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How To Say Hello in 18 Different Languages

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How to say hello in 18 different languages was last updated August 12th, 2023. This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you make a purchase through one of these links I will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you!

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Communication is a bridge that connects us across borders, countries, and cultures. A simple “hello” can open doors to new friendships and experiences that we could never have expected. In our diverse world, people greet each other in various ways, reflecting the richness of their languages and traditions. Join us on a linguistic journey as we uncover how to say “hello” in 18 different languages, so that way next time you’re travelling the world, there’s a good chance you’ll at least be able to say hello when you meet someone new!

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 fluently. Unfortunately, I’m just not gifted at learning new languages.

But while I may struggle with learning new languages, I will always appreciate how people can communicate with each other in gestures, or simply a smile. A smile is universal, no matter your language.

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

How to say ‘hello’ in 18 different languages


Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza
Hearing Egyptian Arabic while travelling Egypt was so beautiful!

How to say ‘hello’ in 18 different languages – the languages

We’re not going to mention English, because if you’re reading this post then chances are you already know how to say hello in English! This post here is for some of the most spoken languages are the world, the ones you’re more likely to encounter on your travels.

  1. Mandarin Chinese – Ni Hao. Did you know Mandarin Is one of the most spoken languages in the world?!
  2. Hindi – Namaste. It means I Bow To You and is not just a greeting, but a symbol of respect.
  3. Spanish– Hola
  4. French – Bonjour
  5. German – Hallo (but often Guten Tag, good day, is said)
  6. Japanese – Kon’nichiwa
  7. Portuguese – Ola, reflects the laid-back and friendly nature of Portuguese speakers.
  8. Italian – Ciao. This versatile word can be used for both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.
  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 formally you would say Annyeonghasimnikka, and informally you could say Annyeong.
  10. Vietnamese – Xin Chao (pronounced seen chow)
  11. Polish – Cześć. This is your informal way to say hello and goodbye.
  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, which means Good Day.
  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. Jambo used to be popular but it is now outdated, with mainly just those looking to sell to tourists using Jambo.
  17. Turkish – Merhaba. Turkish people are known for their warm hospitality, so extending to them a happy Merhaba will surely bring a smile to their faces!
  18. Greek – Yassou is a simple hello pronounced Yah-Su.

These 18 ways to say hello in different languages remind us that, despite our differences, we all share the desire to connect and communicate. By taking a step toward understanding each other’s languages, we enrich our global community and celebrate the beauty of diversity. So, next time you meet someone from a different corner of the world, why not try saying “hello” in their language? It might just be the beginning of a meaningful exchange.

What’s a language that you love to hear?
Are you quick at learning new languages?
Have you tried to learn how to say hello in any different languages?

How To Say Hello In 18 Different Languages Pinterest Pin!
How To Say Hello In 18 Different Languages Pinterest Pin!


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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Brooklyn standing in front of the pyramids of Giza

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn. Like many, I thought my purpose in life was to go to university, settle down and have kids. But that is not me. 

My aim is to inspire you to travel as much as you can while you can, whether that be through au pair work, or on your limited vacation days. It CAN be done. This world is incredible, let’s explore it!

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