How to Say Hello in 15 Different Languages

Learning to say hello in different languages is a good start, but it takes a lot of practice. In the beautiful Grand Bazaar of Istanbul, Turkey, I was impressed by stall owners who handled customers from many countries as effortlessly as they switched languages.

The simplest way to greet everyone on earth would be to learn at least 2,796 languages and greet at least 7 billion people. This could come in handy if you’re traveling or simply want to learn more about someone from another culture. Throughout the world, there are a variety of ways to say “hello”.

Saying Hello in 16 Different Languages

Different languages have different forms and sounds. The gestures may be different, but they all mean the same thing: a way of acknowledging another, a way of saying, “I see you.” Below are the ways of how to say hello in different languages.  

Hello in French

The French word “Bonjour” is used to say Hello. It will be understood by France, Belgium, Switzerland, as well as Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, and sub-Saharan African countries including Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, Gabon, and Mauritius.

Hello in Spanish

The Spanish word “Hola” is used for hello. Except for Brazil, Spanish is the most commonly spoken language anywhere else in Central and South America, apart from Spain. More than 34 million Hispanic Americans speak it as well, making it the second most common language in the country.

Hello in German

Hallo is used in German to say hello. It is also used in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Hello in Italian

The Italian word for hello is CIAO. In Italy, it is used very commonly.

Hello in Portuguese.

Portuguese and Brazilian used the word “OLA” for hello. In former Portuguese colonies, such as Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, So Tomé, and Macau, it is also spoken there very commonly.

Hello in Hindi

The Hindi word “NAMASTE “ is used to say hello. Used in the northern part of India and Nepal. In India, Hindi is one of the official languages, but only 41% of the population speaks it as their native language. Hindi is classified by some people as the same language as Urdu, which is spoken in Pakistan.

Hello in Persian

“Salaam” means hello in Persian. Used in Iranians, Afghans, and Tajiks. Bahrain and Uzbekistan are also included. Farsi may also be called Persian. This is what Iranians call Persian when it is spoken there.

Hello in Russian

The Russian word for hello is “ZDRAS-TVUY-TE “. Throughout former Soviet Union countries such as the Caucasus, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia, Russian is used as a first or second language. Kazakhstan is home to a large population of ethnic Russians who speak Russian instead of Kazakh.

Families of languages with a controversial reputation. According to experts, Japanese is not a member of any particular language family. Several linguists believe it belongs better to the Austronesian family, whereas others think it can’t be classified. Turkish and Korean are also debatable whether they are included in this group.

Hello in Japanese

“KONNICHIWA “ is a word for hello in the Japanese language. Each of the greetings above is used in the morning, at midday, and in the evening.

Hello in Turkish

Turkish people used “MERHABA” to say hello. In Cyprus and Turkey, Turkish is spoken. Also, Azerbaijani and parts of the Iranian, Georgian, and Balkan languages are very similar to Turkish.

Hello in Mongolian

“SAIN BAINUU” is used in Mongolia for hello. Other places where Mongolians speak the language include parts of Russia, China (Inner Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan).

Hello in Kazakh

Hello in Kazakh is “SALEMETSIZ BE”. Around 7 million out of the 10 million Kazakh speakers in the world live in Kazakhstan. The rest is divided between the Chinese province of Xinxiang, Uzbekistan, Russia, Mongolia, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Tajikistan. Translated literally in Mandarin, this greeting means ‘how are you?’

Hello in Hungarian

“SZIA” is hello in Hungarian. Hungarian speakers are mostly in Hungary but can be found in Austria, the Balkans, and parts of other European nations.

Hello in Arabic

The Arabic word for hello is “MARHABA”. The Arabic language is spoken throughout North Africa and the Middle East in various dialects. The following countries speak it as a first language:  Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, UAE, Western Sahara,  Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Egypt, Eritrea, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman,  Yemen.

Hello in Hausa

SANNU or SALAMA ALEIKUM is used for hello in Hausa. Hausa is the native language of people living in Northern Nigeria and the Niger Delta, but it is also a lingua franca in several other nations in the West and Central African regions.

Hello in Mandarin

“NI HAU” is used to say hello in Mandarin. There are more than 1.3 billion people in China, and at least 50% speak Mandarin.