Hello in Different Languages
When you are visiting a new country, being able to able to communicate with the locals can be very frustrating. Obviously, it can be difficult to become fluent in a language quickly, but knowing some of the different ways to say hello is always a good start and one of the handiest things to know when you are travelling. By being able to say hello in the language of the country you are visiting shows you are making an effort to communicate and trying to be more friendly and respectful to the local people at your destination.
We couldn’t include the ways to say hello in all languages because there are currently 6909 living languages! So instead we have selected a few popular languages which could come in useful whilst holidaying abroad.
In the list below you can see the ways to say hello in many languages in their non-character form with the pronunciation in the brackets afterwards.
15 ways to say hello in different languages:
Hello in French
Spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and other locations
Hello in Spanish
Spoken in Spain and most of Central/South America
Hello in German
Guten Tag (gootan tag)
Spoken in Germany, Austria and Switzerland
Hello in Italian
Spoken in Italy
Hello in Portuguese
Bom dia (bom deeya)
Spoken in Portugal and Brazil
Hello in Arabic
Spoken in North Africa and the Middle East
Hello in Chinese
Mandarin: Nín hǎo (neen how)
Mandarin is the most spoken language in the world and is mainly spoken in China
Cantonese: Neih hou (nay hoe)
Spoken in South China, Hong Kong, Macau
Hello in Greek
Spoken in Greece, Albania and Cyprus
Hello in Hindi
Spoken in North India and Nepal
Hello in Japanese
Spoken in Japan
Hello in Russian
Spoken in Russia and many former USSR countries in Eastern Europe
Hello in Vietnamese
Xin chào (sin chow)
Spoken mainly in Vietnam
Hello in Turkish
Merhaba (mehr hah bah)
Spoken in Turkey, Cyprus and other locations
Hello in Punjabi
Sat sri akaal (sat sri akaal)
Spoken in Pakistan and India
Hello in Malay
Selamat pagi (suh-lah-mat puh-guee)
Spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand
Greetings from around the world:
Sometimes just knowing the ways to say hi in different languages isn’t enough, especially when some formal greetings from around the world are very different from our traditional British handshake.
In France, they opt for a similar style of greeting. When saying ‘Bonjour’ you should shake hands and you are expected to greet each person individually even if they’re in a large group. There is also the cheek-to-cheek kiss greeting, which is used in Portugal, Italy and Spain as well, but normally it is only used if you are previously acquainted.
In Japan people greet each other with bowing as a symbol of respect, ranging from a small nod to a deep bow from the waist.
For Malay, the traditional greeting is to touch the other person’s fingertips and then bring your hands back to your heart. The gesture is a sign that you are greeting the other person from your heart.
In China, it’s usual to shake hands, but the firm Western style handshake is uncommon. Instead pay attention to your eye contact and smile.
In India the Añjali Mudrā salute is the best greeting to use. You press your palms together in front of your heart and say ‘namaste’.
Whether you are jetting off to Japan to practice your bow and pronunciation of ‘Konnichiwa’or travelling across Europe to say ‘Bonjour’, ’Guten Tag’ or ‘Ciao’, you are guaranteed a hello and warm welcome at the airport when meeting your I Love meet and greet driver outside the terminal.
By Sarah Anglim at 11 Sep 2017