Well, as close as we can get. Come to think of it, I've never actually heard it pronounced by a German. Do you pronounce it that way in Italy, too?combustion said:Thank you both!
So, it has the german pronunciation in America too, isn't it?
The closest approximation to a German pronunciation would betimpeac said:I have heard "Gesundheit" uttered by Americans (in films, not in real life) but I don't recall it being uttered by a Brit before so I can't comment on how we would pronounce it. The German way too I suppose.
I was at a concert hall (very small and very crowded) in Vienna a few years ago. The woman next to me sneezed, I said "gesundheit"; she then proceded to rattle off in German as if I were a native speaker. I'm not. In fact, I had used up just about all the German I knew in that one word.TrentinaNE said:Well, as close as we can get. Come to think of it, I've never actually heard it pronounced by a German. Do you pronounce it that way in Italy, too?
There's always the Jerry Seinfeld substitute expression when someone sneezes: "You're SOOOO good-looking!"DaleC said:We borrowed just one word of social intercourse, the one you use when someone sneezes (replacing "bless you!"). We don't use it in response to anything except sneezing, not even for coughing. ...
So maybe you'll agree there's something sinister about Americans saying "gesundheit!".
There also is "guh-zund-hite", which I would prefer unless I'm shouting across the street.Brioche said:The closest approximation to a German pronunciation would be
guh-zunt-hite. [consonants are unvoiced at the end of a syllable].
CAMullen said:I think "Gesundheit" is simply the German word for "soundness," and that this is the equivalent of the Italian for "health" - "salute." From what I've heard, people in most cultures respond to a sneeze with some well-wishing term while not doing so when someone coughs. I've heard the practice dates back to the time of the black plague, when a sneeze foretold something terrible that was about to happen to the sneezer. I'll bet that's the most sinister connotation of "Gesundheit," etc., etc.
Very interesting -- it could be regionally restricted. And timpeac's suggestion that it was inspired by listening to Yiddish speaking Jews, also very interesting!Lancearoni said:In the united states, people say "bless you" after someone sneezes much more often than they say "gesundheit." At least in my experience, anyway