God bless you! / bless you (sneezing)

pen

Senior Member
Honduras/Spanish
Hi,
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)
 
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  • 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".
     
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    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! :)
     

    beri

    Senior Member
    France
    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!!
     

    negima101

    New Member
    America / English
    beri said:
    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!!
    How do you pronounce those? I was just wondering. Thank you.
     

    E-J

    Senior Member
    England, English
    beri said:
    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!
    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?
     

    LeoO

    Member
    france , français
    HI,

    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.
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    E-J said:
    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?
    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 !

    ;)
     

    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.
     

    cariosus

    New Member
    American English - USA
    Question
    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?
     

    Agnès E.

    Senior Member
    France, French
    Question
    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?
    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
     

    mplsray

    Senior Member
    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
    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!
     

    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:
     

    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    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
    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
     

    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.
    Hashamyim
     

    catay

    Senior Member
    Canada anglais
    HI,

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

    cariosus

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

    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)
     

    emmaD

    Member
    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" ...
     

    esprit

    Senior Member
    English, Canada
    Hi!

    In Francophone evangelical Christian circles (which are small, I realize), it's not that rare to hear or say "Que le Seigneur te benisse." I realize the question had to do with sneezing, but since the subject of the religion in France came up, I thought I would mention that.


    Thanks!
    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...)"
     

    BMR

    Senior Member
    France
    "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.
     

    DearPrudence

    Dépêche Mod (AL mod)
    IdF
    French (lower Normandy)
    Another one (between friends only) :
    "A" sneezes ...
    B : - à tes souhaits belle plante
    A : - merci fleur charmante.
    He he, I had never heard nor said that one :D

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

    The last one :
    "A" sneezes ...
    B : - à tes amours.
    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 ... :( )
     

    zibou

    Senior Member
    French - France/ English - England
    "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.

    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".
     

    saddamtohmto

    Member
    Francophone / Suisse
    Hi!

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

    Bitzy

    Member
    USA, English
    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)

    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."

    Thanks.
     

    sun-and-happiness

    Senior Member
    Croatian
    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!
     

    Samajanantha

    New Member
    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.
     

    Bitzy

    Member
    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."
     

    itka

    Senior Member
    français
    Just remember all that is fitting only with (preferably young) close friends !
    Never answer "à vos amours" to your director !:D
     

    alixe80

    Member
    Belgique
    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)
    lolll, jamais entendu ça mais je crois que ça me ferait arrêter d'éternuer tout de suite loll
     
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