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02 May 2012 @ 07:45 am
Language/culture question  

If you are a native speaker of a language other than English, particularly German, Czech, or Italian...

What do you call out if you enter a shop or restaurant and don't see anybody at all?

Is it the same thing you say when you answer the telephone?

 
 
 
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Tournevis: Français Arrêt Stoptournevis on May 2nd, 2012 11:27 am (UTC)
Indeed. I could add that some people, mostly French from France, would also say "coucou" or "ohé", bit only after not having had an answer to "allô" or "il y a quelqu'un?" first.
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Tournevis: Français Arrêt Stoptournevis on May 2nd, 2012 01:49 pm (UTC)
*nods in agreement*
brotherguybrotherguy on May 2nd, 2012 06:13 am (UTC)
What they taught us in Italian class was to say "Senta!" when we are trying to get someone's attention in a shop, but "Pronto!" when we answer the phone. I will be fascinated to hear what native speakers actually do say, however.

("Senta" can be translated as the entire chorus of Tommy: "See me, feel me, touch me, heal me..." well, maybe not the heal me part. It means in this case, "notice me". "Pronto" is "ready"; in this context it means "I am here and ready to speak.")
threeoutsidethreeoutside on May 2nd, 2012 03:48 pm (UTC)
I'm just here to say, what a fascinating question - and what fascinating answers!
Sue Burkemount_oregano on May 2nd, 2012 05:24 pm (UTC)
Here in Spain, I'd call out "Buenos días/buenas tardes/buenas noches" because you should say that to the clerk on entering a store anyway. I'd just say it louder to see if I got an answer. Because they would answer if they were there. It's almost pavlovian. Sometimes I say "Buenos días" to people just to watch them respond automatically.
pennskipennski on May 2nd, 2012 07:43 pm (UTC)
If there's someone there, you definitely greet them with

"Guten Tag/ Gruss Gott" for North or South Germany.
"Buon Giorno/ Buona Sera" for Italy in morning or afternoon.

So I would call that out if there was no-one immediately visible.
et in Arcadia egobooapostle_of_eris on May 3rd, 2012 07:40 pm (UTC)
Tangentially, my fast test for a phrase book is to be able to easily find the translation of "idiom". In Bratislava someone asked me, "What does it mean, 'Don't have a cow, man'?"