I’m on holiday with my daughter this week, visiting Bilbao and San Sebastian, so I’ve got better things to do than bore my LinkedIn readers with fun facts about language and translation.
Oh all right, just one then! The Italian word ‘Ciao’ seems to be moving into many different languages, including Basque, as an easy-going and internationally recognised way of saying … way of saying what exactly? Hello or goodbye? Both, actually. But how is that possible, I hear you ask. Well the word ‘ciao’ actually comes from the Venetian dialect ‘s-ciao vostro’ meaning ‘your humble servant’.
So although ‘ciao’ is something you use to say both hello and goodbye, it actually means neither!
To give you an idea of the linguistic challenges we’re facing here in Basque country, there’s a link in the comments to an interesting article.