"danke" .... "bitte"

aasheq

Senior Member
English (Estuary)
I know that in German if someone says “danke”, you reply with “bitte”. Are there any other languages that say “please” to reply to “thank you”, or is it a specifically German thing?
 
  • apmoy70

    Senior Member
    Greek
    Greek does the same, we reply to «ευχαριστώ» [efxari'sto] (thanks) with «παρακαλώ» [paraka'lo] (please)
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    I was surprised to hear that in Belgium, it can go like this:
    "Merci"
    "S'il vous plaît"

    which literally translates as:
    "Thank you"
    "Please"

    Sounds very strange to my French ears (and I have the feeling it is invading the restaurant industry in France).

    Usually, it would be:
    "de rien" (literally: "of nothing") or "Je vous en prie" (hmm, such a set phrase I can't really translate it literally :-/)
     

    Encolpius

    Senior Member
    Hungarian
    The German etiquette goes like this:
    - Bitte schön. (you are giving)
    - Danke schön. (you are receiving)
    - Bitte schön.

    The Hungarian almost follows that:
    - Tessék.
    - Köszönöm.
    - Kérem.

    There are not many languages which have 3 different "etiquette words" in that situation, so it is always difficult for a Hungarian to learn which to choose of two. If I am not mistaken Turkish use also 3 different words, and Slovaks (Hungarian influence?) as well.
     
    Last edited:

    fdb

    Senior Member
    French (France)
    Sounds very strange to my French ears (and I have the feeling it is invading the restaurant industry in France).
    To mine too. Waiters in London have started saying “you’re welcome”, but that is because they learnt their English by watching American movies. Well brought-up English children know you should never respond to “thank you”.
     

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    I was surprised to hear that in Belgium, it can go like this:
    "Merci"
    "S'il vous plaît"
    which literally translates as:
    "Thank you"
    "Please"
    Sounds very strange to my French ears (and I have the feeling it is invading the restaurant industry in France.


    Usually, it would be:
    "de rien" (literally: "of nothing") or "Je vous en prie" (hmm, such a set phrase I can't really translate it literally :-/)

    Isn't "Je vous en prie" just the same?!
     

    ablativ

    Senior Member
    German(y)
    To mine too. Waiters in London have started saying “you’re welcome”, but that is because they learnt their English by watching American movies. Well brought-up English children know you should never respond to “thank you”.
    Waiters in America have started saying "no problem" instead of "you're welcome". According to the "how-to-behave" rules this is said to be rather impolite. But I think not saying anything when someone else says "thank you" is considered very coarse manners. It is highly interesting to learn that this is handled so differently in England. What is the person who has been thanked supposed to do (in England)? Just ignoring the "thank you"?

    When I learned English, my (British) English book taught me to respond "don't mention it; it's a pleasure (my pleasure); not at all; any time; etc.".
     
    Last edited:

    rayloom

    Senior Member
    Arabic (Hijazi Arabic)
    To me "je vous en prie" is more polite than "de rien" by the way but what I mean is that I can't give a literal translation of "je vous en prie" ("I pray you of it"?!! :eek:) ;)
    No I meant like Italian Prego and English Pray. Pray in English was used to mean "please", though unlike Prego, wasn't used as a reply to "Thank you".
    Wilt thou answer me? Pray! ;)
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    Isn't "Je vous en prie" just the same?!
    You're right. In this context je vous en prie is an idiom meaning "you're welcome", of course, but in other contexts it does means "please". (A more literal rendering would be "I beg of you".)
     

    sound shift

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Waiters in America have started saying "no problem" instead of "you're welcome". According to the "how-to-behave" rules this is said to be rather impolite. But I think not saying anything when someone else says "thank you" is considered very coarse manners. It is highly interesting to learn that this is handled so differently in England. What is the person who has been thanked supposed to do (in England)? Just ignoring the "thank you"?
    It is quite common to say nothing in response to "Thank you" in England; it is not considered coarse manners here - but if I buy something in a shop and say "Thank you", the shop assistant sometimes responds with "Thank you", or "No, thank you", with a heavy contrastive stress on "you", which implies "You shouldn't be thanking me; I should be thanking you". This is difficult for speakers of languages that don't have contrastive stress.
     

    Maroseika

    Moderator
    Russian
    To me "je vous en prie" is more polite than "de rien" by the way but what I mean is that I can't give a literal translation of "je vous en prie" ("I pray you of it"?!! :eek:) ;)
    Surprisingly, there is the same construction in Russian:

    - Спасибо. (Thank you)
    - Я вас умоляю! (I beg you - hard to say what is being begged for, maybe not to mention)

    It is used semi-jocular and was peculiar to the Jewish potois, and maybe it was just a French loan/
     

    Frank78

    Senior Member
    German
    The German etiquette goes like this:
    - Bitte schön. (you are giving)
    - Danke schön. (you are receiving)
    - Bitte schön.
    That would be a strange usage. If there's an initial "bitte" the second "bitte" afterwards sounds out of place.

    So I'd use it as in English:
    A: Bitte
    B: Danke
    A: Gern geschehen (or something similar)

    I would only use "bitte" after "danke" when there is no initial "bitte".

    A: (gives something/does somebody a favour/etc.)
    B: Danke
    A: Bitte ("Gern geschehen" would also be correct)
     

    kloie

    Senior Member
    English
    In serbian
    хвала=thank you
    молим=i beg,pray,ask for,but is commonly used for you're welcome
    нема на чему=more formal you're welcome
     

    Selyd

    Senior Member
    ucraniano
    In Ukrainian:
    Thank you:
    Дякую /dyakuyu/
    Красно дякую /krasno dyakuyu/
    Спасибі /spasybi/
    Please:
    Будь ласка /bud' laska/
    Прошу /proshu/
    Нема за що /nema za scho/
     

    aasheq

    Senior Member
    English (Estuary)
    ......but remember: I am not asking how to say "please" and "thank you" in every possible language. I am asking which languages use the SAME WORD to offer someone something and to respond to their thanks.
     
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