How to Say Hello and Thank You in 37 Different Languages www.taylorstracks.com

If you are going to travel to a country there are a few things that you should know before you go. Those are: where the country is on a map, the currency they use (and its approximate conversion compared to your currency), and basic communication.

By basic I mean hello and thank you. Of course knowing more is always beneficial, but let’s be honest, learning languages is tough and you may just end up butchering most of it. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. I too am not great when it comes to languages, but fully believe it is both important and respectful to learn how to say hello in different languages and thank you in the country’s mother tongue that you’re visiting.

In fact hello doesn’t always translate to other languages so some of the translations I’ve shared below will be greetings in different languages.

It is polite to know these two simple words (or maybe not so simple depending on the language) and often times you will make a locals day by communicating with them in a word or two that they know. It can be intimidating having someone talk to you in a language that you don’t know very well, so I guarantee that people will appreciate even the little effort it takes by learning how to say hello and thank you in different languages.

To make it extra easy for you I’ve compiled a list of 37 ways to say hello in different languages. This was all thanks to the help of fellow bloggers and traveler’s who provided the correct way to say each word (because we all know how well Google translate works!).

I have broken this post down into languages spoken on each continent which are then listed in alphabetical order. I have not included a section for South America since the most common languages are spoken there are also spoken in Europe.

How to Say Hello and Thank You in Asia

ARMENIAN

Translation by The Traveling Chamelian
Hello: Բարեւ (Barev)
There is the Eastern and Western dialect in Armenian, and for many Diasporans, it is Parev instead of Barev
Thank you: Շնորհակալություն (Shnorhagalutyoun)
Many Armenians add some French flair to saying thank you and are okay with ‘Merci’ – much easier for tourists!

smbataberd
Smbataberd in Armenia (photo by Serda Ozbenian)

CANTONESE

Translation by Every Footstep is an Adventure
Hello: 你好 (néih hóu)
Thank you: 多謝 (dò jeh) – for a gift
唔該 (m̀h gòi) – for a service

China
China

HINDI

Translation by Beauty Brain Bliss
Hello: Namasthe (Nah-mas-teh)
Thank you: Shukriya (Shu-kriyaah)

BAHASA (INDONESIAN)

Translation by Tamz Explores
Hello: Halo
Usually 99% of the people don’t say just Halo. It is usually followed by Apa Kabar (How are you).
So, it goes like this when people mean to say Hello in Bahasa — Halo. Apa Kabar?
Thank you: Terima Kasih
Most simple phrase to learn in Bahasa. It is pronounced in one go terimakasih.

Indonesia
Bali, Indonesia

BURMESE

Translation by Escapist Atlas
Unlike most other languages, Burmese has no official alphabetical romanization so these spellings are more of guides.
Hello/Greetings!: Mingalaba (meen-gah LA-ba)
Thank you: Jezu-be (jay-ZOO pay) he last syllable is somewhere in between a p and a b)
The last syllable is somewhere in between a p and a b

Myanmar
Myanmar

KHMER (CAMBODIAN) 

Translation by The Altruistic Traveller
Hello: Sousday (Sues-day)
Thank you: Akun (Aw-koon)

Cambodia
Siem Reap, Cambodia

KOREAN

Translation by Willful and Wildhearted
Hello, formal: Anyeongasayeo! (AHN-young-ha-say-yo)
This is used to elders, strangers and in a professional setting
Hello, informal: Anyeong! (AHN-young)
This is used with friends and those younger
Thank you, formal: Comasamnida (KO-mah-sahm-knee-dah)
Thank you, informal (more common): Comsahabnida (Kahm-sah-hab-knee-dah)

Korea
South Korea

JAPANESE

Translation by Geek Girl Goes
Hello: こんにちは (konichiwa)
Thank you: ありがとう (arigatou)

Japan
Japan

PUNJABI

Translation by Wander With Jo
Hello/Greeting – Sat Sri Akaal (sat schree ikaaaal)
Thank you – Tuhāḍā dhanavāda (Formal) Dhanavada (Informal)

India
India

TAGALOG (FILIPINO)

Translation by Another Spur
Hello: Hallo (hah-low)/Hello (Heh-low)/Kamusta* (kah-MOOS-tah)
*Kamusta really means “How are you?” but people use as a “Hello.”
Thank you: Salamat (Sah-LAH-mhat)

