God bless you! / bless you (sneezing)

Discussion in 'French-English Vocabulary / Vocabulaire Français-Anglais' started by pen, Sep 18, 2004.

  1. pen Senior Member

    I have been looking for the translation in French of "God bless you !" (what we say after someone sneezes)
    Thanks! I really appreciate it.

    Pen :confused:

    Multiple threads merged to create this one. Related thread:
    bless you (after a sneeze)
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 15, 2015
  2. aurayfrance Senior Member

    France, French, English and Spanish
    "God bless you" is usually translated by "Dieu vous bénisse". But, when someone sneezes, we use another phrase: "A vos souhaits".
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 14, 2015
  3. clavie Member

    Canada - french
    "À vos souhaits" in the formal sense, or "à tes souhaits" for someone you know well
  4. mortnme New Member

    Canada - English & French
    also, another way to say it is "a tes amours". My teacher always says that when someone sneezes more than once! It's so funny! Ya... sorry bout that. Like I said, that's another way to translate it! :)
  5. valerie Senior Member

    France, French & Spanish
    If they say to you 'à tes amours', you may respond 'que les tiennes durent toujours'
  6. beri Senior Member

    the whole thing is
    1st sneeze : A tes/vos souhaits!
    2nd sneeze : A tes/vos amours! (que les tiennes/vôtres durent toujours)
    3rd sneeze : A tes/vos aïeux!
    4th sneeze : Crève! (Die! :mad: :D)

    this only works if the sneezes are almost one after the other.
    And you will observe that in general, nobody will go and die, they always stop at the third one!!
  7. negima101 New Member

    America / English
    How do you pronounce those? I was just wondering. Thank you.
  8. E-J

    E-J Senior Member

    Cambridgeshire, UK
    England, English
    J'ai cherché le mot "aïeux" dans le Trésor de la Langue Française, où j'ai trouvé le synonyme "ancêtres". C'est bien la signification de ce mot dans ce contexte?
  9. LeoO

    LeoO Member

    France, Clermont-fd
    france , français

    To be honnest as a french I've never heard this phrase before and I thought that Aïeux comes from the onomatopé ( I don't know how to spell onomatopé) "Aïe" like "outch" ( or something like that) in english.
  10. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Oui, E-J. On l'utilise souvent ainsi, c'est un classique.

    Je le dis également sous forme d'exclamation lorsque quelque chose m'étonne :
    - Oh, mes aïeux ! Il fait un froid, ce matin !

  11. cyb

    cyb Senior Member

    French, France
    j'irais pas dire que c'est un classique, on peut l'entendre de temps en temps mais rarement parmis les jeunes.
  12. Gil Senior Member

    Français, Canada
  13. claudine75 Senior Member

    NOW in Paris, France (before: NYC,London)
    REAL bilingual Eng&Fr from bilingual background
    the translation for "God bless you" is "(que) Dieu te/vous bénisse" but when someone sneezes one usually says "à tes/vos souhaits"
    hope this has helped ! :)
  14. Joelline

    Joelline Senior Member

    USA (W. Pennsylvania)
    American English
    I had a Belgian friend who used to say "Salut" when someone sneezed. Is that another possibility?
  15. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Mmm... never heard it in France. I can't say for other francophone countries. :)
  16. Jim69 Senior Member

    Lyon, France
    Moi je dis "va te moucher" :D
    Non je préfère "A tes/vos souhaits"....
  17. cariosus New Member

    American English - USA
    I'm sorry if someone already asked this, I've only skimmed the thread because my eyes hurt...

    In French, do people generally say "merci" when people say "à tes souhait"? We don't always say it in English and when I didn't say merci right away (I had 2 sneezes with a pause in between), the person gave me a look. Is it seen as rude?
  18. africangie

    africangie Senior Member

    Montréal, Québec, Canada
    English, U.S. (and Spanish - Colombian)

    I've heard people say "sant
    é" when someone sneezes in Switzerland.
  19. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    Yes, we usually do.
    But, actually, a genuinely polite person would never say à tes souhaits. He would discreetely turn his eyes to another direction and pretend not to have noticed anything. :D
  20. Zhorg Senior Member

    On utilise "santé" en France pour "cheers" lorsqu'on boit un coup entre amis "tchin!"
  21. Gutenberg

    Gutenberg Senior Member

    Province de Québec, Canada
    français international
    After someone sneezes, in French we say "À tes souhaits!" or "À vos souhaits!" and it can be translated "To your wishes!"
  22. mplsray Senior Member

    Are there not genuinely polite French speakers who are superstitious? I don't know how widespread the belief is, but there are still English-speaking people who would consider it very bad luck not to say Bless you! when another person sneezed. Indeed, the expression owes its existence to such a belief, as does another expression used in American and Australian English borrowed from German (and also Yiddish, according to the Wikipedia article) Gesundheit!
  23. Agnès E.

    Agnès E. Senior Member

    France, French
    I've never heard about that in France. But it could be right, nevertheless, as I'm not a specialist in superstitions... :eek:
  24. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    I completely agree with Agnès. You can say "A tes souhaits" to a friend, but I think the best, the most polite is to keep silent.

