How to Say Hello in 100 Different Languages

How to Say Hello in 100 Different Languages

There’s no doubt that all of you are familiar with the meaning of the word Hello.

And at least half of you know how to say Hello in Chinese, French, Spanish or German.

But how many of you know how to greet someone in languages like Polish, Malayalam or Hebrew? Not many, right?

So, let’s learn how to say it. As a matter of fact, today we’re going to teach you how to say Hello in 100 different languages. 

Different languages worldwide

It’s a well-known fact that languages are extremely important. They allow people to communicate with each other and express their thoughts, feelings and opinions.

 

Today, there are around 6.500 languages in the world. Around 2.000 of them have fewer than 1.000 speakers. 

 

It means that some of the languages are considered ‘small,’ while others, such as Mandarin Chinese (with around 1.200.000.000 speakers) or English (with around 1.000.000.000 speakers) are considered ‘big.’ 

Every language is beautiful in its own way. Every language is worth learning too. 

Start with the basics

When you take on a new language, Hello is among the first words to learn. Knowing how to greet someone in their language is important because it shows respect and willingness to get to know them. 

 

When you go aboard, local people always appreciate tourists that try to talk to them in their language. Why wouldn’t you be that tourist? 

 

It’s not that hard. It just takes a couple of minutes of your time. If you decide to take it one step further, then it might take you hours or days to learn more phrases. 

 

But if you want to impress them, knowing how to greet them can be sufficient.

That is why we decided to teach how to say Hello both formally and informally in 100 different languages.

  

Hello in 100 different languages

In some languages, there are different ways to say ‘hello.’ 

 

Some languages have a formal and informal way of speaking. 

 

And some of them are so similar, that you might think that they are the same.

 

Let’s dive in.

 

  1. Afrikaans

Formal: Goeie dag 

Informal: Hallo!/ Haai!

  1. Albanian

Formal: Mirëdita!

Informal: Përshëndetje!

 

  1. Amharic

Formal: ሰላም ጤና ይስጥልኝ (selam tena jistilign)

Informal:  ሰላም (Selam)

 

  1. Arabic

Formal: Asalaam alaikum (Peace be upon you)

Informal: Ahlan

 

  1. Armenian

Formal: Barev dzez

Informal: Barev

 

  1. Basque

Formal: Arratsalde on

Informal:Kaixo

 

  1. Bengali

Formal: আসসালামু আলাইকুম (Assalamu alaikum) for Muslims;  নমস্কার (Nômôskar)  for Hindus

Informal: Hyālō

 

  1. Bosnian

Formal: Dobar dan, Zdravo

Informal: Ćao, Bok

 

  1. Bulgarian

Formal: Добър ден ( Dob’r den)

Informal:Здравейте (Zdraveĭte)

 

  1. Burmese

Formal: Min-ga-la-ba shin- said by a woman; Min-ga-la-ba khin-bah- said by a man.

Informal: Ming-gah-lah-bahr

 

  1. Cantonese

Formal: 你好 ( nei5 hou2)

Informal: 哈囉 ( haa1 lo3)

 

  1. Catalan

Formal: Bon dia

Informal: Hola

 

  1. Cebuano

Informal: Hello/ Hoy/ Uy

 

  1. Chinese

Formal: 您好 (Nǐn hǎo)

Informal:你好( Nǐ hǎo)

 

  1. Croatian.

Formal: Dobar dan

Informal: Zdravo/ Bok

 

  1. Czech

Formal: Dobrý den

Informal: Ahoj/ Nazdar! ( this one usually use young people when meet each other)

 

  1. Danish

Formal: Goddag

Informal: Hej, Halløj

 

  1. Dutch

Formal: Goedendag

Informal: Hoi, Hallo

 

  1. Egyptian Arabic

Formal: سلام عليكم ( Salaam ‘aleikum), أهلا وسهلا ( MarHaba)

Informal: اهلا ( Helo)

 

  1. English

Formal: Hello

Informal: Hi

 

  1. Esperanto

Formal: Saluton

Informal:Sal, Ahoj hoj

 

  1. Estonian

Formal: Tere

Informal: Halloo

 

  1. Ewe

 Both formal and informal: Alekay

Response to ‘Alekay:’ Miledzi

 

  1. Fijian

Formal: Ni sa bula/Ni sa bula vinaka

Informal: Bula

 

  1. Filipino

Formal: Magandang Hapon

Informal: Kamusta/ Musta

 

  1. Finnish

Formal: Hyvää päivää!

Informal: Haloo/ Hei

 

  1. French

Formal: Bonjour

Informal: Salut

 

  1. Galician

Formal: Boa tarde

Informal: Ola

 

  1. Georgian

Formal: დილა მშვიდობისა! (Dila mschvidobisa!)

