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Saying hello on paths

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 MG 03 Jul 2024

Greeting on paths in the Alps is almost compulsory. Do you?

Use the local language 

Reply in the language used

Use English

1
 john arran 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Here in the Pyrenees, I invariably address passers-by in French.

 ebdon 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Being from London I find it best to stare at the ground and not make eye contact under any circumstances, I find this works in any country.

4
In reply to MG:

Option D) If I was initiating the greeting I would use the local language (unless I’d heard them talking already and knew their first language was in fact English). If I was replying I would probably reply in the language used as best I can, unless it was clear from their accent that they were local in which case I would probably reply in their language or use both.

Default in another country would be the local language though.

 Fiona Reid 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Depends on the country/language tbh. 

I can speak a bit of French (enough for basic stuff) and tiny bits of German and Italian (a few words, greetings etc) so will generally reply in the local language. In Switzerland I'll flip between greetings in French/German/Italian (I don't know any Romansh) depending where I am.  

If it's a language I don't know I'll reply in English. 

Post edited at 20:46
 Lankyman 03 Jul 2024
In reply to ebdon:

> Being from London I find it best to stare at the ground and not make eye contact under any circumstances, I find this works in any country.

You Londoners really are strange. The surest way is to speak loudly and slowly in English as if addressing a small child.

 Wainers44 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Just wink. Go theatrical or enigmatic, depending on the weather.

 Myfyr Tomos 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Upon meeting strangers on the path, we immediately switch to Welsh, in a sarcastic and derogatory tone...

Post edited at 21:52
3
 wercat 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

cat is pan European communication

 Fredt 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I always say 'ow do,
Anywhere in the world.
I have met loads of people from Yorkshire, Sheffield and even the same street as me, which wouldn't have happened if I'd said 'bonjour' or whatever.
With this greeting I've chatted with fellow tykes in the Grand Canyon, Mombasa, the ladders at Montenvers and on the summit of Half Dome.
And Stanage.
 

 crayefish 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Year a hat and tip your hat to strangers.  Universal.

 cragtyke 03 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

OR8 generally suffices.

 dgbryan 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Fredt:

I think Yorkshire folk have an advantage here. I've adopted "eh up" in ordinary speech. I hope this isn't cultural misappropriation. Outdoors though I invariably go with "Berg Heil!"

 felt 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I can't say Grüezi in a way that sounds like I'm not taking the piss.

 Parkmeister 04 Jul 2024
In reply to Fredt:

Once observed my dad pass a similarly later-middle-aged man on a footpath in the Dales.

Man greets my dad, "Ey up."

My dad replies, "Now then."

End of interaction. Most Yorkshire thing I've ever seen!

 Niall_H 04 Jul 2024
In reply to dgbryan:

I'm also a fan of "Ey up" and a greeting (in Anglophone areas), despite being very much not from Yorkshire

OP: for the Alps, I'd go with my terrible version of the local language 

 Toerag 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I use the local greeting (Bonjour / Servus / Ciao etc.) and plummy 'Good morning/afternoon'.  I do the local greeting to be polite, and the UK one so people know where I'm from.  That way when I go missing the people I meet can tell the police they met a UK guy at place x at time y and help narrow down the search, and also gives people the knowledge that they can talk to me in English.

 yorkshire_lad2 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

When walking in France/Italy/Austria, I tend to use the local greeting (Bonjour etc).

When walking some busy path in the Dales/Lakes, I tend to avoid speaking/eye contact if at all possible. But then I tend to favour solitude when walking.

8
 65 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

> Greeting on paths in the Alps is almost compulsory. Do you?

> Use the local language 

Yes.

> Reply in the language used

If I can.

> Use English

Never, unless it's an anglophone I want to converse with.

 RX-78 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

With a 'yo!'

Otherwise its a mix, if I hear them speaking as they approach I will use that language to greet them, if it's English, French, German, Italian ( only know a few words in the last 2). Otherwise the local term, although 'hi' seems to be universal.

 Robert Durran 04 Jul 2024
In reply to ebdon:

> Being from London I find it best to stare at the ground and not make eye contact under any circumstances, I find this works in any country.

A very quick glance and a vague grunt seems polite to me without the risk of initiating any conversation.

 Bellie 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I was walking alone in the northern Dolomites and met three friendly old ladies (and an old gent slightly behind them) walking out of a small village.  A friendly "buongiorno" was exchanged.  Then I passed by the old guy - a big old farmer type.  We looked at each other, and exchanged a firm nod.  Nothing else required!

Often as I'd approach a fellow hiker I'd prepare my Ciao, buongiorno, guten tag, bonjour etc, only to be greeted with a cheery "Salve!"

 montyjohn 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

> Greeting on paths in the Alps is almost compulsory. Do you?

I think it's great in the Alps. In France everyone says Bonjour, and the second you cross the border with Italy, even if it's just by a few feet everyone switches to Buongiorno.

