Did you know there are more than 6000 living languages today? With almost 200 countries in the world and thousands of languages spoken, saying “Hello” is a basic and important thing in each of them. If you’ve ever visited a foreign country where you don’t know the language, you can attest to how important learning how to say “Hello” is. The importance of how we greet others lies on the word Hello.
Of all the thousands of languages in the world, only a couple hundred languages are taught to the public in the educational system. Fewer of these languages are used in the current digital world. In a few generations, it is estimated that 50% of the living languages right now will exist. The importance of learning how to greet each other using other languages is therefore paramount.
Apart from being part of greetings, how you say hello sets the tone for a conversation. This in turn shapes your relationship with the other person. The good thing with saying hello is that it’s not complicated. Not so many languages have it with more than one word and a few characters. What matters most is the pronunciation. For now, let’s deal with the translation.
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In India, you can get along with everyone by greeting them. The Hindu word for Hello is Namaste. It is one of the best known ways to say hello. It’s an Indian traditional greeting and is a respectful form of address.
Considered to be one of the most romantic languages, the only difference exists in pronunciation. Bonjour is a formal way of saying hello in French. If you want to go the informal way, Salut is the way to go about it.
It’s one of the languages with the most speakers surprisingly in countries like the US. One would imagine Spain has the largest number of Spanish speakers but it’s the US. Hola is the formal way of saying hello in Spanish.
Listening to Russians talk, one could say it’s the most interesting language in the world. It’s a tough one but not impossible and Zdravstvuye is their formal way of saying hello. Privet can also be used but in an informal setting.
It’s the language with the most speakers in the world with more than a billion speakers. Nin hao is the formal and informal way of saying hello in Chinese.
These are considered to be the most disciplined people in the world. Ciao is the informal way of saying hello while Salve is the formal. Most Italians use Ciao but they say it with the respect it deserves.
The Japanese language is made interesting by pronunciations only. It’s a soft spoken language and Konnichiwa is their way of saying Hello in a formal manner.
Most people associate Arabic with Muslims or Islam. While this might be true, the language is also spoken by non-Muslims like Jews in some parts of the world. Asalaam alaikum is the most common way of saying hello in Arabic.
If you say ola in Portugal, you can be assured of a respectful response. If you’re in an informal setting, it can be Oi but the most commonly used is Ola.
Most of the young people in Albania speak English. It’s not uncommon to come across a hello or thank you. The local language is well appreciated here and the word for hello is Përshëndetje.
If you want to be different and unique from other tourists struggling to say hello in Bosnia, just say zdravo and get the satisfaction of knowing more and getting better reception from the locals.
The word Ahoj is used to say hello in Czech. It is also used interchangeably to mean goodbye. For those using it in a less formal setting, Cau can be used and Nazdar used as an informal type of greetings.
Visiting Copenhagen soon? Knowing the basics of their language especially the greetings is important. Here, you can use Hej to say hello and you can use it with anyone, anywhere and sound formal as well. Its pronounced just like Hi in English so you won’t have a problem getting along with locals here.
Going deeper, the language might sound complicated but the greetings are amazingly simple. In Dutch, saying Hallo is the equivalent of Hello. It’s the most used informal greeting and the most universal as well.
Though Hello is a common way of greeting someone for the Finnish people, the correct way to say it in Finnish is Hei. Its pronounced same way as Hey in English and you can use the greetings with relatives and friends as well as people you don’t know.
This is one of the most complicated language in the world. Most of the things that people know in Greek are translated to English to get rid of the difficulty. The local word for Hello in Greek is geia sas. One can also use Γεια (Ya) and can be used in any occasion and is usually accompanied by a pronoun.
If you landed in Israel today and you didn’t know to say anything else, keep this word in mind, shalom. While most of us know that it means peace, it is actually the most common way of saying hello in Hebrew.
Saying hello in Hungarian is as simple as szia hi. You can also say hello in English and the Hungarians will understand the term and get the message.
The most common word or phrase for hello is Sveiki. The phrase literally translates to hello and can be used for casual contacts or even in a business setting.
Zdravo is the common phrase used for hello in Macedonia. To begin a conversation in Macedonia, you need to know how to at least say hello or the normal greetings.
Moldova is a slightly different language in terms of greetings compared to most languages. In the place of hello, Moldavians say Buna Ziua. This is a typical greeting which means good day. It’s used in the place of hello from morning to evening.
The standard informal polish greeting is Czesc normally compared to the English word, Hello. Siema is another phrase that means Hi but this is mostly used by young people casually.
The most common greeting for Lithuanians is Labas. The phrase is used for Hello/Hi and is the easiest you can learn in Lithuanian. It can be used in any situation and is used by any gender contrary to what some people think. You can also use Sveiki and Sveikas aside from Labas but Labas is the most commonly used.
The phrase for Hello in Turkish is a borrowed one. it originates from the Arabic language and is widely used and accepted as Turkish greetings. The word is Merhaba and it translates to “I receive you” but is used as a formal type of greeting.
These are the only people who use different terms for hello depending on the time of the day. However, the most commonly used is Zdravstvuyte same for the Russian language. This is a formal greeting and can be used at anytime and anywhere.
Only spoken in Vietnam, Xin chao is the formal greeting in the country. It’s used even in a business setting and by anyone.
Shwmae is the translation for hello greetings in Welsh. It’s a tough language to learn especially the pronunciations but Shwmae translates to “Hello, how are you” It’s a greeting that also enquires about the other person’s well-being and is used informally in Wales
Popularly used in East African communities, Swahili has more than 7 words of saying hello. The formal word is Shikamoo used to say hello to elders or you can use Habari which means “what’s news” and is mostly used in informal situations.
Dia Dhuit is a word for hi or hello in Irish. It might be difficult to pronounce but it’s a fun way of greeting people in Ireland.
Salama is the word for Hello in Malagasy the language spoken in Madagascar. It doesn’t have a formal or informal setting and can be used by anyone even in a business setting. Above are some of the most common ways to say “Hello” in different languages. There are so many languages in the world and we’ve barely touched the surface with these. One doesn’t have to master all of these languages at once. If you’re visiting a country and you don’t know how to say Hello in the local language, we are here to help you. We offer translation services for more than thirty languages and have experienced local translators who make sure you never go wrong with your translations.