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Old 22.04.2015, 19:52
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Gesundheit!

Firstly, can anyone tell me why the swiss seem to sneeze so much compared to other cultures/countries? Is it something in the air, allergies, or is it genetic? A few people in my office often have sneezing fits, especially in the morning where they will sneeze up to 5 times. I have never experienced this level of sneezing from people in other countries. Perhaps it is because the swiss are exposed to so much second hand smoke from all the smokers here?

Secondly, what is their obsession with saying "gesundheit!" ? Its like they MUST say it whenever someone sneezes. I swear "gesundheit" and "en gute!" are the two most over used phrases in Switzerland. Its like they get this compulsion where they must say "gesundheit", even if someone is across the other side of the room or in another office, they will yell it out! One time someone down the end of the office sneezed, followed by an echo of about 10 gesundheits that traveled down the room haha.

The person who sneezes then always responds with "merci". The funny thing is, because I never say "gesundheit" some swiss will still say "merci" out of habit without even realising that I didn't say "gesundheit"!

I guess the equivalent to "gesundheit" in the english speaking world is "bless you" which is very rarely used anymore. It was based on superstitious/religious nonsense of "shielding" the person from evil spirits entering the body. In fact the opposite is now true, when someone sneezes they generally excuse themselves by saying "excuse me". Some swiss even consider you to be rude if you don't say "gesundheit", when they are the ones that should be excusing themselves for potentially spreading viruses!

While on the subject of gesundheit, I also noticed that "en gute!" is used far too much here. Even if you're sitting down having a snack, someone will often say "en gute!" as if its a meal! One time I bought a frozen pizza at the supermarket and the woman at the checkout said "en gute!". What if I wasn't going to eat it then? I might have just froze it for a later date. It seems they like any excuse to sneak in a "en gute!" wherever possible haha. How weird would it be if some random strangers in the UK/US came up to you and said "bon appetite!" every time you ate something in public?
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Old 22.04.2015, 19:56
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Re: Gesundheit!

I was just about to write a post about that colleague that doesn't say gesundheit...
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Old 22.04.2015, 19:58
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Re: Gesundheit!

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While on the subject of gesundheit, I also noticed that "en gute!" is used far too much here. Even if you're sitting down having a snack, someone will often say "en gute!" as if its a meal! One time I bought a frozen pizza at the supermarket and the woman at the checkout said "en gute!". What if I wasn't going to eat it then? I might have just froze it for a later date. It seems they like any excuse to sneak in a "en gute!" wherever possible haha. How weird would it be if some random strangers in the UK/US came up to you and said "bon appetite!" every time you ate something in public?
I consider it polite to tell someone who is obviously about to eat something iwithin the next couple of minutes "en guete", e.g. when there is food on the table or someone is almost done cooking.
The lady at the checkout probably knew that the pizza you were purchasing tasted good and simply wanted to wish you a nice time eating it.
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Old 22.04.2015, 19:59
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Re: Gesundheit!

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Is it something in the air, allergies, or is it genetic? A few people in my office often have sneezing fits, especially in the morning where they will sneeze up to 5 times.
Is it around you this typically happens? Change your perfume/aftershave.

Actually, this is happening a lot to me by phone. Someone calls me, then starts sneezing down the phone.

Cold callers, I hate them!
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Old 22.04.2015, 20:01
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Re: Gesundheit!

I always thought this US/UK habit of simply tucking into food without wishing people a good meal first was somewhat rude. I think I should write a complaning post about it.
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Old 22.04.2015, 20:13
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Re: Gesundheit!

I firmly believe that friendly words cannot be used too often.

And, assuming that at least some of you will have something to eat in the next hour or so, and some may have a cold: En Guete and Gesundheit to all!
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Old 22.04.2015, 20:21
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Re: Gesundheit!

A complaint thread about:

(A) Sneezing, a reflexive action having absolutely nothing to do with one's nationality, and

(B) Saying "gesundheit" and "en guete", which are considered polite phrases

Some people are certainly hard to please.
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Old 22.04.2015, 20:27
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Re: Gesundheit!

Politeness!!
Whatever next??
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Old 22.04.2015, 22:53
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Re: Gesundheit!

It's funny, people often complain that Swiss are supposedly oh-so-impolite and serious and whatnot, but if they say Grüezi or Gesundheit or En Guete, it's not OK either. Some people are just impossible to please.

To answer the question: it's called politeness. But I'm sure people will respect your viewpoint if you just tell them and be less polite to you in the future
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Old 22.04.2015, 22:55
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Re: Gesundheit!

Bless you
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Old 23.04.2015, 00:22
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Re: Gesundheit!

Focus on your work. unbelievable. We also eat fondue, raclette and much schokoldade ......
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Old 23.04.2015, 00:25
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Re: Gesundheit!

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Firstly, can anyone tell me why the swiss seem to sneeze so much compared to other cultures/countries? etc etc
It's an exciting and varied life you're having in Switzerland. Maybe it's all a bit too much for you??
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Old 23.04.2015, 00:42
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Re: Gesundheit!

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I was just about to write a post about that colleague that doesn't say gesundheit...


rude colleagues occur
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Old 23.04.2015, 07:43
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Re: Gesundheit!

Out of interest, as I'm not a native speaker: I always say Bless you to someone when they sneeze in an English speaking context. Is it considered rude (the OP seems to say so)? Should I say something else?
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Old 23.04.2015, 08:09
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Re: Gesundheit!

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Out of interest, as I'm not a native speaker: I always say Bless you to someone when they sneeze in an English speaking context. Is it considered rude (the OP seems to say so)? Should I say something else?
You are perfectly correct to use 'bless you'. (The OP is having problems with life in general... )
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Old 23.04.2015, 08:10
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Re: Gesundheit!

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Out of interest, as I'm not a native speaker: I always say Bless you to someone when they sneeze in an English speaking context. Is it considered rude (the OP seems to say so)? Should I say something else?
Nah, "bless you" is fine - though if someone sneezes 6 times I wouldn't say "bless you" 6 times
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Old 23.04.2015, 08:25
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Re: Gesundheit!

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You are perfectly correct to use 'bless you'. (The OP is having problems with life in general... )
His forum is too quiet?
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Old 23.04.2015, 08:40
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Re: Gesundheit!

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...I guess the equivalent to "gesundheit" in the english speaking world is "bless you" which is very rarely used anymore...
Rubbish. I hear it all the time in the UK.

Ŕ vos souhaits.
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Old 23.04.2015, 08:50
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Re: Gesundheit!

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Firstly, can anyone tell me why the swiss seem to sneeze so much ......... ?
It's kept pretty much under wraps, but Switzerland has a big coke problem; and due to competition, the price has fallen, so, many more people have started using the real thing, resulting in there being many new coke virgins and novices trying it out.

Unfortunately, some are just so inexperienced and are not seeking usage advice, that I've heard a few are even putting it up their noses - which must be irritating ...... for everyone.



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His forum is too quiet?
He's just being economical with the truth.

Last edited by TiMow; 23.04.2015 at 09:00.
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Old 23.04.2015, 10:21
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Re: Gesundheit!

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You are perfectly correct to use 'bless you'. (The OP is an idiot ... )
Fixed that for you.
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