my condolences

Discussion in 'All Languages' started by ThomasK, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. ThomasK Senior Member

    (near) Kortrijk, Belgium
    Belgium, Dutch
    In Dutch we use something like "sincere/deep participation": innige deelneming (deel=part). I suppose in a lot of languages there is this idea of sharing, expressed either by something like "part/share" or "together [con-] in grief [dolor]". Or what do you use? Some background about the meaning of the expression is welcome.

    In Dutch it is also used in some ironical or even sarcastic sense: if someone is going for an undertaking/ initiative that is bound to fail, we might use the expression to suggest in advance that it won't work. Maybe you have this use in your language as well...
  2. TheCrociato91 Senior Member

    Brescia, Italy
    Italian - Northern Italy
    In Italian we say: condoglianze (same as the English condolences), which like you said suggests the idea of sharing the pain, suffering together. On a more formal level (especially in written messages), one may add: le mie più sentite condoglianze (= my most heart-felt condolences).

    I think this could apply to the Italian condoglianze too. But I feel like we mostly use it in an ironical way when someone is forced to bear something unpleasant, as in:
    a) Domani viene a trovarmi mia suocera. (= My mother-in-law is coming over tomorrow)
    b) Condoglianze!

    (Not sure if the above is understandable in all cultures, so I'll add a rider; in Italy mother-in-laws are stereotypically considered annoying / not fun to be around, hence condolences).
  3. Dymn

    Dymn Senior Member

    Apart from "mis condolencias", in Spanish you can also say pésame ("it weighs me", like, it deeply affects me), for example "mi más sentido pésame" (as in #2), or also "te acompaño en el sentimiento" ("I share your feeling"). The latter is pretty common in the sarcastic sense, which I'd say is closer to what TheCrociato describes.
  4. apmoy70

    apmoy70 Senior Member

    In Greek it's «συλλυπητήρια» [ˈti.ɾi.a] (neut. nom. pl.) which is something like sharing the sadness:
    «Συν» [sin] (preposition) < Classical prep. & prefix «σύν» sún (which becomes «συλ-» with assimilation) + «λύπη» [ˈli.pi] (fem.) < Classical fem. «λύπη» lúpē.
    Sarcastically we too can use in similar circumstances to TheCrociato's example.
  5. eno2

    eno2 Senior Member

    El Hierro de Canarias
    (mis condolencias mi más sentido pésame) are not usable in sarcastic sense?
  6. Awwal12

    Awwal12 Senior Member

    Moscow, the RF
    Russian utilizes a full morphological calque: "мои соболезнования" (moí soboléznovaniya). All it comes from Latin through various mediums, of course.
  7. AndrasBP

    AndrasBP Senior Member

    Budapest, Hungary
    In Hungarian, it's the same as in Dutch:

    (őszinte) részvétem

    őszinte = honest, sincere
    részvét = participation, part-taking (rész = part)
    -em = my

    An ironic/sarcastic use is also possible.
  8. MiguelitOOO

    MiguelitOOO Senior Member

    Español - México
    Not in funerals, obviously, but if someone drops his only slice of pizza on the dirty floor, you can say to him "mis condolencias" or "mi más sentido pésame" (you can only say it among friends).
  9. Armas Senior Member


    osanotto "part-taking"
    surunvalittelu "grief-lamenting"

    If it's not because of a death, you can use the verb valittaa which has three meanings: 1) "to lament" 2) "to be sorry" 3) "to complain".
  10. merquiades

    merquiades Senior Member

    Lorraine in France
    English (US Northeast)
    In English besides "give someone your (sincere) condolences" you could say "I feel (share in) your pain, your grief" , "I'm with you in your sorrow", "I take part in the (your) mourning of______" . "Please accept my (deepest) sympathy." That shows commiseration. Though the most common way to give condolences is "sorry for your loss."

    Someone might say "my condolences" if you drop a piece of pizza but you're taking the risk people won't appreciate this sense of humor.

    In French
    "Crois/croyez à toute ma sympathie"
    " Je te/vous présente mes (sinceres) condoléances"
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2019
  11. Stoggler

    Stoggler Senior Member

    Sussex, GBR
    UK English
    The ones I've put in italics sound insincere (and potentially patronising) to my British English ears/eyes.

    The one in bold is, I think, the most common one over here in Britain too (and most natural sounding).
  12. Penyafort

    Penyafort Senior Member

    Catalan (Catalonia), Spanish (Spain)
    In Catalan:

    Rebeu/Accepteu l'expressió del meu condol. ("Receive/Accept the expression of my condolence")

    (less formal)
    El meu condol més sincer. ("My most sincere condolence")
    Us/T' acompanyo en el sentiment. ("I accompany you/sympathize with you in the feeling")

    Condol is a postverbal noun from condoldre's "feel grief with someone" [< Latin condolere "suffer with someone", from com "with, together" + dolere "to grieve"]

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