Learn how to say hello in 100 of the world's most spoken languages! Saying hello in the local language is the best and easiest ice-breaker. Bookmark this page for future references!
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In the famous book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Dale Carnegie states that “the sweetest and most important sound in any language” is a person’s own name. While that might be true, I’d venture to state that the most important sound is ‘hello’ in the person’s own language.

Without ‘hello,’ you don’t have a chance to get to the other words. As anyone who travels and has learned how to say ‘hello’ in different languages knows, nothing can make a person brighten and open up as much as the effort to speak at least ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’ in the local language. It shows that we’re trying, that we care, and that we are conscientious travelers. 

That’s why we put together a list to help you learn how to say ‘hello’ in 100 of the world’s most spoken languages:

1.   Mandarin         nǐ hǎo                      China, Taiwan, Singapore


2.   Spanish            hola                         Hispanic America, Spain, United States, Equatorial

Guinea, Western Sahara, Pacific Islands 


3.   English             hello                         Australia, Canada, India, Ireland, New Zealand,

United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, 

Singapore, Philippines


4.   Hindi                namaste                  India, Fiji, Nepal


5.   Arabic              marhabaan             North Africa, Western Asia (Middle East), East

Africa


6.   Portuguese      olá, oi, alô              Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portugal,

São Tomé and Príncipe, Timor-Leste 


7.   Bengali             hyālō                       Bangladesh, West Bengal (India), Tripura (India),

Assam (India)


8.   Russian            privet                       Russia, former Republics of the Soviet Union, Mongolia


9.   Japanese          kon’nichiwa            Japan 

Tsurutokame.jpg.optimal - How to Say “Hello” in 100 of the World’s Most Spoken Languages
Dinner with a local in Tokyo, Japan

10.  Punjabi           sata srī akāla          Punjab region (India, Pakistan)


11.  German          hallo, guten tag      Austria, Belgium (Eupen-Malmedy), Germany,

Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, South Tirol

 (in Italy)


12.  Javanese          nggoleki                  Java (Indonesia) 


13.  Wu                    nóng hō                  Zhejiang, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu (eastern China)

(Shanghainese)


14.  Malay               selamat siang        Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore

(Indonesian)          


15.  Korean             annyeong haseyo  North Korea, South Korea


16.  Telugu              halō, vandanalu     Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Puducherry

 (India)


17.  Vietnamese      xin chào                 Vietnam


18.  French              bonjour                 Belgium (Wallonia, Brussels), Canada (particularly

Quebec, New Brunswick and Eastern parts of

Ontario), France, Switzerland, Francophone Africa,

French Caribbean, French Polynesia, various islands

in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.


19.  Marathi            hĕlō, namaskār    Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya

Pradesh, Gujarat (India)


20.  Tamil                vaṇakkam              Tamil Nadu, Karnataka (India), Puducherry (India),

Sri Lanka, Singapore, Malaysia, Mauritius


21.  Urdu                 assalam u             India, Pakistan

                                  alaikum


22. Persian             salām                     Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan

       (Farsi)


23.  Turkish           merhaba                 Turkey, Cyprus, Bulgaria


24.  Cantonese      nǐ hǎo                     Guangdong (Canton), southern Guangxi (southern

China), Hong Kong, Macau

hitchhiking in China
Thumbs up in China!

25.  Italian             ciao                          Italy, Switzerland, San Marino


26.  Thai                 sà-wàt-dii               Thailand 


27.  Gujarati          namaste                 India, Bangladesh, Fiji


28.  Basque           kaixo                       Northern Spain


29.  Minnan           lı́ hó                        Fujian, eastern part of Guandong (southeastern

China), Hainan (southern China), Taiwan, Malaysia


30.  Polish              cześć’                      Poland, USA, Germany, United Kingdom, Belarus,

western Ukraine, Lithuania


31.  Pashto             salam                     Afghanistan, Pakistan


32.  Kannada         namaskāra            Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra

(India)


33.  Malayalam      halēā                      Kerala, Lakshadweep, Mahé (India)


34.  Sundanese     sampurasun          Java (Indonesia)


35.  Chamorro       hafa adai               Austronesian language spoken mainly on the island of

Guam, and also in the Marianas Islands


36.  Hausa              sannu                     Nigeria


37.  Burmese         min-ga-la-ba         Burma


38.  Oriya               namaskar               Odisha (India)


39.  Armenian       barev                       Armenia Georgi and Russia


40.  Ukrainian       dobryj den             Ukraine


41.  Bhojpuri         prannam                Bihar (India)


42.  Tagalog           kamusta                 Manila and Northern Philippines

honda bay
Making new friends in the Philippines!