Post edited at 11:34
 johnlc 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Sometimes little things tell you a lot about a nation.

Last summer I was seated by the side of the path in the French Alps with a baguette, a salami, a lump of cheese and a pen knife.

Almost everyone who passed said 'bon apetit'.

I have never known any sort of reverence for a simple meal in this country.

 tehmarks 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I instigate in the local language, reply in the language used if I know it.

 Deri Jones 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Mix it up, "Grüß Gott" when wandering the Welsh hills and "Shwmae.." out in the Austrian alps... 

 freeflyer 04 Jul 2024
In reply to felt:

> I can't say Grüezi in a way that sounds like I'm not taking the piss.

I give it my best shot, but only if I've previously determined that they are wearing clothes. Otherwise I suddenly realise that my navigation has gone wrong and almost any other path is preferable.

 Siward 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I prefer to hide.

Even if I'm just off the path and it's painfully obvious that I'm there. Just ignore and they'll go away.

 Darron 04 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Namaste.

1
 blackcat 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Nod and smile, universal language.

 timjones 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

> Greeting on paths in the Alps is almost compulsory. Do you?

> Use the local language 

> Reply in the language used

> Use English

I often forget which country I am in and initiate the greeting or reply in a random European language.

OP MG 06 Jul 2024
In reply to blackcat:

> Nod and smile, universal language.

It's not though. Quite a few areas do neither. (and in areas of eastern Europe smiling at people in passing will mark you down as a bit weird).

OP MG 06 Jul 2024
In reply to Thread

Interesting answers! 

 Jenny C 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

Hi if I'm in the UK. 

Most definitely Bonjour on a recent trip to France, unless I had already heard them speaking English.

Dolomites is a hive of languages, with many tourists speaking even less Italian than myself. Where I recognise someone speaking as we approach or they speak first I will when possible reply in the same language, you do however risk them trying to strike up a conversation. Hi feels lazy compared to the much more wordy greetings other nationalities use, but I assume it's also universally recognised.

The actual greeting isn't important, I think it's just the acknowledgement of a fellow walker and comradeship that goes with with this that matters. One of those examples of a situation where regardless of language we understand the meaning of the person even if we don't know the words. For example runners often don't verbalise a greeting, but instead give a small hand raise to acknowledge to stepping you to one side so they can pass.

 Frank R. 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I always mix the languages up in the Pyrenees. There are no bloody border markers on the HRP – how was I supposed to know just when to stop saying ¡Hola! and start with Kaixo or Salut?!?

 Stichtplate 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

I generally smile for a couple of seconds (mouth only, rest of face inert)

Followed by "piss off" (slow and clearly enunciated)

I believe people find this both refreshing and invigorating as they always walk much faster until well out of sight.

4
 The Potato 06 Jul 2024
In reply to MG:

When it's a dog walker the usual greeting response is nothing followed by Good boy/girl

Post edited at 17:40
 Godwin 07 Jul 2024
In reply to johnlc:

> Sometimes little things tell you a lot about a nation.

> Last summer I was seated by the side of the path in the French Alps with a baguette, a salami, a lump of cheese and a pen knife.

> Almost everyone who passed said 'bon apetit'.

> I have never known any sort of reverence for a simple meal in this country.

My wife and I experienced this cycle touring in France last year, whenever we stopped for a meal, a cheery Bon Appétit.

I have been with a lot of Europeans the last few weeks, and at shared meals, often a Bon Appétit, and at one an Italian asked what we say in England, and could think of nothing really.

It's strange also, involve food, and the French are Bon Appétit crazy, but no food involved, and generally they are the most stand offish of traveller's, I was walking up a track in Lao, and two people approached and I looked at them to give maybe a greeting, but they resolutely kept talking with each other in French, and sailed past as if I was not there.

I mentioned this to a French man I got friendly with, and said they were perhaps not French but Parisians.

 wercat 07 Jul 2024
In reply to Godwin:

A rare karmic moment happened to me this year on a narrow lakeland path.  I was walking happily along thinking what a lovely morning to be out and met a black clad party of three whom I greeted with a nod, smile and hello.  They behaved as if I did not exist.

Now my rucsac is a yoke with 2 clip-on on pouches that cost me £15 and is my sac of choice for walking as it ventilates well but it requires me to carry walking poles across the top.

Three of Three (after all they were behaving as humanly as Borg), in passing me as if I was not there, just as I was thinking of commenting on their attitude, managed to catch his shoulder sharply and I presume painfully on the spikes of my poles as he made a close pass (after all, I wasn't there).  I heard a muttering behind me but did not look back.  I didn't plan or engineer this careless collision caused by them simply ignoring my presence BUT I ENJOYED IT IMMENSELY.  It restored my faith in karma and made my morning, till I got to a wonderful scramble anyway.

Post edited at 09:57
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