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Donadagohvi: from a language without a goodbye

Did you know that some languages don't have a word for "goodbye"? This is the case for many indigenous languages, such as Nahuatl and Navajo. This is also the case for the one of our post today: Cherokee. In Cherokee, the word "donadagohvi" means "Until we meet again."


paths in the woods that diverge and come together until they meet again

Although this phrase is a farewell, it does not have the notion or feeling of an absolute end to a relationship or an encounter, as the word "goodbye" does. This warm and friendly farewell implies that there will be a reunion again.


It is worth mentioning that Cherokee is a language in which words are made up of syllables and can contain entire sentences in their meaning. Although this may sound complicated for beginners, donadagohvi contrasts with Spanish and English, in which we can find a similar history for the word: "Goodbye" which is an abbreviation that arose over time for the phrase "God be with you." While the importance of the Christian god is emphasized in both languages derived from Latin, in the Cherokee language, the essence of the spirit of individuals is rescued. Thus, we can see how each language offers an example of the cosmology of its culture in such a simple and everyday word. With this, we can also see languages as tools that allow speakers to find new communication methods.


To create our Sand Bodies saga, legends, and myths from many Native American cultures were investigated. One of the main characters, Ageya, was named after a tale in which it is said that this was the name of the first woman ever created. If you want to learn more about the different cultures that inspired us, don't miss our content and follow us to be the first to read the first novel in the saga, Where the Days Repeat Endlessly.

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