ahchoo atchim kychnut wa-hing!
April 12, 2005 7:33 AM   Subscribe

How is the sound of a sneeze written and pronounced in languages other than English?

I've seen a great site about the sounds animals make (woof woof / wan wan / au au, etc.), but I've never seen seen something similar and comprehensive for the sound of a sneeze. Obviously, this will require romanization of a lot of languages. But even if the language is written with the Roman alphabet, a pronunciation guide would be helpful. Here's what I have so far - corrections are welcome!

ah-choo (English)
ap chkii (Russian)
atchim (Brazilian Portuguese)
hatschi (German/Dutch)
hakushon (Japanese)
achís (Spanish - are there variations?)
aak-chheen or aak-chhoon (Hindi)
a-psik (Polish)
Han-chee (Chinese - which?)
Itush (Hebrew)
Kychnut (Czech)
Wa-hing (Indonesian)
A-tchouin (French)
posted by dmo to Writing & Language (22 answers total)
 
dutch: ha tsjoe

bless you.
posted by mailhans at 8:04 AM on April 12, 2005


I love "Wa-hing" - that's my Dad, exactly.
posted by kokogiak at 8:25 AM on April 12, 2005


The Russian is ?????, which is transliterated apchkhi (or ap-chkhi -- sometimes they put a hyphen in). The -kh- is a fricative, like -ch in Bach.
posted by languagehat at 8:29 AM on April 12, 2005


Dammit, I replaced the Cyrillic on preview, but it still came out as ?????.
posted by languagehat at 8:29 AM on April 12, 2005


in my language it's "apciha!"

i wish i could tell you what my language is called. we used to call it serbo-croatian, then it became either serbian, croatian, bosnian, or montenegrin and i can't bring myself to call it any of those.

i grew up in the tito and communism era when no one acknowledged sneezes--well, my some of my parents' generation did, with "nazdravlje!"--but this was considered religious or reactionary.

because sneezes were no longer acknowledged, there was inevitably the silence after a sneeze, which we, in bosnia, would fill with "kihnu", meaning "i just sneezed"

now each group has taken to replying to sneezes with appropriate responses based on ethnicity. serbs, croats and montenegrins say "nazdravlje" and bosnian muslims say an arabic phrase.

i have been made crazy by all this. i hate what has happened to our people and our so-called language.
posted by subatomiczoo at 8:58 AM on April 12, 2005


Correction on the French: atchoun (Excusez moi!)
posted by Dick Paris at 9:06 AM on April 12, 2005


Tagalog, "hatsing," pronounced "hut-CHEENG", used as both verb and onomatopeia.
posted by brownpau at 9:23 AM on April 12, 2005


Correction on the French: atchoun (Excusez moi!)
Correction on the correction: it's actually atchoum. For instance, Atchoum is the name of Snow White's Sneezy in the French version of the movie.
posted by elgilito at 9:49 AM on April 12, 2005


Italian: ecciù
posted by matteo at 11:03 AM on April 12, 2005


o yes, pronunciation guide for "apciha" would be

ap-tsee-ha,

sometimes shortened to just "tsee-ha"
posted by subatomiczoo at 11:18 AM on April 12, 2005


I've never heard of itush in Hebrew--what I know is either la-bree-oot or leev-ree-oot (actual Hebrew) or ah-soo-ta (Aramaic, borrowed into Hebrew). I haven't been to Israel for several years though so this may be new-ish slang (borrowed from Arabic, I'd venture to guess).
posted by Raspberry at 11:24 AM on April 12, 2005


Yeah, in French (even Québecois) it's atchoum.
posted by furtive at 11:28 AM on April 12, 2005


I also have it on good authority that in Sweden it's written attjo
posted by furtive at 11:32 AM on April 12, 2005


Raspberry: "I've never heard of itush in Hebrew--what I know is either la-bree-ootor leev-ree-oot (actual Hebrew) or ah-soo-ta (Aramaic, borrowed intoHebrew). I haven't been to Israel for several years though so this maybe new-ish slang (borrowed from Arabic, I'd venture to guess)."

I believe those are the "bless you"-equivalents, i.e. what you say after someone has sneezed. The question is looking for the transliteration of the sneeze itself.
posted by Plutor at 12:08 PM on April 12, 2005


In Finnish: atsii (or atsuu)
posted by severiina at 1:33 PM on April 12, 2005


Catalan: axtim or atxum
posted by blogenstock at 2:19 PM on April 12, 2005


hatschi (German/Dutch)

For Dutch, that seems a little off target. It would be spelt "hat(s)joe" (as mailhans said, but commonly written as one word) or "hatsjie" (less frequently used). The "s" in the first one isn't used all the time it seems, but I don't think I've ever seen "hatsjie" spelt without an "s". (Full disclosure: native speaker, minor in linguistics.)

They're pronounced [hah-TCHOO] like the English equivalent, but with a shorter "OO" part, or [hah-TCHEE], again with a shorter final vowel.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:35 PM on April 12, 2005


To thank everyone, I feel compelled to share that "aciu" in Lithuanian (pronounced ahchoo with stress on the ah) means "thank you". Here's a recording of Lithuanian for "thank you very much."
posted by dmo at 6:29 PM on April 12, 2005


Correction on the correction: it's actually atchoum. For instance, Atchoum is the name of Snow White's Sneezy in the French version of the movie.

Oops. Sorry.
posted by Dick Paris at 7:09 PM on April 12, 2005


Kyrgyz: apchoo
posted by Meatbomb at 12:18 AM on April 13, 2005


Norwegian: atsjo!
Which -along with host, host (cough, cough of course)- seems to be the most common sound in the office this week. April colds...
posted by mummimamma at 12:41 AM on April 13, 2005


apologies for my dyslexia/dysgraphia...

I meant: Catalan: atxim or atxum.

It seems that atxem is another accepted spelling.
posted by blogenstock at 3:03 AM on April 13, 2005


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