I’m usually pretty critical of English. I despise the lack of regularity, the constant exceptions, the strange spelling, the complicated tenses, the way loan words are incorporated without modifying their spelling, etc.
There is one sentence in English that I admire: “You’re Welcome.”
In many languages the response to “Thank you” is some variation of “It was nothing”.
- Japanese: 問題ない (mondainai): It’s not a problem
- Turkish: Bir şey değil (bir shei deyil): It’s not a thing
- Spanish: De nada: It’s nothing
- Chinese: 别客气 (biékèqi): No formalities please
But sometimes you did something fairly difficult for someone, and they thank you. You don’t want to undermine the difficulty or magnitude of what you just accomplished. But most languages have “no problem”/”don’t mention it” as the standard “you’re welcome”. So you say it, but inside you feel like it really was a problem, or you wouldn’t mind that they mention it again.
How is “You’re Welcome” different?
I think “you’re welcome” is different because instead of undermining the magnitude of what you just did, you’re letting the other person know that they are welcome to receive your help.
This just feels a lot better to me. You’re forced to deny that you did something worth mentioning, and you make the other person feel good by telling them that they are worth your time.
Of course you can say whatever you like. But I like that English gives me the choice here. Thanks English. Now let’s please fix your spelling.
About the picture
I managed to catch a glympse of this girl walking through the trees in front of Rieber.