Be good...

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Jan 17, 2009.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    What are the words you refer in your language to the quality (...) of people willing to obey others ?

    - (simply) good in English - or obedient [listening to]

    - braaf in Dutch, brav in German [originally referring to the quality of a brave, courageous soldier, who had the guts to be obedient to his chief and his country, so I learnt)] - or gehoorzaam/ gehörsam

    - semi-universal: docile/... [willing to learn from a teacher ?]

    - sage in Frans, as in sage comme une image, where obedience and wisdom (sagesse) seem to be linked

    - fraai in my Flemish dialect, though not common any longer [which means beautiful in standard Dutch, but seems to have meant 'strong, upright, ...' etymologically]

    The idea of obyeing as listening is less interesting to me than the other associations...
  2. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I found some myself (at, but :
    - recto in Spanish (straight, I guess)
    - rättsinnig in Swedish (straight-sensed, might be linked to fair/ rättfârtig ??)
  3. mcibor Senior Member

    In Polish it's posłuszny, derived from słuchać - listen to
  4. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    So no other variant that refers to other qualities than the listening (even some kind of evaluation, appreciation) in Polish ?
  5. mcibor Senior Member

    Yes, be good, especially when spoken to children is translated as

    bądź grzeczny
    bądź - be (imperative mood)
    grzeczny - polite, good, corteous
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2009
  6. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Thanks, Mcibor ! But one small note: is politeness the same as obedience ? They have some traits in common, but...
  7. mcibor Senior Member

    It's not, but when spoken to children, only be good (bądź grzeczny) is used, and when talked about a child it can be said, he's very obedient (jest bardzo posłuszny)

    These two can almost be mixed in some cases.
  8. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I see, thanks !
  9. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I just noticed it would be "kalo paidi" in Greek: a "beautiful" (nice ???) kid - or has the meaning become much broader ?
  10. Nizo Senior Member

    In Esperanto, bona and brava are options.
  11. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Esperanto offers no special 'perspectives' then. But thanks.
  12. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    In Czech:
    Buď hodný./Buď poslušný.

    In Lithuanian:
    Būk geras {[vaikas]}.
    (/Būk paklusnus./ Neišsišok)
  13. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Do those words have special meanings, Kusurija, or do they just refer to 'good', to 'obedient' or 'listening' ? (Thanks !)
  14. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    In Czech:
    Buď tak hodný. = Be so kind vs
    Buď hodný. = Be good[obedient]
    Maybe I didn't understand, what namely You asked?

    Similar nuances in Lithuanian:

    Būk geras [ir padaryk kažką = an do st. [for me]] vs
    Būk geras! = Be good[obedient]
  15. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Well,my question was whether obedience was in some way linked with certain qualities like courage or wisdom (sage in French and braaf/ brav in Dutch/ German), be it etymologically or as some kind of homonymity, whatever... You see ?
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2009
  16. greenfin1 New Member

    its ferma-berdar in Urdu - English Obedient

    What will you translate Character Education in Dutch.
  17. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Karaktervorming, opvoeding (education) are words I think of. But they do not simply imply good boy/ girl training ! ;-)
  18. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Funny thing: being 'obedient' and being 'good' seem to have quite different connotations, whereas they seem to refer to the same attitude (listening, or respecting someone's wishes). Obedience seems to refer to meekness, compliance, non-assertiveness.
    I am getting mixed up, I must admit, though I am aware of the fact that being good/ sagesse is broader than obedience. That leads me to another question allowing us to dig deeper, I hope:
    - what does being good refer to in your culture ? (No noise, obedience, helping, ... all together)
    - is obedience mostly considered negative ?
  19. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Praha (Prague)
    magyar (Hungarian)
    people? not usually children
    just because the German brav makes me think of ein braves Kind, sei brav! just like the Czech hodný, buď hodný chlapec!
    but without a context it is hard to find out what you want.

    Hungarian jó [good], ein braves Kind = jó gyerek, sei brav! buď hodný! légy jó!
    Italian buono [good] > State buoni se potete....
  20. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I meant what one says to children: 'Be good' --- Thanks !
  21. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    I don't know where you have found that rättsinnig would have anything to do with being good at obeying others. Rättsinnig means being just or fair, you can say that king Salomo in the Bible was "en rättsinnig man", his decisions were just, but he was not obedient, willing to obey others.

    Better choices:
    Lydig - obedient; en lydig hund - an obedient dog
    bra på att lyda - good at being obedient;
    bra på att följa uppmaningar - good at following orders
    hörsamma - obey, similar to the German gehoorzaam/ gehörsam
  22. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I am sorry, but I referred to, and hoped (thus tried ;-)) to elicit other answers.

