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Can gute Besserung be said for someone who’s fighting cancer? Or is it just for illnesses that are not life-threatening such as flu?

Does an acceptable alternative to gute Besserung exist for life-threatening illnesses?

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    Maybe you can say 'Ich wünsche dir viel Kraft' Feb 23 '17 at 22:33
  • Wieso willst Du nicht gute Besserung sagen? Feb 24 '17 at 4:17
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    @userunknown sorry I write in English but I understand spoken and writen German. Because I feel gute Besserung is too soft for something like cancer. Feb 24 '17 at 6:27
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    Gute Besserung is a wish, that the person will have a better condition than what they have at the moment. I think it is not soft or hard. It is just a wish. Feb 24 '17 at 8:24
  • @Tom-Oliver Heidel, write this as an answer and you'll get +1
    – Iris
    Feb 24 '17 at 10:14
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In the sense of »Halt die Ohren steif!« you could say

Lass dich nicht kleinkriegen!

or

Lass dich nicht unterkriegen!

meaning »don't lose heart«.

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The wish “Gute Besserung” should only be used for ills that have realistic probability of going away. Or at least become better in the foreseeable future (usually a few days or weeks).

It should not be used for chronic diseases. Otherwise it can easily sound sarcastic, such as someone jumping from a cliff and you wish them a nice flight.

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    This is not a full answer for my question as I also need an alternative. Feb 23 '17 at 22:34
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You could say "Gute Genesung". Means the same.

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    Eine ausführlichere Antwort wäre wünschenswert. Vor allem, da nicht nach Synonymen gefragt ist, sondern nach der Angemessenheit des Ausdrucks.
    – Kristina
    Feb 24 '17 at 15:21

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