Informal: გამარჯობა (gamarschoba)

 

  1. German

Formal: Guten Tag

Informal: Hallo, Hi

 

  1. Greek

Formal:  Γεια σας (Yassas)

Informal:  Γεια σου(Yassou)/ Γεια (Ya)

 

  1. Gujarati

Formal: નમસ્તે ( Namaste)

Informal: કેમ ચો (Kem cho)

 

  1. Hausa

Formal: Salama alaikum, A gaishai ka (ki)

Informal: Sannu

 

  1. Hawaiian

Both formal and informal: Aloha

 

  1. Hebrew

Formal: שלום ( Shalom)

Informal: Hey

 

  1. Hindi

Formal: नमस्ते (Namaste),नमस्कार ( Namaskar)

Informal: Hai, Helo

 

  1. Hmong

Formal: Nyob zoo (Nyaw zhong)

Informal: Halo

 

  1. Hungarian

Formal: Szervusz/ Szevasz

Informal: Szia

 

  1. Igbo

Formal: Ndeewo

Informal: Kedụ 

 

  1. Icelandic

Formal: Halló ( pronounced as hallaw)

Informal: Saell

 

  1. Indonesian

Formal: Selamat siang 

Informal: Hi/ Halo

 

  1. Irish

Formal: Dia dhuit

Informal: Heileo

 

  1. Italian

Formal: Salve

Informal: Ciao

 

  1. Japanese

Formal: Konnichiwa

Informal: Yā, Yō

 

  1. Javanese

Formal: Nggoleki

Informal: Halo

 

  1. Kannada

Formal: ನಮಸ್ಕಾರ (Namaskāra)

Informal: Hi

 

  1. Khmer

Formal: Chom Reap Sour

Informal: Susadei

 

  1. Khowar

Both formal and informal: ھیلو

 

  1. Kikuyu

Formal: Wĩmwega

Informal:Ni kwega/ Natya

  1. Korean

Formal:안녕하세요 (Annyeong Haseyo) 

Informal: Anyoung

 

  1. Kurdish

Formal: Merheba!

Informal: Rojbaş!

 

  1. Lao

Formal: Saibaidee ton sao

Informal: Sabaidee

 

  1. Latin

Formal: Salve, Ave

Note: Since Latin is a dead language, there is no difference in formal, or informal way of speaking.

 

  1. Lithuanian

Formal: Sveiki

Informal: Labas

 

  1. Luo

Formal: Misawa;  Misawa ahinya (reply)

Informal: Ber; Ber ahinya (reply)

 

  1. Macedonian

Formal: Добар ден ( Dobar den)

Informal: Здраво (Zdravo)

 

  1. Malay

Formal: Selamat tengah hari

Informal: Selamat

 

  1. Malayalam

Formal: നമസ്തേ (namastē)/ നമസ്കാരം (namaskaram)

Informal: Hei

 

  1. Maltese

Formal: Bongu

Informal: Elow

 

  1. Maori

Formal: Tēnā koe

Informal: Kia ora

 

  1. Marathi

Formal: Namaskār

Informal: Hĕlō

 

  1. Mongolian

Formal:Сайн байна уу ( Sain baina uu)

Informal: Сайн уу (sain uu)

 

  1. Morrocan Arabic

Formal: اسلا عليكم ( ssalamū 'lekum)

Informal: السلام ( Selam)

 

  1. Nepali

Formal: नमस्कार ( Namaskar), नमस्ते (Namaste)

Informal: Halo

 

  1. Norwegian

Formal: God dag

Informal: Hei

 

  1. Oromo

Formal: Akkam

Informal: Naqaa

 

  1. Pashto

Formal:  سلام دې وي (Salaam alaikum)

Informal: سلام (Salam)

 

  1. Persian

Formal: سلام, ظهر بخیر ( Salām, zohr bekheir)

Informal: سلام (Salām)

 

  1. Polish

Formal: Dzień dobry

Informal: Cześć, Witaj

 

  1. Portuguese

Formal: Olá

Informal: Oi

 

  1. Punjabi

Formal: Sat sri akaal (ਸਤ ਸੀ੍ ਅਕਾਲ)

Informal: ਹੈਲੋ ( Hailō)

 

  1. Romanian

Formal: Bună ziua/ Salut

Informal: Ciao/ Neata

 

  1. Russian

Formal: Здравствуйте ( Zdravstvuyte)

Informal: Привет (Privet)

 

  1. Sanskrit

Formal:  नमस्का (Namaskaaraa), नमस्ते (Namaste)

Informal: किं भो ( Kim bhoho )

 

  1. Serbian

Formal: Добар дан (Dobar dan)/ Здраво (Zdravo)

Informal: Ћао (Ćao)

 

  1. Sinhala

Formal: ආයුඛෝවන් ( āyubūvan)

Informal: හෙලෝ ( Helō)

 

  1. Shona

Formal: Mhoroi/Kwaziwayi

Informal: Ndeipi.

