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為什麼打噴嚏時老外總說Bless you?

Many people have become accustomed to saying" 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?

當有人時,很多人習慣說「bless you」或「gesundheit」。但當有人咳嗽、擤鼻涕或打嗝時,人們往往不會說什麼。那麼為什麼打噴嚏會得到特別關注呢?這些短語實際上又是什麼意思呢?

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).

在有人打噴嚏時祝願他們安好,這一習俗起源於幾千年前。羅馬人會說「木星保佑你」或「安慰」,意思是「祝你身體健康」。希臘人則會互相祝願「長壽」。人們普遍認為「God bless you」這一短語起源於六世紀黑死病泛濫時期,出自羅馬教皇格雷戈里之口。(打噴嚏是這種瘟疫的一種明顯徵兆)。

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 the20th century, brought to the United States by German-speaking immigrants.

「gesundheit」這一術語來源於德國,字面意思是「健康」。他們認為打噴嚏代表著即將感染疾病。在20世紀早期,這一短語由德國移民帶入了美國,開始在英語中使用。

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 live100 years."

事實上,世界上每個國家都有自己的方式表達對打噴嚏者的祝願。阿拉伯語國家的人會說「感謝真主」,意思是「讚美歸於真神」。印度教徒會說「活著」或「好好活著」。一些國家對小孩子打噴嚏有著特殊的反應。在俄羅斯,人們在給予傳統祝福「願你健康」後,還會祝願孩子「長得高大」。在中國孩子啊打噴嚏時,會聽到人們對他或她說「百歲」,意思是「願你長命百歲」。

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.

對於打噴嚏的各種翻譯,大多源於封建迷信。一些人認為,打噴嚏會導致靈魂通過鼻子脫離身體。說「保佑你」可以阻止魔鬼奪走人們的自由靈魂。還有一些人有著截然不同的想法:惡靈會趁打噴嚏時,進入人的身體。還有一些錯誤觀念認為,打噴嚏時心跳會暫停(實際並沒有),說「bless you」是歡迎你起死回生。

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.

我們現在都知道,打噴嚏只是一種反射行為。通常來說,它可能是某種不怎麼嚴重的疾病徵兆,例如感冒或過敏。在戶外陽光下或聞到刺激性氣味,也有可能打噴嚏。我們仍然保留著說「bless you」或「gesundheit」的習俗,這是出於一種習慣和公共禮節。

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