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The World Phrase Book Essential Phrases 101 Hello and Greet in 31 Languages

Updated on May 25, 2016

Speaking Other Countries Languages

This hubpage is here to teach you how to say hello in all the major languages. Greeting someone in their own tongue is the first step in becoming friends with people of different nationalities. You'll be surprised at how many of these greetings you can use without having to travel out of your own village, town or city. The world is becoming more and more cosmopolitan, especially with the expansion of the internet and social media. There will be less and less people who don't know or are in contact with someone who speaks a different language. So why not try greeting your internet friend or colleague in their own mother tongue?

Afrikaans

Hallo

Whenever "a" is used as a single letter in the English words section it is always pronounced "a" as in "apple".


Afrikaans phrase : hallo.

What it means : hello.

English words : hello.

Pronounced : hello.

Arabic

marhaban مرحبا

Try these English words : bar-a-man

Arabic Phrase : marhaban

What it means : hello

English words : bar-a-man

Pronounced : marr-habb-ban

Bulgarian

zdrasstee ____здрасти

Try these English words : strap key

Bulgarian Phrase : zdrasstee

What it means : Hello

English words : strap key

Pronounced : zdrass tee

Chinese

nǐ hǎo___你好

Chinese characters are included, but as we are only learning to speak and not read, these are for reference only. Obviously, for speaking, I'm using transliteration with English words to help with pronunciation.

Chinese phrase : nǐ hǎo.

What it means : Hello.

English words : bee-cow.

Pronounced : knee-how.

Czeck

Ahoj

Try these English words : a boy.

Czeck Phrase : ahoj.

What it means : Hello.

English words : a boy.

Pronounced : a hoy.

Danish

Hej

Try this English word: by.

Danish phrase : Hej.

What it means : Hello.

English words : by.

Pronounced : hi.

Dutch

Hallo.

I have a strong suspicion that you wouldn't need to spend years and years, studying for a masters degree in linguistics, to be able to translate, then pronounce this word. Simply say hallo instead of hello.

Dutch phrase : Hallo.

What it means : Hello.

English words : shallow.

Pronounced : hallo.

Finnish

Terve

Try these English words : Curvy. Finnish speakers tend to roll their "r" like Scotch and Spanish speakers. It can be learned with practise, but you will still be understood even if you can't do it.

Finnish Phrase : terve.

What it means : hello.

English words : curvy.

Pronounced : turr-vay

French

Salut

Now try using these two English words together; Pal and Loo. Say these words together as one. Palloo.

Now using the same pronunciation say Salloo.

That's it! We've said our first French word. We can now say hello to someone in French and they will understand us.

French phrase : Salut.

What it means : Hello.

English words : Palloo.

Pronounced : Salloo.

German

Hallo

For pronunciation we will use English words to help, although this hardly needs any assistance.

German phrase : Hallo.

What it means : Hello.

English words : shallow

Pronounced : hallo

Greek

Ya-sas.....γεια σας

Try these English words: pass-mass.

Greek phrase : Ya-sas.

What it means : Hello.

English words : pass-mass.

Pronounced : yass-as.

Hawaiian

Aloha

Try these English words : pal-owe-ah. This is one of those words that is known internationally anyway, similar to "adios", "sayonara" and "okay".

Hawaiian phrase : aloha

What it means : hello

English words : pal-owe-ah.

Pronounced : a-low-ah.

Hindi

Namaste.........नमस्ते

Try these English words : sum-cast-bay.

Hindi phrase : Namaste

What it means : Hello

English words : sum-cast-bay

Pronounced : num-mast-ay

Hungarian

Szia

Try these English words : bee a.

Whenever "a" is used in English it is always pronounced "a" as in "apple".

Hungarian Phrase : szia

What it means : Hello

English words : bee a

Pronounced : see a

Irish Gaelic

Dia Dhuit

Try these English words: near-twit.

Irish phrase : Dia Dhuit.

What it means : Hello.

English words : near-twit.

Pronounced : de-uh-gwit.

The "g" in "gwit" is only just pronounced making the word sound like Whit. You will get the idea by listening to the native speaker.

