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How To Say Hello in 18 Different Languages

How to say hello in 18 different languages

How to say hello in 18 different languages Pinterest Pin!

I’ve always loved language. The stringing together of words to create sentences to express a thought or feeling. My mother tongue is English, and while I did take French in school until grade 9, I can only speak English. I’m not gifted at learning new languages.

I tried hard to learn French, but I don’t think sitting in a classroom with people who found it easy to pick up on was the best way for me. I always felt confused, and never grasped or retained anything I learned. To be fair though, our French teacher all throughout elementary school thought that teaching French meant that giving us wordsearches with French words was the way to do it. When I got to grade 9, our French teacher told us that all students who came from my elementary school usually did bad at French since we knew so little.

I managed to pass grade 9 French (just barely), and not wanting to go through that humiliation again, I didn’t take another French class.

I do wish now that I could speak French as an adult, though now that I’m on the West coast of Canada I don’t need it out here. But being bilingual is something I wish that I was.

I’ve always loved hearing people speak Spanish. It’s my favorite language to listen to people speak, so I loved being in Mexico!

During lockdown, I downloaded the Duolingo app to begin learning Spanish. I love this app, but to be honest, I could be more consistent with it. Learning Spanish bas been a lot of fun, and I’m surprised by how well I’m retaining all of the words and phrases I’ve been learning. After my French language fiasco growing up I never thought I could learn languages. I thought the fault was with me. Not true! Now that I’ve been doing good at learning on Duolingo it makes me wonder if maybe I can give French another try someday.

Maybe once I master Spanish! Anyways…

I was thinking of some of the most widely spoken languages in the world, and wanted to see how to say some basics words and phrases. I thought it would be fun to learn how to say hello in 18 different languages common around the globe.

Stock photo showing a desk with cup of coffee, notepad, and German for dummies on it

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How to say ‘hello’ in 18 different languages

  1. Mandarin Chinese – Ni Hao
  2. Hindi – Namaste (it means I Bow To You)
  3. Spanish- Hola
  4. French – Bonjour
  5. German – Hallo (but often Guten Tag, good day, is said)
  6. Japanese – Kon’nichiwa
  7. Portuguese – Ola
  8. Italian – Ciao
  9. Korean – The standard way to greet someone in Korean is Annyeonghaseyo (pronounced an- nyeong-hasey-o). But the Korean language is hierarchical, so to greet someone formallyyou would say Annyeonghasimnikka, and informally you could say Annyeong.
  10. Vietnamese – Xin Chao (pronounced seen chow)
  11. Polish – Cześć
  12. Swedish – Halla
  13. Ukrainian – Pry ‘vit, an informal way to say hello, whereas to greet people formally  such as in shops, you would say Dobryj den.
  14. Arabic – Ahlan is a simple hi, but the most common way to greet is by saying as-salam ‘alaykum, which translates to Peace be upon you.
  15. Indonesian – Halo for greeting family and friends, but for more formal situations you should say Selamat Siang- which means good day, Selamat Sore – which means good afternoon, or Selamat Malam – which means good night.
  16. Swahili – Habari
  17. Turkish – Merhaba
  18. Cantonese Chinese— néih hóu (nay hoh)

Now that you know how to say hello in 18 different languages, you at least have a polite way to greet the people who speak those languages wherever you travel. I’m already feeling much more confident in my Spanish, and can’t wait to test it out in Mexico next time I’m there!

What’s a language that you love to hear? 

Are you quick at learning new languages? 

Have you tried to learn a new language recently? 

Pinterest pin How to say hello in 18 different languages

8 Responses

  1. Whenever I travel to a new country I always try to at least learn a couple of words like hello, thank you and goodbye. If nothing else it shows you’re trying. I’ve studied languages and know bits of a few but I really wish I was fluent in another language. Languages are so interesting

  2. Before going to any country, I always learn the basics. Being half German, growing up speaking and hearing the language, I think languages come more easily to me. As well, I took French starting in Grade 3 into University and also speak it at work. Not that I am any good at it, but at a intermediate level of both German and French. Now you just have to do another post with how to say good-bye in 18 different languages! Ciao

  3. I also wish I had continued with French in school. I took it until grade 10 and then stopped. But it would be so handy to have another language! And totally agree with you on Spanish – it’s the language I’m most attracted to and would most love to learn. I took a few years of Mandarin but it never stuck.

  4. I always try to learn the basics of any country I go to and love this! Was crazy when I first went to Southeast Asia, while some people hate not understanding anything, I love getting pushed out of my comfort zone when a new language is involved.

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