How To Say ‘Hello’ In 21 Different Languages

Every conversation, whether formal or informal, starts with a greeting. Here’s what to say.
July 5, 2017

You had me at “hello” — it may be a love story cliché, but it also makes a valid point about the importance of how we greet others. The words we choose and the way we deliver them set the tone for the entire conversation, and in turn, shape our relationship with the other person. We may use something like a formal “good day” in certain situations, and a more informal “hey” or “hi” in others. Knowing how to say hello in different languages of the world and which conversation opener to use is the first step in learning a new language. Few of us would doubt that “hello” (or some variation of it) is one of the most important phrases and expressions you should learn when you’re just starting out picking up a new tongue.

So when it comes to learning how to say hello in different languages around the planet, don’t sweat; we’ve got you covered. Click through the links on some of the languages for in-depth guides to introductions around the world.

How To Say Hello In Different Languages: 21 Ways To Greet The World

1. French

Formal: Bonjour
Informal: Salut

2. Spanish

Formal: Hola
Informal: ¿Qué tal? (What’s up?)

3. Russian

Formal: Zdravstvuyte
Informal: Privet

4. Chinese

Formal: Nǐn hǎo
Informal: Nǐ hǎo

5. Italian

Formal: Salve
Informal: Ciao

6. Japanese

Formal: Konnichiwa
Informal: ,

7. German

Formal: Guten Tag
Informal: Hallo, Hi

8. Portuguese

Formal: Olá
Informal: Oi

9. Korean

Formal: Anyoung haseyo
Informal: Anyoung

10. Arabic

Formal: Asalaam alaikum (Peace be upon you)
Informal: Ahlan

11. Danish

Formal: Goddag
Informal: Hej, Halløj

12. Swahili

Formal: Shikamoo
Informal: Habari, Hujambo

13. Dutch

Formal: Goedendag
Informal: Hoi, Hallo

14. Greek

Formal: Yassas
Informal: Yassou

15. Polish

Formal: Dzień dobry
Informal: Cześć, Witaj

16. Indonesian

Formal: Selamat siang
Informal: Halo

17. Hindi

Formal: Namaste, Namaskar
Informal: Hai, Helo

18. Turkish

Formal: Merhaba
Informal: Selam

19. Hebrew

Formal: Shalom
Informal: Hey

20. Swedish

Formal: God dag
Informal: Hej, Tjena

21. Norwegian

Formal: God dag
Informal: Hei

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Author Headshot
Dylan Lyons
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.
Dylan is a senior content producer, overseeing video and podcast projects for the U.S. team. He studied journalism at Ithaca College and previously managed social media for CBS News. He’s currently pursuing his MBA part-time at NYU Stern. His interests include podcasts, puppies, politics, alliteration, reading, writing, and dessert. Dylan lives in New York City.

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