    I wondered about the roots: rätt, lyd-, manning-... Is that something like straight or advice (recht/ raad in Dutch), lead, meaning? Thanks in advance.
  23. AutumnOwl Senior Member

    Rätt - right, correct; just; proper, depending whether it's a noun, adjective or adverb
    lyd-, lyda - to obey, to abide, to comply
    (-maning,) mana (på) - to urge, to drive; but uppmaning - summon, order, request; utmaning - challenge, dare

    Råd - advice, counsel
    Rät - straight

    (For a Swedish-English online dictionary, I think that is a good one.)
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2013
  24. bibax Senior Member

    Czech (Prague)

    The commonest adjective is hodný (hoden), it means worthy (hodnota = value, worth), like in "Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it (Mark Twain)".

    Buď hodný [naší důvěry]! = Be worthy [of our confidence]!

    However when telling it to children it means nearly the same like "Be obedient!" (Buď poslušný!).
  25. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek:

    Adj. «υπάκουος, -η, -ο» [i'paku.os] (masc.), [i'paku.i] (fem.), [i'paku.o] (neut.) < Classical adj. «ὑπακουός, -ός, -όν» hŭpăkouós (masc. & fem.), hŭpăkouón (neut.) --> obedient < compound, prefix and preposition «ὑπὸ» hupò --> under, below (PIE *upo-, under) + Classical fem. noun «ἀκοὴ» ăkŏḕ --> hearing, sense of hearing (PIE *kew-/*skew-, to notice, observe).
    The adj. «υπάκουος» [i'paku.os] --> obedient, is a cognate to the noun «υπήκοος» [i'piko.os] --> person under the rule of a sovereign, subject.
    A person willing to obey orders is:
    1/ «Φρόνιμος, -μη, -μο» ['fronimos] (masc.), ['fronimi] (fem.), ['fronimo] (neut.) --> well-behaved, prudent < Classical adj. «φρόνιμος, -ος, -ον» pʰrónimŏs (masc. & fem.), pʰrónimŏn (neut.) --> prudent, sensible < compound, fem. noun «φρήν» pʰrḗn --> mind, mental faculties (with obscure etymology) + productive suffix «-ιμος» -imos
    2/ «Εχέφρων, -ων, -ον» [eçefron] (masc. fem. & neut.) --> sensible, prudent < Classical adj. «ἐχέφρων, -ων, -ον» ĕkʰépʰrōn (masc. & fem.), ĕkʰépʰrŏn (neut.) --> sensible, prudent < compound, v. «ἔχω» ékʰō --> to have, possess (PIE *seǵʰ-, to possess, hold fast) + fem. noun «φρήν» pʰrḗn (see above)
  26. 涼宮

    涼宮 Senior Member

    Sbaeneg/Castellano (Venezuela)
    In Japanese there are mainly 3 ways, two for children and one in general.

    To Children:

    大人しくしなさい otona shiku shinasai. It literally says do it obediently/docilely. (大人 means adult)
    いい子にしててね/いい子にしてなさい ii ko ni shitete ne/ ii ko ni shitenasai. Literally: (keep) doing it as a good kid. Both mean the same but the first one is more gentile and the second one is more direct, it uses the imperative form.


    優しくして yasashiku shite. Literally: Do it tenderly/kindly/gracefully/gently.

    In Spanish:

    ¡(Com)pórtate bien! (behave well!) is the commonest phrase here to children. I guess for the rest you'd say ''sé una buena persona''.
  27. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    I suppose I see a link between Greek and Chinese: be wise, use your (adult) mind... ;-) And I suppose adults are the models, so...
  28. arielipi Senior Member

    Hebrew generally doesnt see being obedient as a good thing, though to children we say:
    תקשיב\תשמע (ל)מה שאומרים
    takshiv/tishma (le)ma she'omrim - listen to what (adults) say (to you)

    תתנהג יפה
    titnaheg yaffe - behave.
  29. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    In Tagalog, good is mabuti and obedient is masunurin. be good= maging mabuti and be obedient= maging masunurin
  30. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    But is 'good' simply the opposite of 'bad' or of 'evil' or of 'naughty'??? What is the root of 'masunurin'?
  31. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    the root word of "masunurin" is Sunod meaning "follow" or 'obey".
    the other meaning of this root word is "next".In both category of good and evil there is obedience in their specific rules.
  32. eli7

    eli7 Senior Member

    Tehran; Iran
    Persian (Farsi)
    In Persian(Farsi), it would be:
    Bacheye khu:bi ba:sh. = بچه خوبی باش
  33. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    Could you tell us more about the root of the word and the use?
  34. eli7

    eli7 Senior Member

    Tehran; Iran
    Persian (Farsi)
    The root of "khu:b = خوب" is "khu:b bu:dan" means "being good, acting good, having good behaviour.
    bache= بچه means child.
    ba:sh = باش means "Be". The root is "bu:dan".

    بچه خوبی باش is used mostly when someone is talking to a child. It can have both a warning tone with the meaning of "behave! Otherwise you will be punished", or the maning of "you are a good child. So keep doing good."

    1- I told you 100 times that I will buy that bicycle for you next week, so stop asking about it. Ok? Be good (بچه خوبی باش
    2- Mommy is going to go outside to see your grandmom. I asked Sarah to come and stay with you. You always listen to what I say to you and now I want you to listen to her ok? Be good. ( بچه خوبی باش
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2013

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