TAMIL

Translation by Supriya Sehgal
Hello: Vanakkam (there is a stress on the kk. Vaa – Nak – Kam)
Thank you: Nandri (Nun – Dree)

India_2
India

THAI

Translation by Getting Stamped
Hello, male: สวัสดี ครับ/ค่ะ Sawasdee Krap (sa-wat-dii-krap)
Hello, female: สวัสดี ครับ/ค่ะ Sawasdee Ka (sa-wat-dii-kha)
This saying also is used for Hi, Good Morning, Good evening, bye, and all occasions.
Thank you, male: ขอบคุณ Khob khun krab  (khob-khun-krab)
Thank you, female: ขอบคุณ Khob khun kha (khob-khun-kha)

Thailand
Koh Lipe, Thailand

How to Say Hello and Thank You in Europe

BULGARIAN

Translation by Little Big Traveler
Hello (informal): Zdravey [zdra-‘vey] Hello (plural or formal): Zdraveyte [zdra-‘vey-te] Thank you (informal): Blagodaria ti [bla-go-da-‘ryuh ti] Thank you (plural or formal): Blagodaria vi [bla-go-da-‘ryuh vi]

Bulgaria
Bulgaria

CZECH

Translation by Life in Transience
Hello: Dobrý den (DAW-bree den)
Thank you (Bohemian dialect): Děkuji (dik-wee)
Thank you (Moravian dialect): Děkuju (dik-wee-yoo)

Czech
Czech Republic

DUTCH

Translation by Tourist Exclusive
Hello: Hallo (haal – oo)
Thank you: Dank je / Dank je wel (no special pronunciation)

Belgium
Brussels, Belgium

FINNISH

Translation by Fan Girl Quest
Hello: Terve (TEHR-ve) or Moi (Moy)
Thank you: Kiitos (KEE-tos)

Finland
Finland

FRENCH

Translation by Coveted Places
Hello: Bonjour (bawn-zhoor)
Thank you: Merci (mer-see)

Franc
Paris, France

GAEILGE (IRISH)

Translation by Sarah the Gringa
Hello: Dia dhuit (jee-ah ditch)
Thank you: Go raibh maith agat (Go roh mah agut)

Ireland
Ireland

GREEK

Translation by Golden Wings Diary
Hello: Γειά (Yià)
Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (ef-ha-ri-STO)

Cyprus
Cyprus

HUNGARIAN

Translation by You Could Travel
Hello: Szia /ˈsiʲɒ/
Thank you: Köszönöm /ˈkøsønøm/

ITALIAN

Translated by Luca Travels Around
Hello – Ciao (tchAo)
Thanks – Grazie (GRAHTS-yeh)

NORWEGIAN

Translated by The Travelling Sloth
Hello: Hei (hey)
Thank you: Takk (ta-AK) or Tusen Takk (Too-sen ta-AK) meaning a thousand thanks – more polite.

Norway
Norway

POLISH

There is more than one way to say hello in Polish.
Hello, informal: Cześć (Cheh-sh-ch)
Mostly used with someone you know. It can also be used to say bye.
Hello, formal: Dzień dobry (jayn DOH-br)
It can also mean good day or good morning.
Thank you: Dziękuję (Jen KOO yeh)

PORTUGUESE

Translation by One Tiny Leap
Hello, Portugal: Olá (oh-lah)
Hello, Brazil: Oi (oh-e)
Thank you, male: Obrigado (oh-bri-gah-doh)
Thank you, female: Obrigada (oh-bri-dah-dah)

Portugal
Lisbon, Portugal

ROMANIAN

Translated by The World in My Pocket
Hello: Bună (Boo-Nuh)
Thank you: Mulţumesc (Mool-tzu-mesk)

Romania
Sibiu, Transylvania

RUSSIAN

Translation by Eugenianazarova
Hello: Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)
Hi: Привет (Privet)
Thank you: Спасибо (Spasibo)

Russia
Moscow, Russia

SLOVAK

Translation by Girl Astray
Hello/Good day, informal: Ahoj (AH-hoy)
This is spoken to children, students, young people, people our age
Hello/Good day, formal: Dobrý deň (DOH-bree-dyen) (note: the “n” is a soft sound, such as the Spanish eñe)
This is spoken in a shop, to older people, unknown people
Thank you: Ďakujem (DYA-koo-yem)

