How to Say “Hello” in Different Languages

A potential friend is only a ‘hello’ away. Here’s how to greet your friends in different languages.

How to Say “Hello” in Different Languages

Hello there! It’s nice to be properly greeted, isn’t it? Even in an article like this one. In fact, we could go so far as to say that ‘hello’ is the most powerful word in any language. It doesn’t matter if it’s ‘hello’ in Spanish, ‘hello’ in Japanese, or ‘hello’ in French. Every ‘hello’ has the power to spark conversations and make new friends. Knowing how to say ‘hi’ or ‘hello’ in different languages is probably one of the most important assets of a traveler. After all, every story starts with a ‘hello’ — regardless if it’s a love story, a friendship story, or even a business one.

Ready to make friends all over the world? Let’s dive right in and learn how to say ‘hello’ in different languages. From hola (’hello’ in Spanish), bonjour (’hello’ in French), ciao (’hello’ in Italian) to konnichiwa (’hello’ in Japanese) and privyet (’hello’ in Russian). Master them all and let us know in the comments which ‘hello’ or ‘hi’ brought you the most friends.

Hello in Spanish — Hola

Probably one of the most spoken ‘hello’s in the world, ‘hello’ in Spanish is not a stranger for anyone who has listened to some Spanish music – even by chance – in recent years. ¡Hola! Yo me llamo Mariola – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

Both formal and informal, both respectful and friendly – Hola is the easiest and most popular way to say hello in Spanish. Additionally, Hola is so cool that it can also be used to say ‘hi’ in Spanish. Learning a new language can’t get any easier than this.

If you want to learn more about how to say ‘hello’ in Spanish, here’s a more in-depth guide on Spanish greetings.

Hello in Russian — Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte)

Привет (Privyet) is definitely the more popular Russian hello, but it actually translates to ‘hi’ in Russian, not ‘hello’. However, if you already know the person you are greeting and you feel comfortable being more informal, Привет (Privyet) is the perfect choice for you.

hello in russian
“Hello Russia” by Michael Parulava©

At the same time, Здравствуйте (Zdravstvuyte) is also a very nice way to greet your Russian friends. The root of the word actually goes back to the expression “to be healthy and well” so it is also a wish for good health.

Wanna dig deeper into Russian greetings? Here are five different ways to say ‘hello’ in Russian.

Hello in Japanese — こんにちは (Kon’nichiwa)

The same as the Spanish hola, Kon’nichiwa is a kind of universal Japanese greeting that can be used safely in all sorts of social contexts. There are two exceptions, though. Early in the morning and late at night, you should use the specific greetings dedicated to certain moments of the day. To learn more about them, check out this in-depth guide on how to say ‘hello’ in Japanese.

Moreover, don’t forget that the Japanese culture is a culture of respect. If you want to go all-in and immerse yourself entirely in the Japanese culture, it’s best to study Japanese etiquette before your trip.

Hello in Korean — 안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo)

In recent years, the Korean language has been enjoying an increase in popularity due to BTS, a Korean boy band “taking over the world”. As a result, more and more young people wish to learn Korean. So, knowing as little as ‘hello’ in Korean is a must if you want to be up-to-date.

안녕하세요 (Annyeonghaseyo) is the most popular semi-formal Korean hello. By comparison, 안녕 (Annyeong) is a little more informal and it’s what you should use if you want to say ‘hi’ in Korean.

hello in japanese
“Mount Fuji, Japan” by David Edelstein©

Hello in French — Bonjour

When talking about traveling to another country, greetings should always be number 1 on your to-do list. The locals regard your attempt to speak their language as a sign of respect and respond accordingly. Why not take advantage of this interaction? Every place looks different and more like home through the eyes of someone who already lives there.

And France makes no exception. The most common way to say ‘hello’ in French is definitely Bonjour, but if you need something a little more informal, you can safely go with Salut. Furthermore, if it’s getting dark, don’t forget to switch to Bonsoir, which is ‘good evening’ in French.

Wanna find out more? Here are 12 French greetings beyond Bonjour.

Hello in German — Hallo

The universal German hello is Hallo. Short, sweet and simple. In other words, nothing like the rest of the German language. (Sorry, German, but that’s true.)

If you are looking for German greetings for certain moments of the day, then you can safely go with:

  • Guten Morgen! – Good morning!
  • Guten Tag! – Good day!
  • Guten Abend! – Good evening!

However, Germans are all about being efficient, so they also use the shortened form of these greetings:

  • Morgen!
  • Tag!
  • Abend!
hello in french
“Antibes, France” by Reuben Mcfeeters©

Hello in Italian — Ciao

The Italian Ciao is so popular that it has also been borrowed by other countries to be used between friends as a joke or even seriously. Together with Capisce and Grazie, Ciao forms the Holy Trinity of the Italian language. Anyone who wants to summon his or her inner Italian just uses these three words and automatically becomes Italian. Oh, let’s not forget about the famous Italian hand gesture! (Admit it. You tried that, too, at some point.)

hello in different languages
Back to seriousness, Italians are all about respecting their elders, so if you need a more formal ‘hello’ in Italian, you can safely use Salve.

