What does "ciao" mean''''''? | SpanishDict Answers
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What does "ciao" mean'''''''

  • Posted Aug 27, 2008
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26 Answers

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The word "ciao" (pronounced and written in Spanish as "chao") is Italian, where it originally meant "I am your slave".

The word has been written in Spanish academic dictionaries as "chao" for quite a long time. Writing it in Spanish the Italian way is misleading and unnecessary, since our language has strict spelling rules that are often incompatible with the Italian ones.

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samdie said:

Given your last two paragraphs (which were interesting) you might have better said "for those of _us_ with etymolitis..."

Etimos = true (true meaning of the words, here)
Logos = word (and by extension "science, study, treaty,...")

So probably it should be "etymologitis" instead. "Etymolitis" sounds like "true relationship to the stones (ni Greek, "litos")". On the other hand, the prefix "-itis" usually is used to diseases with inflammation.

Sorry, I couldn't help it.

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Marco said:

Hi James, what does "naciste" mean? What is the infinitive verb form for it?

Its infinitive is "nacer". It is a regular veb in this tense (only irregular in both present tenses):

beb-er: beb-iste
nac-er: nac-iste
com-er: com-iste
deb-er: deb-iste

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James said:

Te sacaron el funny bone cuando naciste, ¿verdad?

Actually, I had a feeling you were going to say exactly what you did, including the reference to logo and -itis.

En inglés, te llamaríamos una manta mojada. jeje

Sabía cómo ibais a reaccionar, y estaba casi seguro de que lo sabíais. Por eso puse "I can't help it".

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Marco said:

Is changing "er" ending to "is" + "te" only for "te", not for "me", "se". etc? Seems like this still is one big problem for me. :(

Don't think about this endings as "is + te", because it doesn't exactly work like that. For -er verbs in preterite it is:


-iste
-ió
-imos
-isteis
-ieron

where -i- has to do with the verb ending (-er), and the rest indicates person, number, tense and mood. Just take a few regular verbs and practice these endings as quick as you can (speed is important here; otherwise you stop to think, and you don't learn).

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It's a Mexican greeting or farewell -- it can mean "bye" or "see you later" or stuff like that, I believe.

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how do I pronounce it'

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chau, ch like in cheese.

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I think it's adopted from Italian & pronounced like chow (the dog) or like chow down (eating).

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I'm currently in Argentina and it is used to say "bye" I haven't heard it used as hello.

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lazarus1907 said:

The word "ciao" (pronounced and written in Spanish as "chao") is Italian, where it originally meant "I am your slave".The word has been written in Spanish academic dictionaries as "chao" for quite a long time. Writing it in Spanish the Italian way is misleading and unnecessary, since our language has strict spelling rules that are often incompatible with the Italian ones.

I think that lazarus gave me the clarification about "ciao". After I read posts above, it surprised me and I thought that "oh my, that's a Maxican slang" because I always think that "ciao" is Italian. However lazarus made me think that "OK, I am right". smile

Thank you,

Marco

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Now that we have the correct spelling chao you can double click the word & hear the pronunciation.

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For what it's worth, "chao" (I think that's how they spell it [it's been a while]) is also the standard greeting/leave taking in Vietnamese. As far as I know there has been no significant Italian influence in Viet Nam so I assume that they developed it independently and the similarity is coincidence.

As for Spanish, a while back I went looking for the lyrics of a Spanish song that's used on Spanish language television as part of a car advertisement. I started by looking for "Ciao, ciao, adiós". (I thought they were just being cute in combining Italian and Spanish.) But what I found was lyrics in which it was written "Chau, chau, adiós".

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samdie said:

For what it's worth, "chao" (I think that's how they spell it [it's been a while]) is also the standard greeting/leave taking in Vietnamese, too. As far as I know there has been no significant Italian influence in Viet Nam so I assume that they developed it independently and the similarity is coincidence.As for Spanish, a while back I went looking for the lyrics of a Spanish song that's used on Spanish language television as part of a car advertisement. I started by looking for "Ciao, ciao, adiós". (I thought they were just being cute in combining Italian and Spanish.) But what I found was lyrics in which it was written "Chau, chau, adiós".

Well . . . but there was definitely a French influence in Vietnam! (As you know if you've ever had the pleasure of enjoying good Vietnamese cuisine!)

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samdie said:

While chao appears to be the official Spanish spelling, chau is most definitely in use. In fact, I think I see that spelling most often.

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