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 and thank you in the country’s mother tongue that you’re visiting.
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.
To make it extra easy for you I’ve compiled a list of 37 languages that will help you learn how to say hello and thank you. 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 also spoken in Europe.
How to Say Hello and Thank You in Asia
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!
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
Translation by Beauty Brain Bliss
Hello: Namasthe (Nah-mas-teh)
Thank you: Shukriya (Shu-kri–yaah)
Translation by Tamz Explores
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.
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
Translation by The Altruistic Traveller
Hello: Sousday (Sues-day)
Thank you: Akun (Aw-koon)
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)
Translation by Geek Girl Goes
Hello: こんにちは (konichiwa)
Thank you: ありがとう (arigatou)
Translation by Wander With Jo
Hello/Greeting – Sat Sri Akaal (sat schree ikaaaal)
Thank you – Tuhāḍā dhanavāda (Formal) Dhanavada (Informal)
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)
Translation by Supriya Sehgal
Hello: Vanakkam (there is a stress on the kk. Vaa – Nak – Kam)
Thank you: Nandri (Nun – Dree)
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)
How to Say Hello and Thank You in Europe
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]
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)
Translation by Tourist Exclusive
Hello: Hallo (haal – oo)
Thank you: Dank je / Dank je wel (no special pronunciation)
Translation by Fan Girl Quest
Hello: Terve (TEHR-ve) or Moi (Moy)
Thank you: Kiitos (KEE-tos)
Translation by Coveted Places
Hello: Bonjour (bawn-zhoor)
Thank you: Merci (mer-see)
Translation by Sarah the Gringa
Hello: Dia dhuit (jee-ah ditch)
Thank you: Go raibh maith agat (Go roh mah agut)
Translation by Golden Wings Diary
Hello: Γειά (Yià)
Thank you: Ευχαριστώ (ef-ha-ri-STO)
Translation by You Could Travel
Hello: Szia /ˈsiʲɒ/
Thank you: Köszönöm /ˈkøsønøm/
Translated by Luca Travels Around
Hello – Ciao (tchAo)
Thanks – Grazie (GRAHTS-yeh)
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.
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)
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)
Translated by The World in My Pocket
Hello: Bună (Boo-Nuh)
Thank you: Mulţumesc (Mool-tzu-mesk)
Translation by Eugenianazarova
Hello: Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)
Hi: Привет (Privet)
Thank you: Спасибо (Spasibo)
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)
Translation by Walkaboot
Hello: Hola (O-laa)
Thank you: Gracias (Graa-see-aas)
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
Translated by Yogi Meets World
Hello: Ahlan or Ahlan Wa Sahlan
Thank you: Shukran
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)
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)
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)
Translation by Welile
Hello: Sawbona (sou-bo-na)
Thank you: ngyabonga(ngya-bo-nga)
Translation by Where is Noodles?
Hello: Habari (Ha-bar-ree)
Thank you: Asante (Ah-san-teh)
How to Say Hello and Thank You in North America
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.
Translation by Roaming Required
Hello: Hi or G’Day (GERR-day)
Thank you – Thanks, cheers, Ta (Tar)
Blue Mountains, New South Wales, AusHopefully
Hopfully you found this useful for next upcoming trip! If you know a language that wasn’t included and would like to contribute please send me an email at [email protected]
What’s the hardest language you’ve ever learned?
PIN IT FOR LATER OR GIVE IT A SHARE!