1. zitoun New Member

    France, francais
    I'd like to say "Bon vent !" to wish the best to a friend I fear I'll never see again. That expression was primarily used for sailors leaving for a very long trip across the seas and I would like to keep that meaning. Can someone help me ?
  2. page 70 Senior Member

    French France
    I dont really know but maybe something like : "may the winds be gentle" ?
    Better wait for a native
  3. edwingill Senior Member

    England English
    I thought bon vent was equivalent to bon débarras = good riddance
  4. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    Yes, also, and it's the first thing that came to my mind.
    As for the "bon vent" you use in a kind way, I don't have anything better than "fair journey" unfortunately, which doesn't really work here.
  5. page 70 Senior Member

    French France
    OUi, on dit plutôt : "que les vents te (vous) soient favorables"...:)
  6. clair Member

    england, english
    we would probbaly say something like 'take care on your travels'

    or more likely we would jsut say have a good trip- i dont think the english language is as expressive as french in some ways!

  7. zitoun New Member

    France, francais
    Bon vent is primarily a kind wish but, as many other expressions, may be used ironically.

    Among(st) all your answers, may the wind be gentle keeps best the original meaning.

    However, I'd like it be blessed by some other people.
  8. viera Senior Member

    Paris suburb
    I think that a gentle wind is getting away from the spirit of Bon vent, which to me suggests a brisk wind, or just the wind you need to keep you moving in the right direction.
  9. pieanne

    pieanne Senior Member

    Nice Hinterland
    Couldn't "fare well" do? (In 2 words) Or "Fare thee well"?
  10. JynnanTonnyx

    JynnanTonnyx Member

    English speaker - Ireland
    Hi everyone,

    I think Pieanne nailed it. For me, farewell has definite connotations of a (possibly) final goodbye. It's a little antiquated, of course, but I would still having no problem using the word, though possibly with a hint of mock drama in my voice :)
  11. mimou New Member

    If you like the person who's leaving, then "God Speed", or the less religious-sounding "fare well".

    You're backstabbing or hate the person's gutts, then "bon débarras".

    Your pick :)
  12. Padraig Senior Member

    Hiberno-English, Irish Gaelic
    That fits perfectly if you want to retain the sailing metaphor.
  13. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
    How about "happy sailing"?
  14. david314

    david314 Senior Member

    Clayton, Missouri
    American English
    In the words of Roy Rogers: *Happy trails!

    *très old-school ;)
  15. bloomiegirl

    bloomiegirl Senior Member

    New York
    US English
  16. cocorico Senior Member

    France/USA - francais/anglais
    Evidemment, c'est un peu vieux tout ca - 2006, mais je pense que ce que recherchait Zitoun, c'est:
    "Fair winds and following seas"
    qui est la phrase usuelle employee pour les marins qui partent. En francais "Bon vent, bonne route". :)
  17. ellen2020 Senior Member

    England, English
    I cannot think of any phrase that is really used by people nowadays that corresponds to "bon vent". We would certainly not use a phrase using the word "wind" unless we wanted to sound aristocratic and possibly elderly!

    As the french saying goes "Ne dites jamais 'adieu'", implying that you should never say 'goodbye' as if you're never going to see them again. So, I would say "take care" or "goodbye". If this is a friend, it also implies that you would like to see them again!

    Just my opinion
  18. Crazy Canuck420 New Member

    Greater Philadelphia
    Québécois & American English
    Everytime I use the phrase "Bon Vent" its always in a polite farewell fashion to someone I will probably never see again. I assume that it used in this context due to the former importance of the winds for sailing ships traveling long distances,( example: across the atlantic), a bad wind could make yore voyage long and misserible.(like going around Cape Horn or being stuck on the equator) Just my 2 cents
  19. GLS Senior Member

    French+English - France+US
    I found the following, which corresponds to the other meaning of "bon vent"--good wishes to someone about to go away.


    Origin of: "Fair Winds and Following Seas."

    The origin of the quote "Fair Winds and Following Seas" is unknown. It is often said to have been lifted from a poem, phrase, or literary work, but to the best of this researcher's knowledge, it wasn't. Over the last century at least, the two quotes "Fair Winds" and "Following Seas" have evolved, by usage, into a single phrase which is often used as a nautical blessing.
    "Fair Winds": The Dictionary of American Regional English defines "Fair Wind" as "safe journey; good fortune." An early example of the phrase's use is in Herman Melville's Moby Dick, published in 1851, where it says near the end "Let me square the yards, while we may, old man, and make a fair wind of it homeward." In other words, let me square the yards (add on all sail) and make a safe journey home.

    "Following Seas": Defined by Bowditch's American Practical Navigator as "A sea in which the waves move in the general direction of the heading." It further defines "Tide" as "the periodic rise and fall of the water resulting from gravitational interactions between the sun, moon, and earth. . . . the accompanying horizontal movement of the water is part of the same phenomenon." In simple terms: the movement of the water, the waves, and the surface, correspond with the movement of the tide.

    "Fair Winds and Following Seas" is really two quotes originating from different sources. The two quotes are a nautical phrase of good luck--a blessing as it were--as the person, group, or thing it is said to departs on a voyage in life. It is often used at a "beginning" ceremony such as a commissioning ceremony of a ship or people, as well as in retirement, change of command, or farewell ceremonies.

    Source: Researched by Samuel Loring Morison.
  20. Glat64 Senior Member

    Vendée, France

    These two phrases work very well indeed, especially... fare well :thumbsup:

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