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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

Photo of myself standing in front of the 12 apostles, showing how windy it is

Brooklyn Murtaugh

travel blogger

Hi! I’m Brooklyn, a Canadian whose aim is to see as much of the world as I can, on my limited vacation days. I work full time, and want to show you how it is possible to do just that, while still making use of those precious vacation days.

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