bon appétit

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by Ilmo, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. Ilmo

    Ilmo Member Emeritus

    There hasn't been any thread about the expression used when beginning to eat with others in different languages and I thought it could be worthwhile.
    As far as I kinow in English there is no special expression for this purpose, they only say "let's begin" or "enjoy your meal".
    The expression in the title of this thread is French (if written correctly) and I guess most of us recognise it.
    The Germans have copied it to their mother tongue and say "guten Appetit".
    In Finnish we say correspondingly, without using the original French word, hyvää ruokahalua (literally: "good desire for food".
    In Spansh I would say "Buen provecho" that is literally "good profit".
    How in other languages - and are my examples correct?
  2. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    In Hebrew, it's בתאבון (b'teyavon), "with appetite".
  3. aslan

    aslan Senior Member

    Central Anatolia
    Turkiye Turkish
    We say "afiyet olsun"
    It simply means that "All you will eat or ate may become healty for your health". or Maybe We may say ;"All You eat brings you health" .It can be said before,while or after the meal
  4. Neutrino Senior Member

    In sweden we may say "smaklig måltid",
    "tasty dinner"(I wish you a tasty dinner)
  5. nichec

    nichec Senior Member

    I think you can also say "Tug/Dig in" in English
    In chinese it's 開動, which means "Let's start"
  6. parakseno

    parakseno Senior Member

    Romanian, Romania
    Romanian: Poftă bună/mare!
    Greek: Καλή όρεξη!
  7. mimmi Senior Member

    In Italy
    In italian: Buon appetito.
    In Spanish: ¡qué aproveches!
  8. sound shift

    sound shift Senior Member

    Derby (central England)
    English - England
    "Tuck in" and "dig in" are colloquial. A restaurant waiter would not use either term. In my family we don't say anything at the start of a meal.
  9. betulina Senior Member

    al bressol del basquetbol
    català - Catalunya
    I've never heard it. To me, in Spanish it's either "buen provecho", as Ilmo said, or "que aproveche" (where we could read "que la comida te/os/nos aproveche").

    In Catalan it's "bon profit" or "que aprofiti", as well.
  10. Arise Member


    In Spanish we say ¡que aproveche! (la comida) without the last "s" ;-)
  11. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Correct, that's the most common verasion of the expression. In some dialects, you may hear "Wohl bekomm's!" (meaning: "I hope you like it!," maybe "Cheers" would be used in English instead) or "Lasst's euch schmecken!" ("Enjoy your meal!").
  12. Frank06

    Frank06 Senior Member

    Nederlands / Dutch (Belgium)

    In Dutch it's Smakelijk or Smakelijk eten.
    A literal (but terrible) translation of smakelijk would be 'tastefully, with taste'.


  13. MingRaymond Senior Member

    HK Cantonese
    It is a colloquial way to say 開動 before a meal.
  14. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    I have heard that the Japanese say in a very selfish way: I eat now!

    Can anybody confirm if this is true or not?
  15. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Isn't "Mahlzeit!" a common expession, too?
  16. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    Afiyet is actually kind of an equivalent to appetite. So maybe we should say, shortly, "Let it be appetite." (?)
  17. Whodunit

    Whodunit Senior Member

    Deutschland ~ Deutsch/Sächsisch
    Indeed. But I wouldn't use it too often, because it can get very annoying. Don't ask me why. ;)

    Some people use it as a greeting at noontime, but it's colloquial and kind of regional. If you want more information, you can read this. :)
  18. larosa Member

    Hungary, Hungarian

    Jó étvágyat!
    literally: (I wish you a) good appetite.
  19. Heba

    Heba Senior Member

    Coventry, England
    Egypt, Arabic
    In Egyptian colloquial Arabic, we say بالهنا و الشفا (belhana wel shefa)
  20. Etcetera

    Etcetera Senior Member

    St Petersburg, Russia
    Russian, Russia (St Petersburg)
    In Russian: Приятного аппетита! (Priyatnogo appetita).
  21. Chazzwozzer

    Chazzwozzer Senior Member

    An Austrian friend from my school once told me that Mahlzeit is even said to people you don't know at lunch time in Austria. Hope I got it right, because his Turkish accent was not clear and I could hardly catch the sentences.
  22. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Obviously you're right, Chazzwozzer; my friend told me that when he was a tourist in Spain, in the first morning he had his breakfast at the same table with a German tourist who said to him: Mahlzeit!