43.  Yoruba             e nle o                    Nigeria, Benin and Togo


44.  Maithili           prannam                 Bihar (India)


45.  Sindhi              assalam o               Sindh (Pakistan and neighboring areas in India)

                                  alaikum


46.  Swahili            habari                      Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda


47.  Uzbek             salom                       Uzbekistan


48.  Amharic         selam                       Ethiopia 


49.  Fula                mihofnima               West and Central Africa, from Senegal to Sudan


50.  Igbo                kedu                         Nigeria


51. Oromo            akkam                      Ethiopia and Kenya 


52.  Romanian      bună                        Romania, Moldova


53.  Azerbaijani    salam                       Azerbaijan and Northern Iran


54.  Manipuri        khurumjari             North East India, Bangladesh, Burma

        /Meitei


55.  Chichewa       moni                        Bantu language spoken in parts of Malawi, Zambia,

and Mozambique


56.  Cebuano        kumusta                  Central and Southern Philippines 


57.  Dutch              hallo                        Belgium (Flanders, Brussels), Netherlands and

Suriname


58.  Kurdish          slaw                         “Kurdistan”, northern Iraq, Iran, Turkey and Syria


59.  Serbo-            zdravo                      Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Montenegro

      Croatian 


60.  Malagasy       salama                      Madagascar 


61.  Nepali             namaste                  Nepal and neighbouring areas, Sikkim, (India)


62.  Saraiki            tuhada kiya haal     Sindh (Pakistan)

  hai saien?

  (literally, “How

  are you?”)


63.  Santali            henda ho                 India, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan


64.  Khmer             choum reap sor     Cambodia 


65.  Sinhalese        ayubowan               Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka East Coast
Beautiful, beautiful Sri Lanka

66.  Bambara         i ni ce                       Mali Mande language with about 3 million speakers

 in Mali, Burkina Faso and Côte d’Ivoire, Senegal,

 Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone and Ghana


67.  Assamese        namaskhar             Assam (India)


68.  Madurese        selamat + pagi/     Madura and Java (Indonesia)

                                  siang/sore/

                                  malam (for good

                                  morning/day/

                                 afternoon/evening)


69.  Somali             salaam alaykum     Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya, Djibouti, and Yemen


70.  Magahi           pərna:m (to             Bihar (India)

                                elder speaker)/ 

                                subʱ pja:r (to 

                                younger speaker)


71.  Dogri                ke aal aee               Kashmir Jamu (india)


72.  Marwari          khammaghani        Rajastan (India and Pakistan)


73.  Hungarian      szia                           Hungary and areas in neighbouring countries


74.  Chewa             moni                         Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe


75.  Greek               yasou                       Greece, Cyprus


76.  Akan/Twi        wo ho te sεn?          Ghana, Ivory Coast

                                 (literally, “How

                                 are you?)


77.  Khasi               kumno                      Meghalaya state in India by the Khasi people


78.  Kazakh            sälem                        Kazakhstan


79.  Tswana           dumela rra (when   Botswana

                                addressing men)/

                                dumela mma (when

                                addressing women) 


80.  Hebrew           shalom                      Israel 


81.  Zulu                sawubona                  South Africa

south africa road trip
Taken on a road trip in South Africa

82.  Czech              ahoj                            Czech Republic 


83.  Kinyarwanda muraho                      Rwanda


84.  Kokani            deu boro dis dium   Goa (India) 


85.  Sylheti             bhala ni?                   Northern Bangladesh and neighbouring parts

                                (literally, “How        of India

                                are you?”)


 86.  Haitian           bonjou (before         Haiti 

         Creole            noon)/bonswa

                                (after noon)


87.  Afrikaans       goeie + dag/môre/    South Africa 

                               middag/naand

                               (means “good day/

                               morning/afternoon/

                               evening)    


88.  Min Dong      nü hou                        Fujian (Southeastern China)


89.  Ilokano          naimbag nga              Northern Luzon in the Philippines

                               aldaw (literally, 

                               “good day”)


90.  Quechua        allianchu                   Peru and Bolivia 

salinas de maras
Salinas de Maras, Peru

91.  Kirundi           bite                             Burundi and Uganda


92.  Swedish          hej                              Sweden and Finland


93.  Hmong            nyob zoo                  Laos and neighboring areas 


94.  Shona             mhoro                        Zimbabwe


95.  Hiligaynon     hello                           Western Visayas in the Philippines


96.  Uyghur           yaxshimusiz              Xinjiang (Western China) 


97.  Balochi          chone tao?                 Balochistan (province in Pakistan and Iran)

                               (literally, “How

                               are you?”)


98.  Belarusian    dobry dzień               Belarus 


99.  Mossi            ne y windiga              Burkina Faso


100.  Xhosa         mholweni                   South Africa  

Regardless of where you’re traveling to, knowing at least hello can open so many doors. Hopefully this list got you closer to learning some new languages today. 

You had me at hello... Learn how to say
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