variants of "Good luck"

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Encolpius, Sep 27, 2008.

  1. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    No, no, I don't want to ask you to translate good luck. I noticed in Hungarian, Czech and German there's another way to say good luck. I found out its origin might be Yiddish.

    How about your mother tongue? Do you say good luck in other way? English and Spaniards say Break a leg & Mucha mierda but it's used only on stage.

    Hungarian: Kéz és lábtörést! (Break your hands & legs)

    Czech: Zlom vaz! (Break your neck)

    German: Hals- und Beinbruch! (Break your neck and legs)
  2. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    I can't think of anything different from Boa sorte in Portuguese.
    I've heard that Brazilian actors say Merda.
  3. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Yes, I am afraid those kind of expressions are used only in Central Europe. :confused:
  4. martaaa

    martaaa Member

    In Italy, we say "Buona fortuna" ( = Good luck) or "In bocca al lupo" ( = In the mouth of the wolf)
  5. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod

    French (lower Normandy)
    In French, you can also say "merde" (shit) which is not reserved to actors.
    It is commonly used for students too (among others).
  6. בעל-חלומות Senior Member

    ישראל, עברית
    In Hebrew the phrase that literally means "good luck" - מזל טוב - really means "congratulations", usually at birthdays or weddings.

    To say "good luck" we say בהצלחה, "in success"
  7. elroy

    elroy Motley mod

    Chicago, IL
    American English, Palestinian Arabic
    The preposition -ב can be translated as "in" or with" depending on the context. :)

    We say something similar in Arabic: بالتوفيق.

    In English, actors (and others) say "Break a leg."
  8. federicoft Senior Member

    Yes, and the answer for this is Crepi! ("may it die!").

    Students use a very pictoresque expression too, but I can't write it here. :D
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2008
  9. astlanda Senior Member

    Estonian maamurre
    Estonian "Kivi kotti!" = "A stone into your sack." (Probably wished to hunters wishing to cheat bad spirits ...)
    "Õnn kaasa!" means "(Go) with luck!"
  10. Kanes Senior Member

    In Bulgarian we just say luck (k'smet) and success (uspeh)
  11. mcibor Senior Member

    In Polish it can be złam nogę (break a leg),

    but before exam it's usually złamania pióra (breaking of a pen)

    Student's are so superstitious, that if you say Good luck, they answer - no thank you.

    - Powodzenia
    - Nie dziękuję
  12. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member


    Thank you mcibor, but you use złam nogę in general not only like English use it?
  13. mcibor Senior Member

    Yes, it's used (though sarcastically) in sports, on any exam. But stage is the most often, though
  14. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    How about other languages, like Persian, etc? :) Thanks.
  15. Pretty_Gaella

    Pretty_Gaella Member

    Naga City, Bicol, Philippines
    Filipino, English & Spanish
    We don't have any other way to say good luck (as far I know:D)
    We usually say swertehin ka sana or bwenasin ka sana which literally means hopefully you will get lucky.
  16. sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "Mazzel!" is one way of saying "Good luck!" in Dutch. It comes from Hebrew via Yiddish.
  17. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    «Καλή επιτυχία»
    [ka'li epiti'çi.a]
    lit. "good success"

    «Φτου να μη σε ματιάσω»
    [ftu na mi se ma'tçaso]
    lit. "ptooey (interj. for spitting) to avert the evil eye"

    or simply

    «Φτου, φτου»
    [ptooey ptooey]

    «Φτου» [ftu] is the onomatopeic Greek word for imitating the sound of spitting

    «Ματιάζω» [ma'tçazo] --> to bestow the evil eye; it's a late Byzantine word deriving from the alternative name of eye in Classical Greek, «ὄμμα» 'ŏmmă (PIE base *wer-, to watch, cover) > Byz. «ὄμμάτιον» [o'mati.on] (neut. diminutive) > Modern Greek «μάτι» ['mati] (neut.) --> eye & v. «ματιάζω» [ma'tçazo] --> to bestow the evil eye
  18. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    In Russian we say
    ни пуха ни пера /ni pukha ni pera/ - none of the down, none of the feathers
    удачи /udatchi/ - [some] luck [to you/your way]
  19. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hm...quite inteersting you have any idea where it comes from? :confused:
  20. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Apparently, originally it was a wish to the hunters when they were going out to hunt. It was similar to "break a leg", when they were wished the opposite as to not to "jinx" them: we wish you catch no animals (down/fur) and no fowl (feathers).
  21. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    i remember old folks used to say " sana'y palarin ka" and it means "good luck"!
  22. Pretty_Gaella

    Pretty_Gaella Member

    Naga City, Bicol, Philippines
    Filipino, English & Spanish
    Yeah I agree mataripis! :) My grandmother used to tell me that " sana'y palarin ka" I believe that's the formal way to say goodluck. Right?
  23. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    yeah! but only old folks from Tagalog region use this expression.The lucky in Tagalog is "Mapalad". Fortune is "Kapalaran".

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