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 different 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.
How to say hello in Spain
“Hola ¿Qué tal?” – Hello. How are you?
“Encantada de conocerte” – Only used when you first meet someone. It has a similar meeting to ‘nice to meet you’.
The shoterned version of “Encantada” used with females and “Encantado” with males.
A greeting also includes 2 kisses, and it’s important that it is the right cheek first.
A Russian hello
“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.
How do you say hello in French
“Bonjour, Salut” – Hello, hi
If you know the person really well (such as siblings or parents) one kiss on the cheek, if it is your aunt 2 kisses (one on each cheek), if you do not know the person very well 4 kisses, 2 on each cheek. So it seems the French really do like to kiss!
“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!
Here’s how you say hello in Czech
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 a formal situations with someone you shake hands with them.
Hello in Polish
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 have formal and informal ways to say hello .
“добрий день” is the formal hello and “Привiт” is used for hi with friends. In the Ukraine it is generally a handshake for men and a kiss for friends.
How do you say hello in Croatia
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 the stranger you say “Dobar dan”
Some Croations kiss, sometimes they hug. When you meet a stranger you handshake. The important rule is that you never kiss 3 times. Croatian people kiss 2 times and they like kissing!
What are the different ways to say hello in England?
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 friend 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.