100 ways to say ‘hello’ in different languages

Did you know that more than 7000 languages are spoken worldwide? Although we won’t go through all 7000, this blog post will teach you how to say hello in 100 of the most widely spoken languages.

No matter what language you speak, your race, or your country, one of the most common ways of starting a conversation is with a simple greeting, ‘hello’. It is also often the first word anyone learns when learning a new language. The list of ‘hellos’ we’ve prepared below will aid you in learning as many ‘hellos’ as you need to.

‘Hello’ in 100 different languages

Now, let’s explore the many ways to say hello in different languages. We’ll start with some of the more common greetings and then explore some of the different ways people greet each other across the globe.

A-F (Afrikaans – Filipino)

LanguageGreetingIn-languageCountry
AfrikaansGoeie dag / HalloGoeie dag / HalloWatch common greetings in AfrikaansSouth Africa
AlbanianTungjatjetaTungjatjetaWatch Albanian Basic PhrasesAlbania
ArabicMarhaba / Salam / AhlanمرحباCheck out 10 ways to say hello in ArabicAlgeria, Bahrain, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tanzania, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen,Iran, Turkey, Niger, Senegal, Mali and Cyprus.
AmharicSelamሰላምListen to greetings and other phrasesEthiopia
ArmenianBarevԲարևWatch and learn other ways to say hello in ArmenianArmenia, Artsakh
AussieG’day​Say g’day in AustraliaAustralia
AzerbaijaniSalam​Salam​Northern Iran, Southern Dagestan, Eastern Turkey, Kvemo Kartli – Georgia
BasqueKaixoKaixoNorthern Spain, Southern France
BavarianSeavus / Grias god / Grias diServus / Grüß Gott / Grüß dichLearn the differences hereAustria, Bavaria, and South Tyrol
BengaliNamaskarনমস্কারBangladesh, India
BosnianZdravo / SelamZdravoWatch and learn how to say hello and other words in BosnianBosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro
BurmeseMingala baမင်္ဂလာပါWatch how to say hello in BurmeseMyanmar
BulgarianZdraveiteЗдравейBulgaria
CatalanHolaHolaSpain
Chinese (Mandarin)Nǐ hǎo你好Watch Cantonese greetings​China
Chinese (Cantonese)Nay Hoh你好Learn how to pronounce ni haoSouthern China, Hong Kong, Macau
CroatianBokBokLearn other ways to say hello and greet someoneCroatia
CzechAhojAhojHow to say hello in CzechCzech
DanishHej / HalloHejLearn Danish greetingsDenmark
DutchHalloHalloHow to say hello and Goodbye in DutchNetherlands
EnglishHelloHelloAustralia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, United States plus 50 more including Canada, Sierra Leone, Fiji, India, Ireland, Jamaica, Singapore, Samoan Islands, South Africa et. al.
EstonianTereTereEstonia
FijianBulaBulaFiji
FilipinoHelo / KamustaKamustaThe Philippines

F-K (Finnish – Kurdish)

LanguageGreetingIn-languageCountry
​Finnish​Hei​Hei6 ways to say hello in Finnish​Finland
FrenchBonjour​BonjourHow to say hello in French in two different waysFrance, Belgium, Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Congo, Cameroon, Guinea, Gabon, Mauritius, French Polynesia
GaelicDia dhuitDia dhuitHow to say hello in Irish (Gaelic)​Ireland
​GermanHallo / Guten tagOther German greetings for the time of dayGermany, Austria, Switzerland
GeorgianGamarjobaგამარჯობაGeorgia and some parts of Turkey, Russia and Europe
GreekYassouΓεια σουGreece, Cyprus
Haitian CreoleBonjouBonjouHaiti
HawaiianAlohaAlohaHawaii
HausaSannu / Salama Aleikum​SannuNiger, Northern Nigeria
HebrewShalomשלוםIsrael
HindiNamastēनमस्तेIndia, Nepal
HungarianSziaSziaHungary
IcelandicGóðan dag / HallóHallóIceland
IgboNnh-deh-wohǸdéèwō​Nigeria
IndonesianHalo / Hai / Selamat siangHalo / Hai / Selamat siangIndonesia
IrishDia dhuitDia dhuitIreland
ItalianCiaoCiao15 ways to greet in ItalianItaly
JapaneseOhayo / Konnichiwa / KonbanwaこんにちはWatch 10 ways to say hello in JapaneseJapan
JavaneseHaloHaloJava – Indonesia, Malaysia, Suriname
KannadaNamaskārನಮಸ್ಕಾರIndia
KazakhSälemetsiz beСәлеметсіз беKazakhstan
KhmerCham reap sourជំរាបសួរCambodia
KoreanAhn nyong ha se yo안녕하세요South Korea, North Korea
KurdishSlavHow to say hello in Kurdish (Sorani)Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey

