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In french, when two persons greet each other, they usually say "ça va ?", which roughtly means "are you ok ?".

I hate this.
It's binary. Either you're perfectly OK in all your life, either you're not.

And if you dare to say you're not ok… Usually the talk ends abruptly, because the other person was not asking you if you were ok (yeah kind of paradoxal, ain't it ?) but was just saying hello.

When I ask someone if they are ok, I *mean* it.

"ça va" is shit. "comment te sens-tu" is way better. ("are you ok" vs "how do you feel").

Because I try to convey the fact that I *do* care and I *want* to know. To interact.

Please take care of each other.

@Electron you're indeed right, that's a weird (and unfrtunately quite common) way to interact with each other :s

@Electron I usually mean it when I ask “Ça va ?” (and it's not really a greeting, I might ask it several times throughout the day as regular checkup if I'm with someone I care about and they might not be ok), but you're right it's too binary and doesn't actually encourage more than a yes/no answer, and « Comment tu te sens ? » would probably be better.

@Electron
"ça va?" truly means "vas-tu correctement à la selle ?", but of course, people don't ask that.
btw, being not ok is ok, it is just kind of intimate conversation, unexpected from everyone.

@tykayn
I know this. It's not a question of intimate or not, it's a question of honesty. Don't ask if I'm ok if you don't wanna hear the answer.

@Electron i don't think honesty is involved as long as everyone knows that this greeting is not expected to be a conversation opener, it is an expression.
people are so aware of that that you can often hear people answering other common ping pong phrases like this:
"-bonjour,
-bien et toi ?"

@Electron @DarckCrystale Ah ça je suis d'accord! Les formules de politesses, c'est compliqué! C'est comme jouer un jeu sans connaître les règles parce qu'on est supposé les apprendre sur le tas. Et comme tu dis, les phrases ont un sens différents de ce que les mots veulent dire, probablement parce que ça a été difforme avec le temps. "Ça va" plutôt que "comment ça va". La 2ème tournure ouvre quand même la porte à des réponses plus élaborées que oui/non.

@Electron It's very much the same in English and especially Scottish. People will always ask "How's you?/ How're you doing?" and you have to say you're ok

@Electron I'll always be honest with my friends (which is gonna involve a lot of "I feel like shit" but hey)

@Electron Personally I say "tu vas bien?" which means the same, but using a different expression emphasizes that I mean it.

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