Jump to content
Linguaholic

An etiquette question for all languages


Recommended Posts

One of the first words we learn with foreign languages is 'please' and 'thank you'. My question regards two languages - Italian and German - where if you reply 'grazie' or 'danke', the other person always replies 'prego' or 'bitte'. Do other languages have the same standard reply for when someone says thank you?

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Chinese for example, thank you is 谢谢 (xie xie). If you say thanks to another person, the other person is likely to say 不客气 (which literally means don't be polite) but is often translated as "You're welcome". It is also possible to answer 不用谢 (bu yong xie)which literally means "dont need to say thanks". There are other possibilites but those two are pretty popular in Mandarin Chinese.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a really interesting question. I am currently living in Germany but haven't become fluent in the language yet. It was baffling when I first arrived because "bitte" is used both as "please" and "you're welcome". So in a conversation I thought someone was saying "please" after I said "thank you" and it was very confusing!  :laugh:

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

In Swedish, when someone says 'tack' (thank you), you reply with 'varsågod' (you're welcome). However, it can also be the other way around. If someone gives you something, they can say 'varsågod', and the reply is 'tack'.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Scribendi: World-Class Editing and Proofreading

In Malay and Indonesian the word for "thank you" is "terima kasih" which literally means "accept love". This is a way for expressing gratitude because the word "kasih" means "love" but in a non-romantic way so a better translation would be "accept my gratitude / affection".

The reply is "sama-sama" meaning "it's the same" (to you).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I would guess most languages have a standard reply to social niceties like "thank you," "how are you," and "excuse me."

In Spanish, the response to "gracias" (thank you) is "de nada" (it's nothing). I've heard some English speakers complain about people who reply to a thank you with "No problem," saying they never assumed it was a problem and that pointing it out is rude. I think this is a stretch, and those English speakers must be disappointed to learn that the standard Spanish response basically means "no problem."

Of course, it's up to the individual to reply however they want. "Sí, como no, con mucho gusto" (sloppy translation: Yes, how couldn't I?, my pleasure) is what you get from the more political types! Or, I suppose, those wanting to be extra polite.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

In Hindi, thank you means "dhanyawaad" or you can also use "shukriya" even though it is an Urdu word.

While there is no direct equivalent of "you're welcome" in Hindi, an appropriate response would be, "Koi Baat nahin" which basically means "No problem".

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Hindi, thank you means "dhanyawaad" or you can also use "shukriya" even though it is an Urdu word.

While there is no direct equivalent of "you're welcome" in Hindi, an appropriate response would be, "Koi Baat nahin" which basically means "No problem".

Well, you said it. I don't need to answer this anymore. Are you an Indian?

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 6 months later...

I like the English version where you are "welcome" after thanking someone. Or someone responds with "pleasure". It actually does make me feel welcome and gives me a feeling that the other person has derived some pleasure from what I had to offer. In Australia people often say "ta", which is an abbreviation of "thank you."

In Serbia, people say "hvala" to thank someone. And usually get a "molim" in return. I am so used to the polite English way that many have said to me in either Serbia or Austria, that should stop thanking everyone so much. But I do it anyway. :-)

Link to post
Share on other sites

All languages have that I believe, the Portuguese case is pretty similar to the French one, we say "Obrigado" (thank you) and the answer is "de nada" (de rien, It's nothing (not worth mentioning it).

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 year later...

It's the same in Russian and Polish. You can reply to "thank you" with "please" - proszę / пожалуйста - or you can humbly say it was nothing (nothing to thank you for) - nie ma za co / не за что.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a feeling most languages will have a version of this, in one form or another. In my language Setswana, when someone says Ke a leboga/ *tankie (derived from the Afrikaans word, dankie)  to say thank you, we often say 'go lebogile nna'; which literally means I'm the one who's thankful or the pleasure is all mine. it's very interesting to see how this translates in all other parts of the world :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

In Hungarian and Romanian it is exactly the same. For example for thank you, you would say "Multumesc" and the reply would be "Cu placere" in Romanian and "Köszönöm" "Szivesen" in Hungarian.

Link to post
Share on other sites

We usually say thank you and you're welcome in the Philippines but there are tagalog versions. Thank you is salamat (or maraming salamat = many thanks/thank you so much) and you're welcome is walang anuman. Though most people would say, sure or "ikaw pa". I don't know the exact translation but it is usually said when you don't mind doing something for a person because you are fond of them. I personally say no prob though :)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...