    As my friend didn't know a word of German he thought that the man was introducing himself. So he bowed and pronounced his own name: "Holopainen!" They had no common language, so that was all they spoke during the breakfast.

    The next morning the German tourist said again "Mahlzeit" and the Finn aswered, a little confused, "Holopainen".

    As this happened again the third morning my friend asked one of the other Finnish tourists what might be the reason to introduce oneself every morning again. He was told that the German hadn't pronounced his name but he had said "bon appétit" in German.

    My friend was very delighted to learn his first word of German, and the next morning he was very proud to say to the German tourist: "Mahlzeit!"

    And the German answered very politely: "Holopainen!"
  23. Maja

    Maja Senior Member

    Binghamton, NY
    Serbian, Serbia
    In Serbian:
    Prijatno! (Пријатно!)
  24. avalon2004 Senior Member

    Merseyside, England
    UK- English/Spanish
    In addition to the aforementioned Καλή όρεξη [káli óreksi], there is another phrase in Greek which can be used at the end of a meal: καλή χώνεψη [káli khónepsi]. This is said by the same person who served/prepared the food for you and it literally means "good digestion". An interesting piece of extra information for you! :)
  25. Outsider Senior Member

    Portuguese (Portugal)
    You can say "Bom proveito" in Portuguese, but "Bom apetite" is also very common, perhaps even moreso.
  26. mkaymrxo New Member

    Japanese table manners are actually very polite.
    Before they start eating, they say "itadakimasu" wich means
    "I gratefully receive" or something like that.
    And after they finish their meal, they say "gochisosama" wich means "thank you for the food".
  27. Hakro

    Hakro Senior Member

    Helsinki, Finland
    Finnish - Finland
    Thank you for the information!
  28. Lemminkäinen

    Lemminkäinen Senior Member

    Oslo, Norway
    Norwegian (bokmål)
    We've done the same: God appetitt

    I'm not saying the expression is wrong (I know it's not), but why is the genetive form used?
  29. jazyk Senior Member

    Brno, Česká republika
    Brazílie, portugalština
    Because the verb желать (to wish), which requires the genitive case, is implied. Maybe if languages were anything close to logical, the same would be found in all the greetings, but it just turns out that all of them are in the accusative.
  30. deine Senior Member

    Lithuania - lithuanian

    Gero apetito or more common - Skanaus
  31. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    TAGALOG (Philipines)
    I never heard the Tagalogs say anything like "bon appétit".
    Rarely they will say: Káin ná. "Let's eat."
  32. pharabus Member

    I thought it was "kain tayo" in Tagalog, what is the difference?
  33. doman

    doman Member

    Vietnam, Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)

    Chúc ngon miệng !
    Chúc ăn ngon !
  34. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    Quite possibly:táyo means "we + you". I only heard káin ná ( means "now"). Let's wait for native speakers' opinions.
  35. AmstelCee Member

    Spain (Spanish)
    En gallego: "bo proveito"
    En spanish: "buen provecho" or "que aproveche"
  36. linguist786 Senior Member

    Blackburn, England
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    The closest we would get to it in Gujarati (even though a snappy phrase like "bon appétit" doesn't really exist) is:

    સારી રીતે ખાશો! (saari riite khaasho!) - (haari ritnaa khaajo! in my dialect)
    Good - way - eat! (imperative)
    "Eat well!"

    The Hindi/Urdu would hence be:

    अच्छी तरह खाना!/اچهى طرح كهانا!
    (achChii tarah khaanaa!)
  37. irishpolyglot Senior Member

    Hiberno English (Ireland)
    In Irish I'd say "Bígi go subhach" /Bee-gee goh soo-wok/ (sorry I'm not using actual phonetic symbols there, that's gee like the 'g' in girl), and this is addressed at more than one person.

