In English and Spanish, the words for welcome have an uncanny relation: the translation is almost completely (if not completely) literal.Bien means well and venidos means come/came in the plural or something along those lines. I looked up if it came from Latin (in English welcome), and it said that it didn’t. So, I am wondering if there is a reconstructed PIE phrase of invitation that translated as “(you’re) well, come” or something like that.

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    I don't know the details off the top of my head, but I suspect a calque rather than inheritance. (A "calque" is when a phrase is translated word-for-word into another language and becomes an idiom.)
    – Draconis
    Jan 27 '20 at 3:59
  • Welcome has been badly reinterpreted, but must originally have been primarily conotated for to wish, cp to welcome an idea etc. I'm not sure what word I compared that makes me 90% sure. This doesn't exclude the translation were "almost completely literal". I mean, venido, venir is oh so close to wish if you look at its etymology from *wen- (cp Ger wünschen, also to wish good-bye) and cp to will. Meanwhile connotations for words like come come and go, might also have meant to go at some point, cp to come over, to become.
    – vectory
    Jan 27 '20 at 8:20
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    Just to further muddy the waters: in some variants in some Very High Alemannic dialects, the first part is wol or even göt (gut). And of course the general construction is similar in South Slavic, Turkish, Armenian, Persian... Jan 27 '20 at 17:46
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    The rather surprising word-history of English "welcome" can be found here: oed.com/view/Entry/…
    – fdb
    Jan 27 '20 at 19:01
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    How on earth is this a "translation or identification" request, the reason stated for the close votes? Seriously, are people voting Close and selecting a reason at complete and utter whim? Sorry if this seems like an overreaction, but I'm going through the queue and it gets more ridiculous the more of them I review.
    – LjL
    Feb 4 '20 at 18:16

The etymology of the two expressions goes back to different sources, but the conceptual link is somewhat similar. "Welcome" goes back to "will" and not to "well" (etymonline.com/word/welcome). So the semantic origin would be something along the lines of "your coming suits my will/wish". "Bienvenidos" and Romance cognates, instead, go back to Latin "bene" ('well'). There is no exhaustive explanation in the etymological dictionaries of Romance languages that I have consulted, but the semantics should be something like "I consider your coming good".

  • will and well are themselves related, although it's unclear how long this connection remained clear in the minds of speakers
    – Tristan
    Oct 23 '20 at 13:34

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