If you want to learn more about how to say ‘hi’ in Italian, you can check out this in-depth guide on Italian greetings.

Hello in Chinese — 你好 (Nǐ hǎo)

The Chinese language is just as rich in greetings as any other language, but the most popular way to say ‘hello’ in Chinese is definitely 你好 (Nǐ hǎo). And when we say ‘popular’, it’s 1 billion people popular because, as you probably already know, Chinese is the most spoken language in the world by the total number of native speakers.

Of course, like in many other languages, this is not the only way to say ‘hello’ in Chinese. To find out what are other ways to say ‘hi’ in Chinese, here’s an in-depth guide on Chinese greetings.

Hello in Portuguese — Olá

Olá or Oi? What’s your Portuguese hello of choice?

Olá, just like the Spanish Hola, is suitable for any situation regardless of the person you are addressing. Oi, on the other hand, is how you can say ‘hi’ in Portuguese and it is very informal and friendly. Careful though. While it is one of the most common ways to greet your friends in Brazil, people from Portugal don’t use it as much.

To learn more about Portuguese greetings, check out our guide on how to say hello’ in Portuguese.

Hello in different languages

Now that we’ve properly covered some of the most spoken languages in the world let’s move on to the real gold mine of ‘hello’ in different languages. From ‘hello’ in Arabic to ‘hello’ in Catalan and even Latin, you’ll find them all here. Besides, if you want to hear them in action in real conversations, spoken by fluent speakers, you can always get Mondly. Just choose the language you always wanted to speak, and you can be conversational from day 1.

hello in spanish
“Hello” by Octavian Dan©

These next greetings are a mixture of formal and informal. Don’t worry, though! This kind of ‘hello’ is the best choice for most social interactions regardless of the person you are addressing because it is somehow formal but also friendly. Just what you need when traveling abroad!

How to say hello in different languages
Hello in AfrikaansHallo
Hello in Arabicمرحبًا (Marhaban)
Hello in BulgarianЗдравей (Zdravey)
Hello in Bengaliহ্যালো। (Hello)
Hello in CatalanHola
Hello in CzechDobrý den
Hello in DanishHej
Hello in GreekΚαλημέρα (Kalēméra)
Hello in Farsiسلام (Salaam)
Hello in FinnishHei
Hello in Hebrewשלום (Shalom)
Hello in Hindiनमस्ते। (Namaste)
Hello in CroatianBok
Hello in HungarianJó napot
Hello in IndonesianHalo
Hello in LatinSalve
Hello in LithuanianLaba diena
Hello in LatvianSveiks
Hello in NorwegianHei
Hello in DutchHallo
Hello in PolishDzień dobry
Hello in RomanianBună
Hello in SlovakAhoj
Hello in SwedishHej
Hello in Thaiสวัสดี (Sà-wàt-dee)
Hello in TagalogHelo
Hello in TurkishMerhaba
Hello in UkrainianВітаю (Vitayu)
Hello in Urduسلام (Salam)
Hello in VietnameseChào chị

From 0 to conversational in just 10 minutes a day

Do you want to speak Spanish fluently fast? Or maybe Japanese? Get Mondly, the award-winning language learning app that will help you speak up to 41 languages in just 10 minutes a day.

It can be really tricky to learn a new language if you don’t actively live in a country where it is spoken. But with Mondly, you’ll have access to a fast and highly efficient learning method that allows you to learn languages naturally with practical topics, bite-sized lessons and real-life conversations.

Start using Mondly for free on your computer or download the app and learn Spanish, French, German and more anytime, anywhere.

Anonymous's Gravatar

Diana Lăpușneanu

Movie geek turned content writer, Diana is passionate about storytelling, mythology and art history. She is currently expl ... more about Diana.

2 comments on “How to Say “Hello” in Different Languages

  1. What a lovely article 🙂

    I would like to add other ways to great someone in french as it’s my mother tongue.

    Depending on the context and the level of french you want to use, I suggest the following greetings :
    – Formal and old school but so classy : “Mes hommages” This greeting tends to be more used from a man towards a woman.
    – Formal and old school after 6 pm: “Bien le bonsoir” to which we can put a “mon cher” ou “ma chère”
    – Informal and colloquial : ” Comment ça fait trop plaisir de te voir. Dans mes bras!” it’s a warm welcome to a close friend and an invitation to hug 🙂
    – Informal : “Coucou” is a cute way to say hello 🙂

  2. Hello in Vietnamese is not “Chào chị” btw, only “Chào” will do, “chị” is a pronoun for female only.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related articles