How to say hello in 95 different languages [real & make-believe]

As an avid traveler, I’ve realized that learning to say even a few basic words in the language of the country I’m traveling to can make a huge difference.

Learning basic words like “hello,” “thank you,” or “excuse me” in different languages can help you a ton during your travels! And even if you’re not a language geek like me, these words are pretty easy to learn in any language - and you can learn any language fast with a few good tips!

The truth is, learning how to say hello in the language of the country you’re traveling to, a person you’re doing business with, or even starting a friendship with, is fundamental to building solid relationships with people.

It's a common courtesy to greet people in their native language. Whether you're traveling or doing business, knowing how to say hello in another language shows that you take an interest in the culture and customs of others. Your message can be taken more seriously, and you might even receive better service!

So, in this article, we’ll cover how to say hello in over 90 languages. We’ve also included a pronunciation column to help you learn how to pronounce these foreign words (some can be quite challenging!).

Hello in different languages

We can confidently say that there are at least 100 creative ways to say hello in English, 23 ways to say hello in French, and 77 unique ways to say hello in Spanish. Therefore, it goes without saying that we cannot cover all the possible greetings for each language in this article!

So, while there are many ways to say hello in different languages, ranging from formal to slang, we’re going to focus only on the most common ones.

These three males having a drink in the sunshine know how to say hello in different languages.

Language Most common way to say hello Pronunciation
Afrikaans Hallo HAH-low
Albanian Përshëndetje per-shen-DEAT-ye
Amharic Iwi selami newi (እው ሰላም ነው) ewe-selamee-nuhwee
Arabic Marhaba (مرحبًا) mur-HAH-ba
Armenian Barev bah-REV
Azerbaijani Salam sal-aam
Basque Kaixo kia-show
Bengali Hyālō (হ্যালো) HEL-oh
Bosnian Zdravo ZDRAH-voh
Bulgarian Zdraveĭte (Здравейте) ZDRAH-vey-teh
Burmese Haallo (ဟယ်လို) HAAL-oo
Cantonese Nǐ hǎo (你好) nie HAOW
Catalan Hola OH-laa
Cebuano Kamusta kuh-moos-tah
Croatian Zdravo ZDRAH-voh
Czech Ahoj AH-hoy
Danish Hej hey
Dutch Hallo HAAL-oo
English Hello hah-low
Estonian Tere TEh-reh
Farsi (Persian) Salām (سلام) saol-AM
Fijian Bula mbula
Finnish Hei hey
French Bonjour bon-ZHOOR
Gaelic (Irish) Dia dhuit DEE-ah GHWIT
Georgian Gamarjoba (გამარჯობა) gah-mahr-joh-bah
German Guten tag goo-tenn tahk
Greek Geia (γεια) gya
Haitian Creole Bonjou BON-joo
Hawaiian Aloha AH-low-ha
Hebrew Shalom (שלום) shah-LOHM
Hindi Namaste (नमस्ते) nah-mah-steh
Hmong Nyob zoo nyo-ZHOW
Hungarian Szia SEE-ah
Icelandic Halló HAL-oo
Igbo Ndewo n-day-wo
Indonesian Halo hah-low
Italian Ciao chau
Japanese Konichiwa (こんにちは) kohn-nee-chee-wah
Khmer Suostei (សួស្តី) suo-stey
Korean Anyeong haseyo (안녕하세요) AHN-young-ha-say-yo
Kurdish Slav slaw
Lao Sabaidi (ສະບາຍດີ) sa-baai-di
Latvian Sveika (male) or Sveiks (female) SVYEH-kah or SVYEH-eeks
Lithuanian Sveiki svey-kee
Luxembourgish Moien MOY-en
Malagasy Salama sah-LAHM-ah
Malay Selamat pagi suh-lah-met pah-gee
Maltese Bongu BON-joo
Mandarin Nǐ hǎo (你好) nie HAOW
Marathi Namaskāra (नमस्कार) nah-mahs-kah-rah
Mongolian Sain uu (сайн уу) say-noo
Nahuatl Niltze Tialli Pialli nilts-tialee-pialee
Navajo Ya’at’eeh yah-tah-hey
Nepali Namaskāra (नमस्कार) nah-mahs-kah-rah
Norwegian Hei hay
Pashto Salam (سلام) sah-laam
Polish Cześć cheshch
Portuguese Olá OH-laa
Punjabi Sata srī akāla (ਸਤ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ) saht sree ah-kahl
Quechua Allianchu eye-ee-anch-oo
Romanian Bunâ boo-na
Russian Privet (Привет) pree-VYEHT
Samoan Talofa tah-low-fah
Sesotho Dumela doo-meh-lah
Slovak Ahoj AH-hoy
Slovenian Zdravo ZDRAH-voh
Spanish Hola oh-laa
Swahili Jambo jam-BOH
Swedish Hallå hal-oa
Tagalog Kamusta kuh-moos-tah
Tahitian Ia Orana ya-rah-nah
Taiwanese Li-hó lee-hoh
Tamil Vanakkam (வணக்கம்) vaa–NAK–kam
Thai S̄wạs̄dī (สวัสดี) sa-wat-dii
Tibetan Tashi delek tah-shee del-ek
Tongan Mālō e lelei mah-lo eh lei-lei
Turkish Merhaba mehr-hah-bah
Ukrainian Privit (привіт) pree-VEET
Urdu Assalāmu Alaykum (السلام عليكم) as-salam-u lay-kuhm
Uzbek Salom shah-lohm
Vietnamese Xin chào sin CHOW
Xhosa Molo moh-loh

