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!
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
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.
- Mandarin Chinese – Ni Hao. Did you know Mandarin Is one of the most spoken languages in the world?!
- Hindi – Namaste. It means I Bow To You and is not just a greeting, but a symbol of respect.
- Spanish– Hola
- French – Bonjour
- German – Hallo (but often Guten Tag, good day, is said)
- Japanese – Kon’nichiwa
- Portuguese – Ola, reflects the laid-back and friendly nature of Portuguese speakers.
- Italian – Ciao. This versatile word can be used for both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’.
- 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.
- Vietnamese – Xin Chao (pronounced seen chow)
- Polish – Cześć. This is your informal way to say hello and goodbye.
- Swedish – Halla
- 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.
- 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’.
- 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.
- Swahili – Habari. Jambo used to be popular but it is now outdated, with mainly just those looking to sell to tourists using Jambo.
- 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!
- 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?