Cross my heart and hope to die

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by 810senior, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese
    I think most of languages have the phrase you would say when you make a promise and vow not to break it.

    In English:
    Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye (I know this quote came from the poem, right?)

    In Japanese:
    指きりげんまん嘘ついたら針千本飲ます yubikiri genman uso tsuitara hari senbon nomasu
    Have our fingers crossed, punch you ten thousand times, when you lie, let you swallow thousand needles.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What about it in your language?
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2015
  2. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    Greek
    In Greek:


    «Να πέσει φωτιά να με κάψει» [na ˈpesi foˈtça na me ˈkapsi] --> fire to fall (from above) and char me


    «Φιλάω Σταυρό» [fiˈla.o staˈvro] --> kiss the cross


    «Μάρτυς μου ο Θεός» [ˈmartis mu o θeˈos] --> God is my witness


    Ancient Greeks vowed to deities:

    «Νὴ (τόν) Δία» nḕ (tón) Díă --> by (the) Zeus; «νὴ (τόν) Ἀπόλλω» nḕ (tón) Ăpóllō --> by (the) Apollo etc.
    «Νὴ» nḕ is a particle of strong affirmation that when used with the name of the deity in accusative, invokes divinity. Correponds with Latin nē, really, perhaps from PIE *(h₁e)no-, that one.
     
  3. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
  4. rusita preciosa

    rusita preciosa Modus forendi

    USA (Φιλαδέλφεια)
    Russian (Moscow)
    Russian:
    зуб даю /zub daiu/- I swear on my tooth (lit. I give my tooth)
    голову даю на отсечение /golovu daiu na otsechenie/- I swear on my head (lit., I give my head for cutting off)
    чтоб мне сдохнуть /tchtob mne sdokhnut/ - I swear on my life (lit., for me to croak)
     
  5. Ghabi

    Ghabi AL/OL/Ar/Zh mod

    Hong Kong
    Cantonese
    It's not exactly used for swearing, but there's a rhyming saying in Cantonese (often used by a parent to admonish a child):

    講大話甩大牙 gong2 daai6waa6 lat1 daai6(ng)aa4 "tell big-words; fall big-teeth"

    "Big-words" mean "lies" in Cantonese (but da4hua4 means "bragging; boasting" in Mandarin, a pair of false friends), and "big-teeth" mean "molars": "You'll lose your molars if you tell lies!"
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015
  6. Encolpius

    Encolpius Senior Member

    Hungarian
    Context? Just because I think it is mainly a scout promise or what....Czechs, French have the same...I cannot recall any Hungarian kids promise now
    But if you just want to hear a type of promise used by adults here you go:

    Hungarian -- Isten bizony! Becsszó! Ez a színtiszta igazság!
     
  7. ilocas2 Banned

    Czech
    I must say that in Czech there is not the saying provided in the post #3 for French, I didn't find any ocurrence with those crosses except few translations of some French texts.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2015
  8. ger4 Senior Member

    German
    It's quite strange but I can't think of any similar expression in German either (I'll keep thinking though...)
     
  9. 810senior

    810senior Senior Member

    Japanese
    Thanks for lots of replies!
    I thought this type of vow phrase would be everywhere in the world so I need to take it back.

    Either way I'd like to add extra information to Japanese.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------
    We say this phrase as if we sang it in the case you make a promise with someone, so below are whole sentence and literal translation (it's so brutal in some points...):
    >Yubikiri gemman, uso tsuitara, hari senbon nomasu zo, yubi kitta
    Cutting a finger, punching you ten thousand times, when you lied, I let you swallow thousand needles, we've cut a finger

    to cut a finger refers to make a promise(the act of having each finger crossed) and we've cut a finger expresses itself that the promise has been made.
    Of course, we don't cut any finger actually.
     
  10. mataripis

    mataripis Senior Member

    Yes.there is a need to revive it.I forgot the translation in Tagalog but I am not sure if other ethnic groups have the words of Honor to tell this.Tagalog folks have short phrase- maasahan mo ako.
     

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