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Thread: good work

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 17

    good work

    In my culture when we get to know that someone is working just then(doing something that is not having fun), we usually say "Good work(to you)!"
    E.g.: Making a phone call, I realize that the person I called is in the middle of a proofreading job. After apologizing for the interruption, while saying good-bye, I add "good work to you!"
    I see my neighbour is pruning his cherry-tree, I say "Morning Dave, good work to you!"

    Is it the same in English, or is there anything similar that native speakers say in such cases?

    Thank you.

  1. Ouisch's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
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    • Join Date: Mar 2006
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    Re: good work

    In AmE, it's more common to make a joke or maybe even a sarcastic remark when you've interrupted someone's work. (They know that you don't mean it in a hurtful way, though. They understand that you're being funny and that you understand they're working hard.)

    For example, if you call a friend who works in an office, and he tells you "Oh, I can't talk right now, I have to get this presentation finished in half an hour for my boss." You might reply, "Well, I won't keep you from your fun, then!" Or you simply might say, "I'll let you get back to it then, call me back when you have a chance."

    If Dave was outside pruning his tree as you left, you'd probably say something like, "Looks good, Dave. When you're done there you can come over and do my trees!"

    • Join Date: May 2007
    • Posts: 17

    Re: good work

    Thank you.
    So why can't I translate it directly? Because you don't say such a thing. The phenomenon does not exist.

    Culture shock. We have adopted the greeting "Hello", but most Hungarians also use it when saying good-bye.

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