The ability to have a conversation and uniquely communicating complex and abstract ideas is what makes us human, and the most basic way to start a conversation is the greeting. A simple Hello can be the best conversation starter, whether you want to chat with a friend, colleague or even a stranger. Want to learn how to say “hello” in different languages? This blog brings you the best ways to say “hello” in other languages.
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Table of contents
- Namaste (नमस्ते) in Hindi
- Ciao in Italian
- Bonjour in French
- Hola in Spanish
- Konnichiwa (今日は ) in Japanese
- Nǐ hǎo (你好!) in Chinese
- Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) in Korean
- Hallo in German
- Yassas (γεια σας) in Greek
- OLÀ in Portuguese
- Xin chào in Vietnamese
- Dia Dhuit in Irish
- Shwmae in Welsh
- Bună ziua in Romanian
- Asalaam Alaikum in Arabic
- Merhaba in Turkish
- Cześć in Polish
- Zdravstvuyte in Russian
- Habari/Shikamoo in Swahili
- Shalom in Hebrew
Namaste (नमस्ते) in Hindi
In India and Nepal, one can get away with greeting everybody with just one word: Namaste. This is one of the best-known ways to say hello in other languages around the world. It is a traditional Indian greeting that translates to “I bow to you”. It is a respectful mode of address performed by joining the palms, inclining the head, and saying “Namaste”.
Ciao in Italian
Ciao is mainly used in the south-central European country, Italy. It is considered to be an informal salutation and can be used for both “hello” and “goodbye”. It is one of the easiest ways to say hello in other languages. The word originated from Venetian Phrase that literally means, “I am your slave” but it is more like, “I am at your service”. It is a word that is reserved only for close friends and for people you already know. A formal way to greet someone in Italian would be using the word “Salve”.
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Bonjour in French
As one of the most elegant ways to say hello in other languages, Bonjour in French means “good day.” The term is flexible and can be used both for formal and informal settings. However, a more informal way of saying hello would be “Salut”, in which the last letter is silent. So the next time you need to approach someone while roaming on the streets of Paris, you know how to greet them.
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Hola in Spanish
Spanish is a widely used language and is the official language of 21 countries, with a significant minority language in multiple countries. Saying hello in Spanish is simple, you can simply use hola. Spanish people usually shake hands upon meeting and parting in formal meetings, although friends and relatives will normally greet each other with a kiss on each cheek.
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Konnichiwa (今日は ) in Japanese
Konnichiwa is a widely used term to say “hello” in Japanese. The word can be used at any time during the day or night. For an informal way of greeting, you should use “Yā” or “Yō”. Konnichiwa is one of the most straightforward to say hello in other languages. It is often said while bowing which is deeply ingrained in the Japanese culture and is used to exchange respect. So the next time you meet a Japanese friend, along with Konnichiwa, give a shot to adding a bow to your greeting.
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Nǐ hǎo (你好!) in Chinese
Ni hao (pronounced ‘nee haow’) is the default greeting in Chinese. The literal translation is “you ok/good,” but it is the easiest way to say “hello” in Chinese. Chinese is a language where the pitch of the tone is used to distinguish the meaning of the words. So, when it comes to learning to say hello in other languages like Chinese, you must know that a single word or syllable spoken in several different tones can thus convey widely varied concepts. For instance, when you need to say hello politely, you will use “您好” (nín hǎo) instead of nǐ hǎo.
Must Read: How to Say Thank You in Chinese
Annyeonghaseyo (안녕하세요) in Korean
The greeting is used in both North and South Korea. You can use this greeting with people in any situation. For example, you might use it with a convenience store clerk, a new business associate, or your Korean teacher. It can be used with a new acquaintance you are meeting for the first time or someone you’ve known for a while. Remember that Korean is a hierarchical language. That means you need to use the proper formality level or you can come off as offensive for being too casual, or too formal to people you know.
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Hallo in German
A simple Hallo! That’s it, the german way of saying hello. It is an informal way to say hello in other languages and also easy to learn. You can usually use it while greeting friends and family members in German. However, in a formal situation, Guten Tag is the word that is used. These salutations are used in two other countries that are Austria and Switzerland.
