How To Say ‘What’s Up?’ In 10 Different Languages

After ‘hello,’ there inevitably comes a ‘what’s up?’.
September 3, 2020
How To Say ‘What’s Up?’ In 10 Different Languages

Mastering the art of small talk is a pretty critical foundational step when you’re first learning a new language. It can’t be understated how often you’ll use an opening line like “how are you?” or “what’s going on?” to segue into the conversation. Learning to say “what’s up” in Spanish (or in French, or Italian, or Portuguese or Turkish) can pave the way to just about any casual exchange, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that “what’s up” is a fairly American colloquialism that doesn’t translate literally into other languages.

Most languages will actually have several different versions of “what’s happening” or “what’s new” that you can choose from depending on the context, so it’s worth investigating the nuances of these various conversation-openers in your learning language.

Below, we’ve selected the closest approximation to “what’s up” in Spanish and nine other common languages. You can also hear all of the phrases highlighted in gray pronounced by a native speaker by hitting the “play” button next to each one.

How To Say What’s Up In Spanish (And 9 Other Languages)

Spanish — ¿Qué pasa?

French — Quoi de neuf ?

German — Was geht?

Italian — Che cosa succede?

Portuguese — Tudo bem?

Russian — Что нового? (Chto novovo?)

Swedish — Läget?

Turkish — Ne haber?/N’aber?

Polish — Jak tam?

Dutch —  Hoe gaat het?

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Author Headshot
Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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