them 'Tha mi à Eirinn ach tha mi a' fuireach ann an Glaschù."

EDIT: 'Cò as a tha thu?' -This is the phrase, often mistranslated as 'Where are you from?' but literaly means 'Who do you belong to?' meaning 'Who are your relatives?' or 'What clan are you from?'
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Greetings

Post by taylorS » Tue 04 Oct 2011, 06:05

testyal1 wrote:Как дела? = How's things? (Russian)

Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
Isn't Perkele an old pagan Finish god?
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Re: Greetings

Post by Ànradh » Tue 04 Oct 2011, 06:21

taylorS wrote:
testyal1 wrote:Как дела? = How's things? (Russian)

Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
Isn't Perkele an old pagan Finish god?
Just looked it up and it would appear you're right. Daemonised by the Christians, it became the curse word it is today.
Either way, I highly suggest not using it as a greeting!
Sin ar Pàrras agus nì sinne mar a thogras sinn. Choisinn sinn e agus ’s urrainn dhuinn ga loisgeadh.
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Re: Greetings

Post by Omzinesý » Tue 04 Oct 2011, 19:27

taylorS wrote:
testyal1 wrote:Как дела? = How's things? (Russian)

Perkele! = Average Finnish greeting. Means nothing inparticular.
Isn't Perkele an old pagan Finish god?
As I know, "Perkele" is a Baltic pagan god, not Finnish. It has been loaned into Finnish as a swear word, very simirly to the Germanic "saatana".
By the way, maybe I am saluted very seldom, but I have never heard it as a greeting.

Real Finnish greetings:
Kuinka/miten menee? = How is (it) going?
Mitä kuluu? = What is audible?
Kuinka voit =How "can" you? (only a homonyme with can, not regarded as the same word)
Brutal ones:
Kui(nka)s kusee? = "How (it) pies?"
Kui(nka)s panee? How (it) fucks?

Terve! = Hi! lit. health
Tervetuloa! =Wellcome lit. health-coming
Brutal one (again):
Terse! =Hi! combound of Terve and perse(ass)
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Re: Greetings

Post by dh3537 » Thu 06 Oct 2011, 02:06

English (really informal):
What's up? (What is up)
Particularly used among young people in the US (don't know if they use it elsewhere), the sounds can run together so it could sound like:
wazzup
Sometimes people can respond by saying "the ceiling" or "the sky".
In English texting/SMS/IM/Instant messaging, "how ru" is used because the letters ru sound like are you.

Don't know if anybody's mentioned it but other (less common) greetings include:
How's it hanging (sounds like howz-it-goin'?)
Hey <insert name here>

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See you later
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Re: Greetings

Post by Sankon » Thu 06 Oct 2011, 02:36

After I would greet him with "Как дела?", my grandfather would respond with "Хорошо идут дела, голова пока цела!".

Things are walking well, my head is still whole!

Of course, it sounds better in Russian...
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Re: Greetings

Post by Omzinesý » Thu 06 Oct 2011, 10:00

dh3537 wrote:English -----

---Hey <insert name here>
I Just noted that the Finns hardly ever use their names.

"Moi/Hei/Terve, Pekka/Herra Virtanen!" sounds very foreign.
Just "Moi/Hei/Terve!"
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Re: Greetings

Post by Bristel » Thu 13 Oct 2011, 03:59

Irish:
Dia duit. God with you. (hello)
Dia is Muire duit. God and Mary with you. (hello in return)

Kansai-ben Japanese:
Mōkarimakka? もうかりまっか? How is business?
Mā bochi-bochi denna. Well, so-so, you know?
[bɹ̠ˤʷɪs.təɫ]
Nōn quālibet inīqua cupiditāte illectus hōc agō.
[tiː.mɔ.tʉɥs god.lɐf hɑwk]
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Re: Greetings

Post by masako » Thu 13 Oct 2011, 05:36

Many Lebanese and Egyptians use a phrase "shak barakh"...or something close to greet each other that means something like "What are your blessings?"
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Thakowsaizmu
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Re: Greetings

Post by Thakowsaizmu » Thu 13 Oct 2011, 06:14

Bristel wrote:Irish:
Dia duit. God with you. (hello)
Dia is Muire duit. God and Mary with you. (hello in return)
Pretty sure it's Dia dhuit in both instances
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