International Greetings

Multilingual discussion goes here.
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Perfect Stranger
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International Greetings

Post by Perfect Stranger » Mon Dec 25, 2006 15:23

So it's less than an hour away from the end of Christmas here, I realise, which makes this thread probably too late for its own good, but I thought it was a good idea to have this here eventually anyway, so here we go~! A collection of greetings for certain occassions.

I'll start with Japanese, though I'll probably eventually add some Chinese greetings as well. By the by, other speakers are more than welcome to contribute to this thread by adding their greetings in whatever language.

メリークリスマス merii kurisumasu
Merry Christmas, obviously.

よいお年を yoi otoshi o
Happy New Year, although, to be specific, this is only said in the run up from the end of December till New Year's Eve. On New Year's day itself something else is said (see below).

Also note that this is a contraction: the full greeting is:
よいお年をお迎えください yoi otoshi o omukae kudasai
The more literal translation of this greeting (as opposed to simply Happy New Year) is something like "Please go to meet a good new year ahead"

明けましておめでとうございます akemashite omedetou gozaimasu
Happy New Year. Said on the New Year itself, i.e. January 1st. You can also omit the gozaimasu part if you want to be less formal. Or, if you want to be even more formal, the following phrase is often said immediately after:
今年もよろしくお願いします kotoshi mo yoroshiku onegai shimasu
This literally means something like "Please treat me with kindness in the coming year as well".

誕生日おめでとうございます tanjoubi omedetou gozaimasu
Happy Birthday! If it isn't obvious yet, omedetou gozaimasu is basically Congratulations. In this case tanjoubi is the noun for birthday, so it almost literally IS happy birthday.

I guess that's enough for starters, I'm sure you guys get the idea, go to it.

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Post by Alseid » Mon Dec 25, 2006 17:22

Good idea, PS. I'll just go ahead and do the Spanish ones.

Well, this is a lot simpler than the Japanese greetings, it's basically using the "Feliz + (event)" structure, Feliz meaning Happy (or merry, in the case of Christmas). There's also no real distinctions on what to say depending on when; the same greeting can be used, for example, in New Year's eve as in New Year's day tself, or later.
Of course, if you're VERY late, you can add "Atrasada"(for Christmas) or "Atrasado" (for New Years and Birthdays) to the end of the greeting, meaning "Belated"

So for Christmas it is "Feliz Navidad".
In some places, instead of Navidad, Christmas is called "Pascua" or "Pascuas", which is rather confusing because these are also also the names of Easter. In that case, the greeting is "Feliz Pascua" or "Felices Pascuas". The only difference between these two is that the first one is in singular and the second in plural. As to where to use each, I couldn't really say. It depends on the country and even the demographics; in Chile, a few years back, we used to use the "Pascua" one, but now it's "Navidad".

For New Year's it is "Feliz Año Nuevo". This may seem a little silly, but note that the Ñ is important, in that changing it to N due to it not being present in the English language, and thus being difficult to pronnounce and being absent in many kinds of keyboards, changes the meaning in a rather unpleasant way. Of course, most people will understand what you're trying to say anyway.

Also, often the Christmas and New Years greetings are done together, in the form of "Feliz Navidad y Prospero Año Nuevo", meaning "Merry Christmas and a Prosperous New Year". This is evidently used when you're not sure you're gonna see the greeted person during both holidays.
A very simplified version of this is "Felices Fiestas". Basically, "Happy Holidays"

As for Birthday, it is "Feliz Cumpleaños". Once again, the Ñ thing.

Well, that's that. Like I said, it's simpler than Japanese, although it does have some little details to pay attention to.
Hope it helps.

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