    But if I was speaking in English I would actually use the French bon appétit just like I would say bon voyage for example. "Enjoy your meal" sounds very American to me personally, and "let's begin" doesn't sound like something you would usually here before a meal, but perhaps other English speakers do say it! Then there are always less formal expressions like tuck in! etc.
  38. univerio Senior Member

    Vancouver, Cancada
    Mandarin Chinese, China
    Chinese: 请享用[請享用] (please enjoy) or 请慢用[請慢用] (please use/eat slowly)

    The latter is more common, though.
  39. Christhiane Senior Member

    I for my part never really use god appetitt, usually bon appétit.
  40. Celoriu

    Celoriu New Member

    Uviéu, Asturies
    Asturies - Asturian
    In Asturian, as in other languages of the Iberian Peninsula, we've got two variants of the expression: "bon provechu" o "qu'aproveche". I think the first may be more polite.
  41. daoxunchang Senior Member

    Chinese China
    used before the dinner?
    The feast holder sits on the highest seat of the first table and, looking at all the guests, smiling, says: 大家不要客气,放开吃啊"Please everyone, enjoy your meal. Eat as much as you like." Of course, it's after the addresses:)
    Actually this expression 大家慢用"everyone, eat slowly" is much more commonly after one has finished his dinner and is leaving the table. Usually he says: 我吃好了,你们慢用啊I've finished eating. You go on enjoying your dinner slowly.
    We don't say anything when having dinner with family or classmates or collegues.
  42. univerio Senior Member

    Vancouver, Cancada
    Mandarin Chinese, China
    请慢用 is usually said by the waiter after all dishes have been prepared and brought up (菜都上齐了,请慢用 (All dishes are brought up, please enjoy/eat etc.)), as is with bon appétit. Your suggestions are more colloquial and casual, and therefore not commonly used by a waiter.
  43. tanzhang Senior Member

    PHILIPPINES - Tagalog and English
    In Tagalog:

    Well I say...
    Kain na! - (let's) Eat now!
    kain tayo! - let's eat!
    kain na tayo! - Let's eat now!
    kain na kayo! - you guys eat already!
    kain ka pa! - eat some more!
  44. Qcumber Senior Member

    UK English
    This is my preferred one because Filipino food is scrumptious. :thumbsup:
  45. mylasalle Senior Member

    English - Philippines
    There's an interesting addition I can make with regard to the Tagalog language.

    A common expression come meal time would be "Kain" (read as: Ka-een) which would literally mean "Eat." It has come to mean an invitation for all to begin eating. The context can be thereby extended to mean "Let's eat."

    On occassion, people would say "Kain na" with the added NA expression meaning "already." The context would therefore now translate to "Let's eat already."

    There's a funny expression, though, you might encounter from Filipinos come meal time: "galit-galit muna." The word "galit" here literally means "angry" and is duplicated for emphasis. "Muna" is literally translated to "at first." So if we were to derive the literal meaning of the entire phrase, we can understand it in English as "Let's be angry (with one another) first."

    The peculiar expression has come to mean that as the participants begin eating, everyone suddenly falls silent as all is apparently preoccupied with satisfying their hunger. It would therefore appear as if everyone were angry with each other - certainly an uncomfortable thought. So in order to avoid any misinterpretation of aloofness, the participants would discreetly ask permission: "Let's be angry with one another first."

    Galit-galit muna.

    Languages are certainly quirky, aren't they. ;)
  46. elipez New Member

    Denmark, danish
    In Denmark we don't usually say something before the meal, but ALWAYS after : Tak for mad (thank you for the meal), wich is answered by Velbekomme (You're welcome)
  47. suslik

    suslik Senior Member

    USA, Atlanta
    Estonia, estonian
    In Estonia we say: "Head isu!" and it means exactly bon appétit
  48. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I don't think we have one...:(
  49. kusurija

    kusurija Senior Member

    Lithuania, K. city
    Lithuania Czech
    ..and 3-rd (more rare) Skalsa! (Lithuanian)

    In Czech:
    Dobrou chuť! ((I wish) good apetite) or
    Dobré chutnání (answer: Děkujeme za přání or Nápodobně)

    In Japanese I only add characters:
    戴きます[itadakimasu] and ご馳走さま or 御馳走様[gochiso:sama]
    As I heard, translation of "Good apetit" is 良く飯上げて下さい[yoku meshiagete kudasai] (this needs confirmation from native Japanese)

    I'm afraid, that all Chinese texts in this thread I couldn't read properly. Could You someone help me with it?
    Thank You!
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2008
  50. daoxunchang Senior Member

    Chinese China
    Look closely and you'll find I've put the English meaning after the Chinese.

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