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Yassas (γεια σας) in Greek
Yassas is how the Greeks say hello. People in Greece are very friendly and usually informal with the conversations; hence, use the word Yassou often. In other words, yassou is considered casual while yassas is considered to be a more respectful way to say “hello”. You may also hear the word “ya” tossed around in casual settings which is an abbreviation of yassou/yassas. It is the Greek equivalent of saying hi or hey and shouldn’t be used in formal settings.
OLÀ in Portuguese
Portuguese culture is quite a formal one in terms of greetings which means that greeting someone is an important way of showing respect. You are expected to greet every person individually, even if they’re in a group. That means that if you’re walking along the road and pass a group of five people, you’ll have to say, “OLÀ ” and shake hands five times! An informal way to say hello in the Portuguese language is “Oi.”
Xin chào in Vietnamese
To say hello in Vietnamese, Xin chào is the most polite greeting you can use. It can be used to say hello in both formal and informal situations and ‘chao’ is pronounced just like ‘ciao’ in Italian so it is easier to remember too!
Dia Dhuit in Irish
Want to learn more ways to say hello in other languages? Well, say Dia Dhuit (pronounced jee-ah ghwitch) to say hi in Irish! It is a bit difficult to pronounce but once you understand the same, it is a fun way to greet in Ireland!
Shwmae in Welsh
Another tough way to say hello in other languages, Shwmae in Welsh translates as ‘Hello, how are things?”. Thus, it is a greeting as well as to asks about the person’s well-being. It is pronounced as ‘shuh-my’ and you can use it informally in North Wales to say hello!
Bună ziua in Romanian
Want to say hello in Romanian? Say Buna Ziua! Romanian words can also turn out to be tough to pronounce and there also various formal and informal ways to say hello and greet someone! For instance, you can just ‘Buna’ or ‘Salut’ in informal scenarios while Buna Ziua is for formal situations.
Asalaam Alaikum in Arabic
This is another popular way to say hello especially in Muslim nations where Arabic and Urdu are frequently used. The meaning of ‘Asalaam Alaikum’ is simply ‘peace be upon you’ and is traditionally used as a way to say hello in Muslim communities.
Merhaba in Turkish
Turkish is a beautiful language with a mix of Arabic and Persian languages. In our list of 20 ways to say hello in other languages, you can say ‘Merhaba’ while greeting people in Turkey and it literally translates as ‘Hello there’.
Cześć in Polish
Polish is another unique language to learn if you are aiming for a challenge in language learning! Cześć (pronounced as chech-sh-ch) is an informal way to say hello in Polish and can help you deal with all informal situations where you need to greet someone. But for formal situations, Hej (pronounced as hey) is used as an equivalent to saying ‘hi’ in English.
Zdravstvuyte in Russian
Another mind-boggling way to say hello in other languages is Zdravstvuyte (pronounced as zdrahst-vooy-tyeh). Russian is quite a cypher-oriented language whether you learn to write or speak in Russian. Here’s a video to say Zdravstvuyte in Russian:
Habari/Shikamoo in Swahili
Swahili is popularly used in African communities and has around 8 different words to say hello. Here are two useful ways to say hello in this language, either say Habari which means ‘what’s news’ and is used in informal situations or Shikamoo which is used to say hello to elders.
Shalom in Hebrew
Shalom has a similar translation to Asalaam alaikum, i.e. peace be upon you. It is a unique way to greet in Hebrew and goes beyond just ‘hello’ and a formal as well as informal greeting in Israeli communities.
Hello is a powerful word, and it is important to show others that they are deserving of this very simple greeting. It has more impact when spoken than many ever realize. It opens doors. It makes people smile. And said the right way and at the right time, “hello” can impact someone’s day and you wouldn’t even know it. So these were the ways to say “hello” in other languages. How do you say hello in your language? Let us know in the comments below. Keep watching this space at Leverage Edu for more such interesting content and learning blogs!