It’s estimated that there are anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 different language dialects currently spoken around the world.
If you’re a world traveler or just interested in other cultures, you might be interested in learning to say hello in different languages. While we won’t cover all 5,000 here, we will teach you how to greet people in 60 different ways.
How to Say Hello in Different Languages
The chart below outlines how to say hello in thirty different languages.
|Language||Informal Greeting||Formal Greeting|
|Chinese||Nǐ hǎo||Nǐn hǎo|
|Tahitian||Ia ora na||Ia ora na|
When to Use the Formal or Informal Version of “Hello”
Think about how you say hello to your friends versus how you say hello to your friends’ parents. When you’re speaking to older people or people that you don’t know very well, you’ll want to use a more formal version of a greeting.
Formal greetings are appropriate in most business situations or situations where transactions are occurring, such as at a store or in a restaurant. If you’re not sure, it’s a good idea to wait until someone speaks casually to you before speaking casually to them.
Pay attention to what the people around you are saying. What makes something formal or informal varies by language and location. You’ll likely find that people start to use casual greetings over time, once you get to know them more. When in doubt, use a formal greeting.
Learning to say hello in different languages is a fun way to get to know the local culture when you travel. Use these greetings on your next journey abroad.
Interested in learning Japanese? Learn how to say "good morning" in Japanese, plus nine other key greetings.
Want to learn the longest word in Italian? Check out our article on how to say "hello" (and other greetings) in Italian.
What's the best foreign language to take in high school? If you're wondering which language to study, check out our guide on which foreign language you should learn in school.
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Hayley Milliman is a former teacher turned writer who blogs about education, history, and technology. When she was a teacher, Hayley's students regularly scored in the 99th percentile thanks to her passion for making topics digestible and accessible. In addition to her work for PrepScholar, Hayley is the author of Museum Hack's Guide to History's Fiercest Females.