How to say hello in 10 languages

Are you an English-speaking traveller?

The English language is the most common language understood and spoken, but certainly falls short when it comes to native-languages.


Having had the privilege of travelling extensively over the past few years, we appreciate the importance of at least attempting to speak the native language, even when it’s limited to a friendly “hello”, “thank you” and “goodbye” you’re, almost, guaranteed to receive a heart-warming smile in appreciation.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” Nelson Mandela

This post will focus on saying “hello” in 10 languages and where you can speak the language. Why not leave a comment if you know how to say hello in another language.

Saying Hello in 10 languages

French: Bonjour (bohn-ZHOOR)

French is not only spoken in France, but also Belgium, parts of Switzerland, Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, sub-Saharan African countries of DR Congo, Cote d’Ivoire, Cameroon, Guinea, Gaob and Mauritius.

thewelltravelledman annecy france

German: Hallo / Guten Tag (GOO-ten tahk)

German is spoken in Austria and parts of Switzerland in addition to Germany.

Spanish: Hola (OH-lah)

In addition to Spain, this language is also the main language of all Central and South American countries with the exception of Brazil. It also happens to be the second most common language spoken in the United States.

Portuguese: Ola (oh-LAH)

In addition to Portugal, Portuguese is spoken in Brazil as well as former Portuguese colonies including Mozambique, Macau, Angola, Cape Verde and Sao Tome.

Turkish: Merhaba (mehr hah bah)

Not only spoken in Turkey but also Cyprus.

Italian: Ciao (chow)

Spoken in Italy.

Japanese: Konnichiwa (kon-nee-chee-wa)

Spoken in Japan.

Mandarin: Nǐ hǎo (Ni Hau)

This is the most spoken language in the world! Spoken in China, it is the native language to around half of China’s population.

Hungarian: Szia ((SEE-å) like English “See ya!”)

Spoken in Hungary.

Arabic: Marhaba (Marhaba)

Very similar to Turkish. Arabic is spoken throughout most Northern African and Middle East Countries. These include Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, UAE, Algeria, Bahrain, Chad, Eritrea, Israel, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Somalia, Syria, Qatar, Tunisia, Iraq, Mauritania, Palestine and Western Sahara.

hello in 10 languages

Now, just go ahead and plan your next holiday and remember to try and say hello in their language!

“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” – Chuck Thompson


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