Fun Stuff > Food
Food is important. It makes people happy and it brings them together. This is reflected by the old saying "Liebe geht durch den Magen - Love goes through the stomach." Or as Confucius put it: "The path to your friend's heart and soul begins from your cooking." Therefore it is only logical that there is only one answer to the ultimate question...
What's the most important word in international communication?
Mahlzeit, you got it! And here are its translations...
Eat-Learning. Mahlzeit… Time to eat, Bon Appetit, a famous Austrian greeting around lunch time forms the base and the heart of this page. If there is SOMETHING you learn from eating out with people from other countries, this is not more and not less than that most important word.
Appetite-Quickening. While French rules and "Bon Appetite" is understood in most countries, there are various differing local expressions. In Hindi language in India you would tell each other "Khana Khao" for "Eat the food!" In China the equivalent "chifanle" translates to the friendly question "Have you eaten yet?" Not to be confused with "xiabanle" for "Have you finished work?" In English, waiters would often say "Enjoy your meal" and in German there is the direct translation "Guten Appetit."
Mouth-Watering. But we definitely prefer "Mahlzeit" (guess you have found out by now), which is short for "Gesegnete Mahlzeit - Have a blessed meal." Sometime ago the Austrian radio program "Mahlzeit, die Mittagsshow - the midday show (almost had a typo here saying madday)" helped to increase the popularity of the expression even in Slovenia, as it aired and watered many mouths across the border.
Meal-Pronouncing. Over the years we tried hard to spread the word of "Mahlzeit" further. Whenever it is time ("Zeit") to share a meal ("Mahl"). Pretty close is the Afrikaans "Geniet u maaltyd" for "Enjoy your mealtime - Geniesse Deine Mahlzeit," as derived from the Dutch expression "Geniet van uw maaltijd!"
No Hungry Dancing. A Greek proverb underlines the indisputable importance of taking tasteful time to have a short lunch break even on a very busy day, in order to recharge batteries and have enough energy to perform. "A hungry bear doesn't dance" or in Greek phonetic transcription: "Nistiko arkoudi den horevi." The German proverb comes to mind: "Hunger ist der beste Koch, schmeckt's einem nicht, man isst es doch." or in English translation: "Hunger is the best cook, you'll eat it, however it may look." Also Japanese wisdom knows: "Hara ga hettewa ikusa wa dekinu." In direct translation: "You can't fight on an empty stomach", where "hara" means stomach and "ikusa" means fight, used for Samurai. But let's go get something to eat, finally.