Not everyone seems to pronounce this phrase the same way. Another way of pronouncing it is "jee-uh-gwitch". Whichever way you say it I'm sure they'll understand what you are saying and correct you.

Italian

Ciao

This word is probably already known to most of us. It is used regularly on TV and in films.

An English word that sounds the same is cow. The phonetic word to pronounce it correctly then is: Chow. The "Ch" is pronounced the same as the "ch" in chocolate.

Italian phrase : Ciao.

What it means : Hello.

English words : cow.

Pronounced : chow.

Congratulations! We now know how to say hello in Italian. How cool is that?

Japanese

Konnichiwa

Try these English words: don-beach-see-bar. Try saying these all as one word.

Japanese phrase : Konnichiwa.

What it means : Hello.

English words : don beach-see-bar.

Pronounced : con-each-ee-wah.

Korean

annyoung _____안녕

Try these English words : man tongue

Korean Phrase : annyoung.

What it means : Hello.

English words : man-tongue.

Pronounced : ann-young.

Norwegian

Hei

Just the same as the English greeting: Hi

Norwegian phrase : Hei.

What it means : Hello.

English words : sigh.

Pronounced : high.

Fantastic! Well done! We have learned our first Norwegian phrase.

Polish

Cześć

Try these English words to help with pronunciation: chest. For the Polish pronunciation say chest, but instead of "t" at the end replace it with "ch"; chesch.

Polish phrase : Cześć.

What it means : Hello.

English words : chest.

Pronounced : chesch.

Portuguese

Olá

Try this English word: cola.

Make sure that you pronounce the "a" like the "a" in "apple".

Portuguese phrase : Olá.

What it means : Hello.

English words : cola.

Pronounced : oh-la.

Romanian

Bună

Try these English words : soon a.

Romanian Phrase : Bună.

What it means : Hello.

English words : soon a.

Pronounced : boon a.

Russian

Preev yet............привет

I will include the Russian script, but as we are only learning to speak these phrases, as opposed to reading and writing, it's only for reference.

Try these English words: breathe-pet.

Russian phrase : Preev yet.

What it means : Hello.

English words : breathe-pet.

Pronounced : preev-yet.

Absolutely marvellous! We can now say hello to our Russian friends anywhere in the world.

Scottish Gaelic

Halò

Try these English words : shallow

Gaelic Phrase : Halò

What it means : Hello

English words : shallow

Pronounced : hallo

Spanish

Hola

Try using this International word to help with pronunciation: cola. Spanish speakers tend to sing this greeting.

Spanish phrase : Hola.

What it means : Hello.

English words : cola.

Pronounced : hola.

Great! Well done! You have spoken your first Spanish word.

Swedish

Hallå

Try this english word: shallow.

No complicated pronunciations with our first Swedish word. We should have no difficulty greeting our Swedish friends.

Swedish phrase : Hallå.

What it means : Hello.

English words : shallow.

Pronounced : hallo.

Thai

S̄wạs̄dī___สวัสดี

Try these English words to help with pronunciation: far-bat-see.

Thai phrase : S̄wạs̄dī

What it means : Hello.

English words : far-bat-see.

Pronounced : sah-wat-dee.

Turkish

Merhaba

Try these English words: terror-sir.

Turkish phrase : Merhaba.

What it means : Hello.

English words : terror-sir.

Pronounced : mirror-bir.

Ukrainian

Pryvit___Привіт

Ukrainian Phrase : pryvit.

What it means : hello.

English words : give-it.

Pronounced : priv-it.

Urdu

as alaam mu alaikum______السلام عليكم

Try these English words : mass alarm two a cake some.


Urdu Phrase : as alaam mu alaikum

What it means : Hello

English words : mass alarm two a cake some.

Pronounced : ass alaam moo a lake come

Welsh

Sut mae

To help with pronunciation I am going to use English words that sound like the Welsh phrase. In this case try using these words: two-by.

Welsh phrase : Sut mae.

What it means : Hello.

English words : two-by.

Pronounced : shoe-my.

That's it, well done! You can now say hello in Welsh.

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    • lidialbuquerque profile image

      lidialbuquerque 13 months ago

      Very cool!

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