L-S (Lao – Scottish)

LanguageGreetingIn-languageCountry
LaoSabai diiສະບາຍດີLaos, Thailand
LatinSalveSalveVatican City
LatvianSveikiSveikiLatvia
LithuanianLabasLabasLithuania
LuxembourgishMoienMoienLuxembourg
MacedonianZdravo / Dobar denДобар денMacedonia
MalaySalaam / Hello / HaiSalaam / Hello / HaiMalaysia
MaoriKia oraKia oraLearn more greetings in Maori​New Zealand
MalteseBonġuBonġuMalta
MongolianSain bainuuСайн ууMongolia
NepaliNamastēनमस्कारNepal
NavajoYá’át’ééhYá’át’ééhNative American – spoken by the Navajo people (a Native American tribe)
NorwegianHei / Hallo / God dagHei / Hallo / God dagNorway
OdiaNamaskārନମସ୍କାରIndia
OromoAkkamAkkamEthiopia
PashtoSalâmسلامAfghanistan, Pakistan, Iran
PersianSalâmسلامIran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Bahrain
PolishCześćCześćHow to greet people in PolishPoland
PortugueseOláOláPortugal, Brazil, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé, Macau
Punjabi​Sata srī akālaਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲIndia, Pakistan
Romanian​Bună ziuaBună ziuaRomania
Russian​Privét / ZdravstvuyteПривет / ЗдравствуйтеRussia, Kazakhstan
SamoanTalofaTalofaSamoa
ScottishHalò’​Halò’How to pronounce Halò’ in ScottishScotland

S-W (Serbian – Wu)

LanguageGreetingIn-languageCountry
SerbianZdravoЗдравоSerbia
Sinhalese​Ayubowanආයුබෝවන්Sri Lanka
SlovakAhoj / ČauAhoj / ČauSlovakia
SloveneZdravoZdravoSlovenia
SomaliSalaam AlaikumSalaam AlaikumSomalia
SpanishHolaHolaSpain, Central and South America (excluding Brazil)
SwahiliHujamboHujamboOther ways to say hello in SwahiliTanzania, Uganda, Kenya
SwedishHallåHallåSweden
Swiss GermanGrüeziGrüeziSwitzerland
TagalogKamustaKamustaThe Philippines
TamilVaṇakkamவணக்கம்India, Sri Lanka, Singapore
TeleguNamaskārāmనమస్కారంIndia
TibetanTashi delekབཀྲ་ཤིས་བདེ་ལགས།།Tibet, India, Nepal
TigrinyaSelamሰላም! ሃለውEritrea, Ethiopia
Thai​Sàwàtdeekha / Sàwàtdeekrápสวัสดีค่ะ / สวัสดีครับThailand
TonganMalo e leleiMālō e leleiTonga
TsongaXewani AvuxeniXewani AvuxeniSouth Africa
TurkishMerhabaMerhabaTurkey, Cyprus
UkrainianPryvítпривітUkraine
UrduAsalaam alaikumالسلام علیکمPakistan, India
UzbekSalomSalomUzbek phrasesUzbekistan and parts of Kyrgyzstan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Russia and China
VietnameseChàoXin ChàoWatch say hello the correct ways in VietnameseVietnam
WelshHelo / S’maeHeloWatch how to say hello in Welsh and other simple phrasesWales, United Kingdom
Wu (Shanghainese)Nong Haw侬好East China

Y-Z (Yiddish – Zulu)

LanguageGreetingIn-languageCountry
YiddishSholemשלוםCentral and Eastern European Jews
YorubaẸ n lẹẸ n lẹNigeria
XhosaMholoMholoSouth Africa (Bantu language)
ZuluSawubonaSawubonaWatch how to say hello in ZuluSouth Africa (Bantu language)

Importance of Hello In Every Language

Many people are unaware of how important “Hello” is in every language. In fact, a “Hello Day” is celebrated every 21st of November each year, and it justifies its importance.

Let’s explore some of the reasons why it’s important to learn these greetings.

Make new friends

Greeting someone with a ‘hello’ in their first language is a great way to break the ice and potentially make a new friend; the power of a single word shows you respect their culture and always precedes a conversation.

Cross-cultural communication

Knowing how to say hello in different languages can help break down language barriers and facilitate communication with people from diverse cultures. It shows that you respect and appreciate their culture and can help build bridges between people of different backgrounds.

