"By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; and by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches." ~Proverbs 24:3-4
How to Say Hello in Different Languages
November 21, 2012 is the 40th annual World Hello Day. Anyone can participate in World Hello Day simply by greeting ten people. Learn how to say Hello in 40 different languages!
1. Afrikaans - haai (hello; pronounced Ha-i)
2. Apache - Ya'atay Arabic - marhaba (hello; pronounced mar-ha-ba)
3. Australian - G'day
4. Arabic - marhaba (hello; pronounced mar-ha-ba)
5. Azerbaijani - salam (hello; pronounced sa-lam)
6. Basque - kaixo (pronounced kai-show)
7. Cajun - Bon jour
8. Congo - mambo
9. Czech - ahoj (informal; pronounced ahoy)
10. Danish - hej (informal; pronounced hey), god dag (formal)
11. Dutch - hoi (very informal), hallo (informal), goedendag (formal)
12. French - salut (informal; silent 't'), bonjour (formal, daytime use), bonsoir (formal, evening)
13. Gaelic - dia duit (pronounced gee-ah ditch; literally "God be with you")
14. German - hallo (informal), Guten Tag (formal; pronounced gootan taag)
15. Greek - yia sou (pronounced yah-soo; informal)
16. Hawaiian - aloha
17. Hebrew - shalom (means hello, goodbye, and peace)
18. Hindi - namaste (pronounced na-mus-thei)
19. Italian - ciào (pronounced chow; informal; also means goodbye)
20. Japanese - ohayoou (pronounced o-ha-yo); moshi moshi (pronounced moh-shee moh-shee; when calling/answering the phone)
21. Latin - salve (pronounced sal-way; when talking to one person), salvete (pronounced sal-way-tay; when talking to more than one person)
22. Luxembourgish - moïen (pronounced MOY-en)
23. Mandarin Chinese - ni hao
24. Maori - kia ora (kia o ra), morena (good morning)
25. Middle English - Gode dai
26. Mongolian - sain baina uu? (pronounced saa-yen baya-nu; formal), sain uu? (pronounced say-noo; informal)
27. Navajo - ya'at'eeh
28. Norwegian - hei (hi), hallo (hello), god dag (good day)
29. Persian - salaam
30. Portuguese - oi, olá or alô (informal)
31. Romanian - salut
32. Russian - Privet (informal; pronounced pree-vyet)
33. Spanish - hola (pronounced o-la)
34. Swahili - jambo or Habari (hello)
35. Swedish - tja (very informal; pronounced sha), hej (informal; pronounced hey), god dag (formal)
36. Ukrainian - vitayu
37. Vietnamese - xin chào
38. Welsh - shwmae (pronounced shoe-my)
39. Yiddish - Sholem Aleychem
40. Zulu - Sawubona
Have you ever stopped to consider how many people are saying “hello” to each other today, and in how many different languages? If you wanted to say “hello” to everyone on the planet, you would have to learn at least 2,796 languages and greet at least 6,500,000,000 people.
Make sure you use the appropriate greeting for the situation. For example, we may use the more formal “good morning,” “good afternoon,” or “good evening” to greet clients in the workplace, but the informal “hello” to greet colleagues, friends, and family.
Take the time to learn the correct pronunciation. This not only helps to avoid confusion; it is also common courtesy. For example, many languages have rolled r's. Misusing and/or mispronouncing can make you appear inept. If you do happen to make a mistake, most people will be sympathetic about it, and at least you can say you tried.
Each culture and language has a different form of body language. For example, the common way to greet others in Western countries such as Australia, England and America is with a simple handshake. However, a man should not shake hands with a woman unless she offers her hand first. And when Navajos shake hands, they don't grab each other's hands in a tight handshake, but simply do a light squeeze.
In India, a Namaste is accompanied by a slight bow made with hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointed upwards, in front of the chest. Korean and Japanese people keep a distance and bow. Ukrainians are affectionate and hug or kiss.
A simple “Hello,” “Hi,” or wave can be understood by most people.
In Europe, waving the hand back and forth can mean “No.” To wave “good-bye,” raise the palm outward and wag the fingers in unison.