Shhhh (be quiet)

Masood

Senior Member
British English
What word or (more accurately) sound do you use in Spain when you want someone/some people to be quiet?
For example, a teacher to his/her class of children. We'd say "Shhhh" in English, but that sound is not native to Spanish, so what would you say in Spain?
 
  • SevenDays

    Senior Member
    Spanish
    I think "shhh" is the universal sound of "(be quiet)," so it works and it's understood in Spanish too (though you are asking specifically about Spain, so let's wait for our Spaniard friends).
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    It's interesting that sh has become so widespread in usage. It is also used in Japanese and Italian. However, as far as I know, it comes from the English word "hush," so I wonder how it gained such wide popularity in different languages.
     

    cametolearn

    Member
    Spanish - Spain
    In Spain, "shhh" isn't used much. What we use is the same sound but without the "h", just like setting your lips to pronounce and spanish "u" but saying an "s". It's more natural.
     

    gengo

    Senior Member
    American English
    Although the sound may not be the same as the English sh, I think shh is indeed used in writing in Spanish. Here is one example from the Net.

    Tienes que dejar que te explique—comenzó a decir.
    —Shh —dijo Dexter, y de nuevo, le rozó el pelo con los labios.
     

    chileno

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Chile
    Although the sound may not be the same as the English sh, I think shh is indeed used in writing in Spanish. Here is one example from the Net.

    Tienes que dejar que te explique—comenzó a decir.
    —Shh —dijo Dexter, y de nuevo, le rozó el pelo con los labios.

    OK...what happens is that I guess, I can only go so far due to my age and i am 62.... and all of these are just suppositions, since I don't know since when we Chileans (I cannot speak for anybody else) have been using that shhh in written form and since when we have producing the sound "a la chilena...chhhh) But I told you "chito" is the word to command silence.

    Maybe, movies had to do something about this. You see, all of the movies from Europe or the U.S. were subtitled, mostly I would guess in Mexico. So it is natural to have seen it written in English as it didn't have a translation and nobody would just write it like the sound chhh in the subtitles.

    Same thing with a lot of comics that would come imported, again, mainly from Mexico.

    Then again, we are a melting pot in Chile and the usual big British corporations got hold of the economy and of course of the main business language.

    Many British and American companies, that would bring their top people and they interacted with the general population starting with their Chilean workers...

    Many words were extracted from there and incorporated into our castilian.

    Same thing with Football.

    Again, I don't know how far back this goes and if before all that interaction with the British we were saying chhh or shhh or whatever.

    I am hoping for comments on all this...there must be millions of reasons, but somehow I think more or less the Hispanic world as been subjected to the same experience, one way or another.

    :)
     

    Plain Language

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    What word or (more accurately) sound do you use in Spain when you want someone/some people to be quiet?
    For example, a teacher to his/her class of children. We'd say "Shhhh" in English, but that sound is not native to Spanish, so what would you say in Spain?

    We usually use:"¡Chissst!". In Spanish we don't have the sound "sh". However there is one similar sound in the northwest of Spain (Galicia), I mean the sound of "x" there. They say "xénero" , "xente","hoxe" and it sounds as "sh" in English (not exactly)

    Chileno: I have just realised that here, we use another different word for "chito". Here we use "chitón" instead of "chito". Do you use "chitón" in Chile, or only "chito"?
     

    chileno

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Chile
    We usually use:"¡Chissst!". In Spanish we don't have the sound "sh". However there is one similar sound in the northwest of Spain (Galicia), I mean the sound of "x" there. They say "xénero" , "xente","hoxe" and it sounds as "sh" in English (not exactly)

    Chileno: I have just realised that here, we use another different word for "chito". Here we use "chitón" instead of "chito". Do you use "chitón" in Chile, or only "chito"?

    I think it is chito....y recuerdo ese chitón que se entiende también, en contexto por supuesto.
     

    Plain Language

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    ;)Thank you, Chileno. I have learnt a new word from my own language. Languages are amazing. Today I feel that my level of culture is higher than yesterday,ha,ha!
     

    jmx

    Senior Member
    Spain / Spanish
    "¡Chissst!" and similar expressions are just lame attempts to write the sound with Spanish spelling. The sound I've heard in Spain since my childhood to make people shut up is shhhh, though in some people it might be more like sssss. Also, a finger is typically put vertically in front of one's mouth.
     
    Last edited:

    Plain Language

    Senior Member
    Spanish-Spain
    "¡Chissst!" and similar expressions are just lame attempts to write the sound with Spanish spelling. The sound I've heard in Spain since my childhood to make people shut up is shhhh, though in some people it might be more like sssss. Also, a finger is tipically put vertically in front of one's mouth.

    jmx, estoy de acuerdo en que el sonido lo hemos escuchado todos y que es común a muchos idiomas, pero la cuestión aquí es el habla escrita, tal y como ha aparecido en español en los comics, libros, ect a lo largo del tiempo. Además no tiene mucho sentido decir que el sonido que tú siempre has oído es "shhhh", porque no es un sonido ni un fonema, son letras que en inglés representan ese sonido. En español no es lo mismo porque no existe esa combinación de letras y yo creo que has tenido que ver "¡chissst!" muchas veces escrito. Lo que me gustaría saber es si las palabras "chito", "chitón" o la expresión "a la chita calando" tienen algo que ver con "¡chissst!.

    Agredecería que alguien diera alguna explicación sobre esto último. (Si es que la hay)
     
    Last edited:
    Top