 

  1. Slovak

Formal: Dobrý deň 

Informal: Ahoj

 

  1. Slovenian

Formal: Živjo, Pozdravljeni

Informal: Zdravo

 

  1. Somali

Formal: Salaam alaykum/ Always reply with: Wa alaykum salaam

Informal: See tahay

 

  1. Spanish

Formal: Hola!

Informal: Que tál?

 

  1. Swahili

Formal: Shikamoo

Informal: Habari, Hujambo

 

  1. Swedish

Formal: God dag

Informal: Hej, Tjena

 

  1. Tagalog

Formal: Mabuhay

Informal: Kamusta

 

  1. Tamil

Formal: வணக்கம்! (Vaṇakkam)

Informal: Alo

 

  1. Tatar

Formal: Isänme, Sawmı

Informal: Sälam

 

  1. Telugu

Formal: నమస్కారం (namaskārām)

Informal: హలో(Halō)

 

  1. Thai

Formal: สวัสดี (Sà-wàt-dii)

Informal: หวัดดี (wàt-dii), ดี (dii)

 

  1. Tswana

Formal: Dumela- to one person; Dumelang- to a group of people

Informal: Hallo

 

  1. Tunisian Arabic

Formal: Aslema

Informa: Hello

 

  1. Turkish

Formal: Merhaba

Informal: Selam

 

  1. Twi

Formal: Maa ha

Informal: Ete-sen

 

  1. Ukrainian

Formal: Здравствуйте ( Zdravstvuyte)

Informal: Привіт ( Privit)

 

  1. Urdu

Formal: السلام علیکم (‘assalam-o-alaikum)

Informal: ہیلو ( Hello)

 

  1. Uzbek

Formal: Assalomu alaykum

Informal: Salom

 

  1. Vietnamese

Formal: Xin chào

Informal: Chào

 

  1. Zulu

Formal: Sawubona- to one person; Sanibonani- to a group of people

Informal: Ninjani

 

  1. Welsh

Formal: Helô, Hylô

Informal: Haia

 

  1. Wolof

Both formal and informal: Salaam aleekum

Always respond with: Malekum salaam

 

  1. Yoruba

Formal: E nle ma, E nle sir

Informal: E nle o

 

Fun facts about languages

As you can see, languages aren’t boring. In fact, they can be quite fun.

 

To show you that languages can be a blast, we also put together a list of some interesting facts about them. Check them out:

 

  • Chinese is the most spoken language in the world with more than 1.2 billion speakers. It is also the hardest language to learn
  • Most of the languages are spoken in Asia and Africa. In Europe only 3% of the world’s languages are spoken, 225 of them.
  • Half of the population is bilingual or plurilingual, which means that they can speak two or more languages.
  • Every language has around 50.000 words. For everyday conversations, people use only a few hundred words.
  • The English language used to borrow many words and phrases from other languages. Today; it’s happening vice versa. Many other languages borrow English words and phrases.
  • Almost every day one language in the world is lost because of the death of its last speaker. That's why we say they are endangered. For example, there are at least 20 languages with only one speaker left.
  • Esperanto was made with a purpose to bring peace in the world. Unfortunately, that didn’t work.
  • In Papua New Guinea there are around 800 languages.
  • Tamil is the world’s oldest language that is still spoken.
  • If you think that Basque is a member of the Romance language family, along with Spanish, you are wrong. No matter if it’s spoken in Spain, it doesn’t belong to any language family. 

Conclusion

This was the list of 100 different languages. Do you think it’s too long? 

Then imagine 6.500 different languages. Compared to that number, 100 is just a tiny number.

It’s always nice to see how some countries have different ways of saying ‘hello’ or how much similarity there is between some languages.

If you decide to learn a language, you might check this article first and see which one seems the most fascinating for you. Also, what’s your mother tongue? Start from there, maybe there’s a language that’s similar to yours.

If you’re interested in becoming fluent in a new language, check out these top online learning resources: Kick off your learning with Babbel, where interactive, enjoyable lessons are designed to blend smoothly into your routine, fostering fast and effective language learning. For those aiming for an in-depth understanding, Udemy provides a broad spectrum of courses from basic to advanced levels. To enhance your speaking skills, Preply connects you with native speakers for personalized coaching, ensuring significant improvement. Take advantage of a 50% discount on your first lesson at Preply with this link.

Good luck!

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