How to Say Hello in Different Languages

You may think that how to say hello in different languages is not such a big thing. However, remember that we live in a world full of diversity and interaction among individuals requires the assistance of a language for effective communication. It is true that we can rely on non-verbal communication when the language is alienating but, especially when travelling and meeting new people, a basic knowledge is an added advantage. People come from different nationalities, different continents and cultures and thus making communication a tricky business. However, a basic awareness of greeting the other at least with a simple ‘hello’ can be very useful. This article attempts to present a number of ways of saying hello in different languages. It has to be born in mind that, in some countries, there are other informal manners of saying hello and also the local dialects.

Saying Hello in different languages 

How to Say Hello in Asian Countries

In some Asian countries, saying hello is accompanied with certain gestures. For example, in countries such as India and Sri Lanka, the more traditional manner of saying hello is accompanied with a gesture. They usually bring the hands together and raise the hands as they express their greetings. 

• Bengali- namaskaar

• Burmese- mingalarba

• Cambodian- chum reap sour

• Chinese- nee how

• Hindi- Namaste

• Indonesian- halo

• Japanese- konnichiwa

• Korean- ahnnyeong ha se yo

• Malaysian- selamat dating

• Marathi- namaskar

• Mongolian- sainbainauu

• Nepali-namaskar

• Philippines- Kamusta

• Sinhala- ayubowan

• Taiwanese- Li-ho

• Tamil- vanakkam

• Telugu- namaskaram or baagunnara

• Vietnamese- xinchào

How to Say Hello in African Countries

Just as in Asian countries, there is a wide range of languages spoken in the African continent. Some of the countries where these languages are being spoken are also indicated within brackets.

• Afrikaans- hallo

• Amharic -tenayistelegn(spoken in Ethiopia)

• Chichewa- moni bamboo(spoken in Malawi, Zimbabwe, Zambia)

• Edo- kóyo(spoken in Nigeria)

• Igbo is ndêwó(spoken in Nigeria)

• Lingala – mbote(spoken in Congo)

• Oromo – asham(spoken in Kenya)

• Swahili – jambo or hujambo(spoken in Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique)

• Tigrinya – selam(spoken in Eritrea, Ethiopia)

• Tsonga- minjhani (spoken in South Africa)

• Zulu –sawubona (spoken in South Africa)

How to Say Hello in European Countries

In European countries such as England, the greeting ‘hello’ is followed by ‘How do you do?’ and maybe a simple handshake.

How to Say Hello in Different Languages

• Albanian- Tungjatjeta

• Bosnian- dobardan

• Bulgarian-zdravei

• Czech-dobrý den

• Danish- hallo

• Dutch-goedendag

• Finnish-hyvääpäivää

• French- bonjour

• German- guten tag

• Hungarian- jónapot

• Icelandic- góðan dag

• Italian- buongiorno

• Norwegian- god dag

• Russian- iszdravstvuyte

• Spanish- hola

• Turkish -merhaba

How to Say Hello in Middle Eastern Countries

Here are some of the most widely used languages in Middle Eastern countries.

• Arabic-As-salām ‘alaykum

• Azerbaijani – salam

• Egyptian Arabic is – salām ‘alaykum

• Hebrew – shalom

• Kurdish – silaw

• Persian- salaam or do-rood

These highlight that we can greet others in different languages and the list is very long. Here, only a limited number of ways in saying hello has been presented. However, when paying attention to the native cultures, specific ethnic groups what is apparent is that people belonging to different cultures, countries and continents have their own methods of greeting others. It is very resourceful at least if we know some of these words as a first step of getting to know people from different backgrounds. It is also necessary to bear in mind that people accompany different gestures as they greet others with ‘hello’.


Images Courtesy: Hello via Wikicommons (Public Domain)


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