Etymology of the continental goodbye

Discussion in 'Etymology, History of languages and Linguistics (EHL)' started by Encolpius, Dec 8, 2012.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    Since English lacks again what almost all "Continental" languages have I was not able to find a better title. It's about the "Auf Wiedersehen" or "Au revoir"...
    The Hungarian version viszontlátásra with its suffix -ra (onto) first appeared in our language as late as 1857! So, my first theory about the etymology of "Auf Wiedersehen" that its origin is maybe from the ancient Christian times, proved to be false.
    I have three questions:
    1) when and where did "Auf Wiedersehen/au revoir/arrideverci/до свидания and many others emerge?
    2) why the preposition, it makes no sense now, why auf, a, Hungarian -ra, etc? What was the original maybe long phrase?
    3) why English do not have the literal translation of "au revoir"?
    I think the origin might be French or maybe German (?)
     
  2. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    The earliest attestation in German is according to Grimm from 1711.
    The earliest attestation in French is according to CNRTL 1633.
    If Google Ngram Viewer can be trusted, the Italian expression originated around 1850.
     
  3. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    So according to the dates the origin might be French. More info would be super...I have also thought some relation to the French revolution but it is false as well.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  4. robbie_SWE

    robbie_SWE Senior Member

    Sweden
    Trilingual: Swedish, Romanian & English
    The earliest Romanian attestation of la revedere, that I could find, is from 1876 when it appeared in "Dictionariulu limbei romane : dupo insarcinarea data de Societatea Academica Romana. Volumul 2 : I-Z". It's supposed to be based on the French equivalent au revoir.

    Robbie
     
  5. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Well, "See you later!" (shortened to "Later!" in America) or "See you soon!" are very common ways of saying Goodbye in English. "See you again soon!" is also possible but too long to be used that much. I think they all derive from "I hope to see you (again) later/soon".

    Spanish has "¡Hasta luego!" or "¡Hasta la vista!" (Until later/ Until seeing), the first one being more popular now than the original universal farewell "Adiós" (To (be with) God) also "Vaya con Dios" (Go with God). This is actually similar in meaning to the English "Goodbye", the contraction of "God be with you". French "Adieu" (literally also "to...God") now means (Goodbye forever!) That favors using "Au revoir!" or "À bientôt!"
     
  6. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    The Greek «εἰς τὸ ἐπανιδεῖν» [is to epani'ðin] is a verbatim translation (in katharevousa language) of the French "au revoir" probably first attested in mid-19th c.
     
  7. Perseas Senior Member

    Athens - GR
    Greek
    Do we know if "Auf Wiedersehen" came from the translation of the French "au revoir" or is it original ?
     
  8. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Grimm doesn't say.
     
  9. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    What the dictionary actually says is:

    die fürs dt. etwa anzusetzende reihenfolge: adieu bis auf(s) wiedersehen > bis auf(s) wiedersehen > auf(s) wiedersehen findet ihre entsprechung im frz.: adieu jusqu'au revoir (14.—17. jh.) > jusqu'au revoir (seit der mitte d. 17. jhs.) > au revoir (seit d. ende d. 18. jhs.); vgl. M. Senge frz. gruszformeln (1935) 84 f. vermutlich ist bis aufs wiedersehen lehnübersetzung von jusqu'au revoir an der wende zum 18. jh.; s. auch W. Bolhöfer grusz u. abschied in ahd. u. mhd. zeit (1912) 79. entsprechungen im rom., germ. und slav. sind: it. a rivederei (seit dem 16. jh.; vgl. Senge a. a. o. 86), span. hasta la vista, hasta más ver, hasta otra vista, ndl. tot we(d)erziens, russ. (in Österreich sagt man oft auch auf wiederschauen. auf wiederhören hat erst der [rund]funk hervorgebracht; vgl. dt. wortgesch. 2, 390 Maurer-Stroh). zur form des abschiedsgruszes im nhd. vgl. K. Prause dt. gruszformeln in nhd. zeit (1930) 83—123.

    i.e., „bis aufs Wiedersehen“ is probably a calque (Lehnübersetzung) on „jusqu’au revoir“.

    "a rivederei" is a typo, of course.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  10. berndf Moderator

    Geneva
    German (Germany)
    Thanks fdb. I overlooked that the section continued.
     
  11. Angelo di fuoco Senior Member

    Germany
    Russian & German (GER) bilingual
    But "adiós" is used quite often, at least between strangers and in somewhat more formal situations... contrarily to Italian "addio", which is pretty well dead in contemporary language. "Adieu", I think, is agonising. Catalan "adéu" (or "adéu-ciau") is alive and kicking.
     
  12. olaszinho Senior Member

    Italy
    Central Italian
    The same phenomenon occurs in contemporary Italian, addio means Goodbye forever!

    It's arrivederci in Italian, what about the Hungarian viszontlátásra :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2012
  13. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    By the way, (modern) Arabic ʼilā l-liqāʼ إلى اللقاء also seems to be a calque on au revoir.
     
  14. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Prague
    Hungarian
    viszontlátásra = viszont- < vissza- "wieder/back, again" + látás "Sehen/seeing" + -ra "auf/upon", i.e. a calque, too
     
  15. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Can I say simply see you?
    My Aussie friend always says: "laters". Is it possible?

    In Italian the preposition "a" can introduce anytime the speaker wishes to see the listener again. So he can say arrivederci (until we see again), arrivederla (until I see you again), arrisentirci (until I hear from you again), a domani (see you tomorrow), a dopo (see you later), a presto (see you soon), alla prossima (see you next time) etc.

    I notice the English "see you later" has a slight different meaning than Italian "a dopo". In English it could even mean see you tomorrow, next week, next time we have the chance, etc.
    While in Italian it usually means after a short time, some hours, never tomorrow.
     
  16. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    Yes, you can say "See you!" if you want. I've never head of "Laters!" before. Yes, "see you later" does not mean "later" just that it will normally happen sometime soon, like "Arrivederci!", "Nos vemos".
     
  17. Youngfun

    Youngfun Senior Member

    Pekino, Ĉinujo
    Chinese/Italian - bilingual
    Thanks for the confirms, merquiades!
    "See you" is the form taught at school, maybe it's more a British usage than American?
    "Arrivederci" is quite formal, maybe you can say "ci vediamo/ci si vede". ;)
     
  18. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    France
    USA Northeast
    No, "See you" is American too.. Maybe a lot of people will pronounce it "Siyya" though.
     

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