Why Foreigners Say 'Bless You' When Someone Sneezes?

Why Foreigners Say 'Bless You' When Someone Sneezes?
标准 2671

英语文化杂谈:为什么打喷嚏时老外总说Bless you?

Many people have become accustomed to saying "bless you" or "gesundheit" when someone sneezes. No one says anything when someone coughs, blows their nose or burps, so why do sneezes get special treatment? What do those phrases actually mean, anyway?
当有人打喷嚏时,很多人习惯说“bless you”或“gesundheit”。但当有人咳嗽、擤鼻涕或打嗝时,人们往往不会说什么。那么为什么打喷嚏会得到特别关注呢?这些短语实际上又是什么意思呢?

Wishing someone well after they sneeze probably originated thousands of years ago. The Romans would say "Jupiter preserve you" or "Salve," which meant "good health to you," and the Greeks would wish each other "long life." The phrase "God bless you" is attributed to Pope Gregory the Great, who uttered it in the sixth century during a bubonic plague epidemic (sneezing is an obvious symptom of one form of the plague).
在有人打喷嚏时祝愿他们安好,这一习俗起源于几千年前。罗马人会说“木星保佑你”或“安慰”,意思是“祝你身体健康”。希腊人则会互相祝愿“长寿”。人们普遍认为“God bless you”这一短语起源于六世纪黑死病泛滥时期,出自罗马教皇格雷戈里之口。(打喷嚏是这种瘟疫的一种明显征兆)。

The exchangeable term "gesundheit" comes from Germany, and it literally means "health." The idea is that a sneeze typically precedes illness. It entered the English language in the early part of the 20th century, brought to the United States by German-speaking immigrants.

Virtually every country around the globe has its own way of wishing sneezers well. People in Arabic countries say, "Alhamdulillah," which means, "praise be to God." Hindus say, "Live!" or "Live well!" Some countries have special sneezing responses for children. In Russia, after children are given the traditional response, "bud zdorov" ("be healthy"), they are also told "rosti bolshoi" ("grow big"). When a child sneezes in China, he or she will hear "bai sui," which means, "may you live 100 years."

For the most part, the various sneeze responses originated from ancient superstitions. Some people believed that a sneeze causes the soul to escape the body through the nose. Saying "bless you" would stop the devil from claiming the person's freed soul. Others believed the opposite: that evil spirits use the sneeze as an opportunity to enter a person's body. There was also the misconception that the heart momentarily stops during a sneeze (it doesn't), and that saying "bless you" was a way of welcoming the person back to life.
对于打喷嚏的各种翻译,大多源于封建迷信。一些人认为,打喷嚏会导致灵魂通过鼻子脱离身体。说“保佑你”可以阻止魔鬼夺走人们的自由灵魂。还有一些人有着截然不同的想法:恶灵会趁打喷嚏时,进入人的身体。还有一些错误观念认为,打喷嚏时心跳会暂停(实际并没有),说“bless you”是欢迎你起死回生。

We now know that sneezing is a reflex action and is most often the sign of something relatively benign, such as a cold or allergy. A sneeze also can be provoked by being outside in the sunlight or from smelling a strong odor. Still, we persist in the custom of saying "bless you" or "gesundheit," mainly out of habit and commoncourtesy.
我们现在都知道,打喷嚏只是一种反射行为。通常来说,它可能是某种不怎么严重的疾病征兆,例如感冒或过敏。在户外阳光下或闻到刺激性气味,也有可能打喷嚏。我们仍然保留着说“bless you”或“gesundheit”的习俗,这是出于一种习惯和公共礼节。
  • 字数:399个
  • 易读度:标准
  • 来源:互联网 2017-05-19