Saying “hello” in constructed languages

Did you know that apart from the whopping 7,100+ languages spoken in the world, there are also 900 constructed languages?

Unlike real languages, constructed languages (or conlangs) haven’t developed naturally but were intentionally created with a specific purpose in mind (usually as part of a work of fiction). Fantasy languages that we cover below also fall under this category.

Constructed language Hello
Esperanto Saluton
Intelingua Bon die
Lingua Franca Nova Bon dia (Бон диа)
Novial Kehan chhi (meaning how are you)

Saying “hello” in fantasy languages

If you’re a Lord of the Ring, Game of Thrones, or Harry Potter fan, you’re in for a treat! Bring out your inner geek with these ways to say hello in fantasy languages from your favorite books, movies, and TV shows.

Say hello in fantasy languages such as Valyrian from Game of Thrones.

Fantasy language What we think is the right way to say hello Spoken by: Book/movie/show Language created by:
Dothraki M’atchomaroon The indigenous habitents of the Dothraki Sea. A Game of Thrones David Peterson
Klingon Nuqneh The Klingons. Star Trek Dr. Marc Okrand
Parseltongue Seethaaa-ssse-hathehhh-hathehhh-ayaeeh Serpents, and descendents of Salazar Slytherin may inherit the ability to speak Parseltongue, although it's rare. Some notable exceptions to this rule include Harry Potter, and Ginny Weasley. Harry Potter Dr. Francis Nolan
Valyrian Rytsas High Valyrian is no longer used as a language of everyday communication, but rather as a language of learning and education among the nobility of Essos and Westeros, with much literature and song composed in High Valyrian. The Nine Free Cities of Essos speak locally evolved variants of Valyrian. A Game of Thrones David Peterson
Sindarin A Spoken by the Elves, called the Eledhrim [ɛˈlɛðrɪm] or Edhellim [ɛˈðɛlːɪm] in Sindarin. Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
Quenya (Elvish) Aiya Spoken by the immortal Elves, called Quendi ('speakers') in Quenya. Lord of the Rings J.R.R. Tolkien
Na’vi Kaltxì The inhabitants of Pandora. Avatar Dr. Paul Frommer

While we’re experts on many spoken languages, we can’t boast our knowledge of constructed languages. So, here are some YouTube videos that may help you learn how to pronounce “hello” in these languages:

  1. Basic Expressions in Klingon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bx0M7FaUAkU
  2. Learn to Speak Quenya in 8 Minutes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uZkTOIFpZkg
  3. Valyrian Phrases: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=33ZsUckmSZk

Valyrian Phrases!

It’s time to say “goodbye”!

After reading this guide, you can now greet people in over 80 languages! That’s something to be proud of. Knowing how to say hello in different languages has helped me make better connections during my travels (and not look like a lost tourist) and make lasting impressions on people from other countries and cultures.

However, we bet that your language learning journey doesn’t stop here! If we’ve inspired you to take up a new, exciting language to learn, you might want to check out this article on the easiest languages for English speakers to learn or other resources on our blog.

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