    "God Bless you" : I heard this sentence for the first time in a translation of an american picture. It's never used in french (I mean the translation : Dieu te/bénisse) except perhaps in very old provincial novels... If you tell such a sentence, I think the people would look at you a bit surprised ! :D
  25. hashamyim Member

    English / England
    Everyone seems to be so confused on the english side i feel i should clear something up. 'Bless you' as a phrase isn't really much to do with religion in English either.
    It stems from the Great Plague in London of 1665 when it was generally thought that the plague first showed signs of having infected someone if you sneezed. The second sign would be black ring shapes on your skin (mainly hands). So therefore, when somebody sneezed, it became customary to give them god's blessing so that they hopefully wouldn't die! And we keep this to this day. Previous to this, sneezing was ironically considered to be quite fashionable. If someone were to sneeze, then it was supposedly a sign of being very clean because everyone was dirty in those days, and internal dirt coming out meant that the body thought the skin was unhealthily clean and needed some extra dirt!
    In most other countries, a sign of health rather than religion is given (though our religious phrase is in itself, more healthy than religious). For example in Germany (and thanks to immigration, in America) they say 'gesundheit' which literally translates as 'good health' or 'healthiness'.
    So to translate 'God bless you' into french would make very little sense!

    Hope this helps.
  26. catay Senior Member

    Canada anglais
    de l'hymne national du Canada:
    O Canada! Terre de nos aïeux, Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux.:)
  27. cariosus New Member

    American English - USA
    oui, j'ai entendu cela aussi.
    merci. :)
  28. matcop New Member

    french france
    quand quelqu'un eternue, je me souviens que mon professeur nous disais cette phrase venue du vieux francais:
    "creve donc vieille vache!"
    (on l'on s'adresse "a la maladie" ;p)
  29. emmaD Member

    Paris, France
    français, France
    "Dieu vous bénisse" was never used when someone sneezed (for all I know). But it was used by beggars to thank a benefactor. It is'nt anymore in use, because religion is such a private subject in France, that we just don't refer to God in public, even for little things like that.
    (I'm sorry for my English...)

    Pour "à tes amours", une de mes amies ne répond pas "et que les tiennes durent toujours", mais "et que les tiennes commencent un jour" ...
  30. esprit Senior Member

    English, Canada
    and I have a French Christian friend who often signed her letters "Que Dieu te garde", where we might normally write "God bless you, (signed...)"
  31. natalie_tyw Member

    Cantonese, HK
    What would the French say when somebody sneezes?
  32. zibou Senior Member

    French - France/ English - England
    As in "Bless you"?

    A tes/vos souhaits.
  33. BMR

    BMR Senior Member

    "A" sneezes ...
    B : - à tes souhaits (or : à vos souhaits, more formal)
    A : - merci.

    Another one (between friends only) :
    "A" sneezes ...
    B : - à tes souhaits belle plante
    A : - merci fleur charmante.

    The last one :
    "A" sneezes ...
    B : - à tes amours.
  34. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    He he, I had never heard nor said that one :D

    And you can add "qu'ils durent toujours" (I thought B said that for a third sneeze but apparently, it's A who answers that, I don't know ... :( )
  35. zibou Senior Member

    French - France/ English - England

    I didn't know the second one, but after "tes amours" (which is then number 2), we say "à tes emmerdes" (obviously only among friends).

    And as a friend of mine always said, after you sneeze four times in a row, we say "va voir un médecin".
  36. saddamtohmto

    saddamtohmto Member

    Francophone / Suisse
    Je confirme, en Suisse on emploie plus généralement "santé" que "à tes/vos souhaits". Je pensais d'ailleurs qu'il était aussi possible de l'employer dans les autres pays francophones.
  37. Bitzy Member

    Midwest, USA
    USA, English

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that "amour" is masculine and "les tiennes" refers to a feminine? Does anyone know what "les tiennes" is supposed to refer to, as I am assuming that it isn't actually "tes amours."

  38. wildeline

    wildeline Senior Member

    Pour LeoO : Aïe! Euh! avec une pointe d'exaspération dans la voix.
  39. OLN

    OLN Senior Member

    French - France, ♀
    les amours is feminine. :)
    amour is masc. sing. and fem. plural, like orgue and délice

  40. Bitzy Member

    Midwest, USA
    USA, English
    Oh, how delightful!! Thank you so much!
  41. Jabote Senior Member

    Mirabel, Quebec, Canada
    French from France
    Well I know someone (my grandmother) who always said "Dieu te bénisse ! Qu'il te fasse le nez comme j'ai la cuisse, sans pour autant qu'il me la raccourcisse !"... :D
  42. sun-and-happiness Senior Member

    Comment est-ce que l'on dit quand quelqu'un éternue? Je voudrais savoir l'expression utilisée en France, mais aussi dans les autres pays francophones. Merci a tous!
  43. FRENFR

    FRENFR Senior Member

    A tes souhaits :) (France)
  44. Samajanantha New Member

    Southern U.S.
    English - American (Midwestern Dialect)
    I studied in France a few years ago, and I've always thought that the progression could go like this:

    à tes/vos souhaits
    à tes/vos amours
    et qu'ils restent toujours

    Does anyone have any insight as to whether people sometimes say the third one? Or did I somehow just make it up? You have to admit that it has a nice ring to it.
  45. Bitzy Member

    Midwest, USA
    USA, English
    People in France definitely say in response to the second one, "à tes/vos amours," "Que les tiennes/vôtres durent toujours." But it's not a progression like if you sneeze the third time they'll say it. It's that if you sneeze twice, and they've said "A tes souhaits" and "A tes amours," you'll respond, rather than saying thank you, with "Que les tiennes durent toujours."
  46. itka Senior Member

    Nice, France
    Just remember all that is fitting only with (preferably young) close friends !
    Never answer "à vos amours" to your director !:D
  47. alixe80 Member

    Je n'ai vraiment jamais entendu ça...
    On dit juste "A tes souhaits" ou "Gezonheid" (si tu es a Bruxelles ou en flandre)
  48. alixe80 Member

    lolll, jamais entendu ça mais je crois que ça me ferait arrêter d'éternuer tout de suite loll
  49. Topsie

    Topsie Senior Member

    Avignon, France
    à tes/vos;) amours!

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