How to say “Hello” in 10 different languages
Published on December 12, 2019 / Updated on November 8, 2022
Saying hello is something we all do every day. Sometimes it can have a real impact. It can start conversations, brighten someone’s day and even lead to new relationships. Greeting people isn’t just a verbal act, and in some countries, this goes along with something physical. A hug, kisses on the cheek, or a handshake. Different cultures say hello in many ways. We spoke to the Lingoda team, who come from countries all across the globe, to ask them how they greet friends, or strangers in their home country. In this article, you will learn how to say “Hello” in different languages!
“Hola ¿Qué tal?” – Hello. How are you?
“Encantada/Encantado de conocerte” – Only used when you first meet someone. It has a similar meaning to ‘nice to meet you’.
The shortened version Encantada is used by women and Encantado by men.
A greeting also includes two kisses, and it’s important that it is the right cheek first.
“здравствуйте” is the formal way to say “hello” whereas “Привет” is less formal and tends to be used among friends.
In a formal situation, everyone will shake hands. With close friends, men always shake hands. Men and women hug and females always hug.
Bonjour, salut – Hello, hi
Depending on the region and the situation, you give one or two kisses on each cheek. There are actually no set rules, which can be a bit confusing for non-French people – and even for French people! Usually, women kiss each other on the cheek, and women and men who know each other very well. Even men who are really close will give each other kisses on the cheek. Also, you never know if you should start with the left or the right cheek! In more formal situations or if people have never met before, people shake hands.
Szia / Sziasztok (plural) – Hi / Hello
Rarely, strangers will hug in Hungary. If it is a very friendly introduction then sometimes kiss, sometimes handshake… But usually a handshake!
The polite way to say hello is Dobrý den (good day). When you say hello to friends, you say ahoj or čau.
You usually hug friends – but that’s not a must, and when you are in formal situations with someone, you shake hands with them.
In Poland, you can say cześć or hej to your friend and hug them.
When you are meeting somebody for the first time, you would rather say dzień dobry and go for the handshake.
Ukraine also has formal and informal ways to say “hello .
добрий день is the formal hello and Привiт is used for “hi” with friends. In Ukraine, it is generally a handshake for men and a kiss for friends.
In Croatia you will use Ej! if you are saying hello to someone you know. But it really depends on the region where you live/go. There are many variations across the county.
Alo brate is also used frequently and means “hi brother”.
When you are meeting a stranger you say Dobar dan.
Some Croatians kiss, and sometimes they hug. When you meet a stranger, you shake hands. The important rule is that you never kiss three times. Croatian people kiss two times and they like kissing!
Depending on where you are from in the UK, people do say hello differently.
In north-east England, “alreet” is the standard greeting and strictly no touching at all!
In the south, you may hear more people using phrases like “how do you do?” and “Lovely to meet you.” Generally, most people meet by shaking hands, and with close friends, you will have a short hug.
“What’s the craic?” or “s’craic” is a standard greeting used in Ireland. The “craic” means anything that is great. So this means “what’s great?” or “What’s happening?”
“How’aya” can be used for flirting. Ohh err!
If you are meeting someone for the first time, it’ll be a handshake, but it can also be a hug depending on the situation. But if you’ve met before and are on friendly terms, a hug is always welcomed.
There you have it. 10 different countries, 10 different ways to greet people and say hello. If you’d like to say hello to our Lingoda teachers, visit our website and sign up for your trial today!