Slovenia
Red Stone Castle near Smolenice, Slovakia

SPANISH

Translation by Walkaboot
Hello: Hola (O-laa)
Thank you: Gracias (Graa-see-aas)

Spain
Santiago, Chile

TURKISH

Translation by Craving Sunshine
Hello: Merhaba (Mer-Hab-A)
Thank You: Teşekkür ederim (Teh-Sheh-Kull-Erh Ed-Erh-Im)

 

How to Say Hello and Thank You in Africa

ARABIC

Translated by Yogi Meets World
Hello: Ahlan or Ahlan Wa Sahlan
Thank you: Shukran

Egypt
Egypt

AMHARIC

Translation by Drifter Hannah
Hello, male: Salamno (SalamnO)
Hello, female: Salamnish (SalamNISH)
Hello not only means hello but also peace be with you.
Thank you: Amaseganalow (AmaSEgenaloh)

LUGANDA (UGANDA)

Translation by Volunteer the Real Uganda
I greet you (hello): Nkulamusiza (N-koo-LA-moo-see-ZA)
Thank you very much: Webale nyo (WAY-ba-leh-nyo)

Uganda
A woman in Uganda

SESOTHO

Translation by Please Don’t Die in Thailand
Hello, formal: Lumela (doo-MAY-lah), used when addressing one person. Lumelang (doo-MAY-lang), used when addressing multiple people
Hello, informal: Khotso (coat-so)
Thank you: Kea leboha (kay-a lebo-hah)

SISWATI

Translation by Welile
Hello: Sawbona (sou-bo-na)
Thank you: ngyabonga(ngya-bo-nga)

SWAHILI (TANZANIA)

Translation by Where is Noodles?
Hello: Habari (Ha-bar-ree)
Thank you: Asante (Ah-san-teh)

Tanzania
Tanzania

How to Say Hello and Thank You in North America

HAITIAN

Translation by The Thought Card
What’s up?: Sak pase? (sak-pase)
Everything is all good: N’ap boule (nap-bule)
The literal translation is we’re burning.

How to Say Hello and Thank you in Australia

I got a good laugh when I had more than one person ask if they could provide a translation for Australia. Yes, they do speak English, but Australian’s have so much slang that even native English speakers sometimes can’t figure out what they’re saying.

AUSTRALIAN

Translation by Roaming Required
Hello: Hi or G’Day (GERR-day)
Thank you – Thanks, cheers, Ta (Tar)

Australia

Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Australia

Hopefully, you found this useful for next upcoming trip! Knowing how to say hello in other languages will only be beneficial to you. If you know a language that wasn’t included and would like to contribute please send me an email at [email protected]

Say thank you in other languages at home to practice before you go and you’ll be golden by the time you step off the plane. You’ll feel like a real world traveler when you can say hello in many languages.

What’s the hardest language you’ve ever learned?

  • Great idea for a post! Loved learning little language tips for so many interesting places. Thanks for featuring us!

    • Thanks for helping out with it! Glad you liked the idea 🙂

  • Natalie Garland

    I loved learning new ways to say hello and thanks on my travels! My favourite was ‘Sawubona’ and “Ngiyabonga” in Zulu in South Africa!

    Great post ????

    • I had no idea before this post that 11 languages are spoken in South Africa…crazy!

  • Love this! Hello and thank you are definitely two of the most important words in any language.

    • Definitely! And they’re always fun to learn.

  • Loving this post! So glad I could contribute and be a part of it 🙂

    • Thanks again Cynthia! Loved your picture, too cute!

  • Laura Nalin

    Thanks for including me on this post! I hope you have safe travels on your upcoming adventure and can put some of these phrases to good use!

    • Thank you Laura for contributing! I’ve already been practicing 🙂

  • தாசெ

    Language: Malayalam
    Hello: namaskaaram (nah-mah-skaa-rum)
    Thank-you: nannhi (nah-nnhi)

    By
    ThaaChe

  • Rosemary

    Every traveller should read this before they head off on their adventures! Have to say I spent three months in Hong Kong and never got exactly the right intonation for mh ghoi 🙂

    • Some languages are definitely hard, but making the effort is the most important part!

  • It makes such a difference to at least say ‘hello’ and ‘thanks’ wherever you are 🙂 It gets you a much better reception…thank you for the compilation!