Cultural Awareness

Greetings are an important aspect of many cultures and can reveal a lot about a society’s values and customs. Learning how to say hello in different languages can help you better understand and appreciate the cultural differences that make our world so diverse.

Personal Growth

Learning a new language or simply expanding your vocabulary can be a fun and rewarding experience. Knowing how to say hello in different languages can be a great first step toward achieving this goal.

The Icebreaker

If you’re shy, you should know that a Hello can be an essential weapon in your arsenal. In other words, if you find it daunting to talk to people, then a simple hello is all you need to utter – and let the conversation flow from there. The best part is it works for every language. All you need to know is how to say hello to your new acquaintance in their own language.

Polite Greeting

It can be considered rude or intimidating to approach someone unknown and just start talking away. Beginning with a hello shows you respect the person’s time and culture and reflects your intention to build rapport.

Travel

Travelling can be fun; visiting new countries, learning about new cultures and hearing the sounds of foreign language conversations is always a rich cultural experience. On the other hand, when you don’t understand the country’s native speakers, and they don’t understand you, things can get tricky. Starting with a ‘hello’ in their native language can initiate a response that gives you a new and native experience, assistance around town and any other help you might need while travelling.

For instance, if you’re an American visiting China on a business trip, saying Hello in Chinese can be a good conversation starter. All you need to do is say “nǐ hǎo”(ni hao), which means hello in Chinese.

Cultural considerations when greeting someone

Social Hierarchy or Age

In some countries such as Japan, it’s important to greet people in the correct order of organisational hierarchy. It is also customary to initiate the greeting with older people as a sign of respect. Other countries, require that you greet those older than you in a different way than you would a peer or a younger person.

Time

Some cultures greet differently depending on the time of day. For example, there’ll be a different greeting for the morning, afternoon, evening and night.

Gender

Depending on the gender of the person, a greeting or hello can be altered or be completely different.

Relationship

Did you just meet this person? Are they long-time friends? Is it a business meeting? The status of the relationship is an important factor in how you choose to greet someone correctly across the world. You may find a formal greeting is more suited to a business context, and in contrast, you might find a more informal way of greeting someone you made friends with.

Various Ways to Greet Across the Globe

It’s unnecessary that you literally have to utter “H-E-L-L-O” to greet a person. There are different ways different cultures perform greetings; these can include:

Australia

Greeting someone with a ‘how are you’ or ‘g’day’ (good day) is the most common way to say hello. These phrases and greetings sometimes portray only some meaning. For instance, ‘how are you’ is not an actual inquiry into your health or financial state but is simply extending a hello as a greeting to start a conversation.

United States

Greeting someone with a ‘how are you’ should solicit a response (this is in contrast to Australia), and a simple hello or handshake is always a common greeting.

Hawaii

Aloha is a Hawaiian word that means love, affection, peace, compassion, and mercy. It’s a common greeting in Hawaii and can also be used to say goodbye.

Thailand

Greeting each other with a ‘wai’ in formal business situations is expected. This consists of a bow with your hands clasped together. The depth of the bow and other factors should be taken into consideration. Sawadee khrap/ka is a standard greeting that can be used in various situations. Khrap is used by men, while ka is used by women.

Certain European countries and Brazil

Air kisses to either cheek are shared among friends and family. In Brazil, one kiss in Sao Paolo, 2 in Rio.

India

In Hindi, which is the third most spoken language in the world, Namaste means “I bow to you.” This greeting is commonly used in India and is a sign of respect for the other person’s divine spirit.

Middle East

Greetings can vary between countries and genders (male and female, male and male etc.). Long handshakes between men are common and a sign of welcome, and it is not uncommon to shake someone’s hand and touch your chest/heart with your left hand.

New Zealand

Kia ora is a Maori greeting that means “be well” or “good health.” It’s often used as a general greeting or farewell.

Japan

Handshakes are acceptable, along with bows. The order you greet people is also essential in Japanese culture.

South Africa

In the Zulu language of South Africa, Sawubona means “I see you.” The response, Ngikhona, means “I am here.” These greetings acknowledge the other person’s presence and show respect for their being.

As with all cultures, it’s wise to research the forms of greetings and how greetings should be conducted before visiting the country. As you would have learned, not all greetings are created equal

Getting to know people from different cultures by saying hello in their language can be a fun and rewarding experience.

By showing respect and appreciation for other cultures through greetings, we can break down language barriers and build bridges between people of diverse backgrounds. Try saying hello to someone from a different culture the next time you meet them and watch their faces light up.

By Sophia Dickinson