94 Comments This discussion is locked.
"Bonjour" is a standard word that is used to say different things. It can be
- Hello (at any time during the daylight hours)
- Good morning
- Good afternoon
- Good day
In the evening, you say "hello" with "bonsoir". The informal way of saying "hello" (some may say "hi") is "salut". It can mean either "hi" or "hello" (when you greet someone) or "bye" or "goodbye" when you are leaving. Yes the same word "salut" can mean either "hi" or "bye".
When you want to say goodbye, the standard term is "au revoir". Don't try to translate any of these words literally. Just know that "au revoir" means "goodbye".
Does your native language have different registers for certain words? If you are acquainted with Spanish, you will know the difference between "usted" and "tú". It is the same with "vous" and "tu". The same with "bonjour" and "salut". And the same with "hello" and "hi". These words belong to different registers (levels of familiarity).
There's no clear 100 % accurate translation. It's a formal greeting that French people will use when they meet someone (whether familiar or a stranger) all throughout the day up to about dinner time, when they'll switch to bonsoir.
In English, in the same situations you might say "hello", or "good morning/afternoon/day". But none of them is a perfect translation. All of them are accepted here. But "hi" is slightly less formal than "hello", and that's why it has been decided not to accept it as a translation for bonjour. It does work for salut though, which is also less formal in French.
Be careful, "Bonjour" is never used as "goodbye" in standard French. If you say it to say "goodbye" in other country than Québec, people would start to think you're weird. I think this course is about French of France (standard), but it's very interesting to know regionalisms.
I think "good day" is a little too literal.
You're right, it's a regionalism.https://fr.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100822002855AA0wpq6
EDIT: as Mitaine said, after checking on many Canadian teaching sites, you shouldn't use "bon matin", some Canadians use it, but it's an anglicism, and it's not proper French (in Québec, or any other place)
No, "hi" is informal and for that you would use "salut". "Salut" can also be used to say "bye". "Bonjour" is more formal, so we don't use informal forms of greeting to translate it: only "hello", "good morning", "good afternoon", or "good day". It is an example that you cannot always translate what something looks like literally, but only by what it means.
We don't translate "bonjour" literally (as bon+jour). It may be translated as "good morning", "good afternoon", "good day", or simply "hello". "Bonjour" is the polite way to say "hello" anytime during the day. If you are speaking to a close friend, you may say "salut" which is like saying "hi". "Salut" may also be used for "bye". "Bon matin" is not French as spoken in France which is what Duolingo teaches but many people in Quebec do say that even though it is acknowledged to be wrong.
"Bonjour" is a standard polite greeting which can be used during the day. It can be translated as "Good morning" (in the morning, of course), "Good afternoon", "Good day", or simply "Hello". It is not "hi", "hey", "howdy" or such like. "Salut" is an informal "hello". You may also translate it as "hi" or "hey" (meaning "hello"). "Salut" has another difference from "bonjour", since "salut" can also be used to say "goodbye" (or) "bye" but remember that it is informal so it is only used with a friend or family member.
They are two different words in English and two different words in French. "Hi" = "salut" (it is the informal way of greeting someone you know). "Bonjour" is the more polite way of greeting someone during the day. It may be translated as any of the following: "good morning", "good afternoon", "good day", or simply "hello". The difference between "hi" and "hello" is called register. There is the polite register and the informal register. There are actually others, too, but this is enough for now.
It's not as clear cut as that. Bonjour is a standard French greeting that can be used all day long. The French don't break it down to the individual part of the day like we do in English : "Good morning", "good afternoon", "good day". They are all somewhat correct translations of bonjour.