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How To Say Hello In 100 Different Languages


Modified: December 27, 2023

by Imojean Mccue



Traveling to a new country is an exciting adventure that allows us to explore different cultures, traditions, and languages. One of the best ways to immerse ourselves in a new culture is by learning the local language and, of course, knowing how to say “hello.” Greeting someone in their native language not only shows respect but also helps to break the ice and build connections with locals.


In this article, we will explore how to say hello in 100 different languages from around the world. From the widely spoken languages of Europe to the diverse languages of Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania, we will cover a wide range of linguistic gems. We will also venture into the lesser-known and indigenous languages, as well as sign languages used by the hearing-impaired community.


So, whether you are planning a backpacking trip around Europe, an exotic vacation in Asia, or a safari in Africa, this guide will equip you with the basic greetings to start conversations and make new friends wherever you go. Let’s embark on this linguistic journey and learn how to say hello in 100 different languages!


Languages of Europe

Europe is a continent known for its rich cultural diversity and a multitude of languages spoken across its many countries and regions. Here are a few greetings to help you say hello in different languages of Europe:

  1. English – Hello
  2. Spanish – Hola
  3. French – Bonjour
  4. German – Guten Tag
  5. Italian – Ciao
  6. Portuguese – Olá
  7. Russian – Privet
  8. Dutch – Hallo
  9. Greek – Yassou
  10. Swedish – Hej

These are just a few examples of the languages spoken in Europe. Each country has its own unique language, and within those countries, you may find regional dialects and variations. Learning a few basic greetings can go a long way in starting conversations and showing respect for the local culture.


Europe is also known for its multilingual countries. In countries like Switzerland, Belgium, and Luxembourg, several languages coexist. For instance, in Switzerland, you can greet someone in French with “Bonjour,” in German with “Guten Tag,” or in Italian with “Ciao,” depending on the region you are in.


It’s important to note that while English is widely understood in many European countries, making an effort to learn greetings in the local language can make a positive impression and open doors to deeper connections with locals.


Languages of Asia

Asia, the largest continent, is home to a vast array of languages and cultures. From the Indian subcontinent to the Far East, here are a few ways to say hello in languages spoken in different regions of Asia:

  1. Chinese (Mandarin) – Nǐ hǎo
  2. Japanese – Konnichiwa
  3. Korean – Annyeonghaseyo
  4. Hindi – Namaste (used in India)
  5. Thai – Sawatdee
  6. Indonesian – Selamat pagi (good morning) / Selamat siang (good afternoon)
  7. Arabic – As-salamu alaykum
  8. Turkish – Merhaba
  9. Malay – Selamat sejahtera
  10. Vietnamese – Xin chào

Asia’s linguistic diversity is immense, encompassing languages from various language families and linguistic traditions. Many countries in Asia have multiple official languages, reflecting the cultural and historical diversity of the region.


For example, in India, where over 1,600 languages are spoken, Hindi is one of the official languages and is widely understood and spoken. However, it is important to note that India has numerous regional languages, such as Bengali, Tamil, Telugu, and many others, each with its own unique greetings.


Similarly, in countries like Indonesia and Malaysia, where Malay is the official language, there are numerous local languages and dialects spoken by different ethnic groups. Taking the time to learn a few basic greetings in these languages can greatly enhance your cultural understanding and interactions with locals.


Remember, languages are not just a means of communication but also a reflection of a rich cultural heritage. Embracing the diversity of languages in Asia can lead to more meaningful connections with the people you encounter during your travels.


Languages of Africa

Africa, with its vibrant cultures and diverse linguistic landscape, is a continent that boasts a multitude of languages. Here are a few ways to say hello in languages spoken in different regions of Africa:

  1. Swahili – Jambo
  2. Amharic – Selam
  3. Zulu – Sawubona
  4. Yoruba – Mo kiyin
  5. Hausa – Sannu
  6. Mandinka – Nanga def
  7. Xhosa – Molo
  8. Shona – Mhoro
  9. Wolof – Nanga def
  10. Somali – Iska waran

Africa is home to over 2,000 languages, representing a diverse range of language families and dialects. Swahili, spoken widely in East Africa, is recognized as one of Africa’s lingua francas, and greetings like “Jambo” are commonly used. However, it’s important to note that there are many other languages spoken within specific regions and ethnic communities across the continent.


For instance, in West Africa, countries like Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal have a rich linguistic heritage with several indigenous languages. Yoruba, Hausa, and Mandinka are just a few examples of the languages spoken in these countries. Greeting someone in their local language can be a wonderful way to show respect for their culture and build connections.


It’s also worth mentioning the influence of colonial languages in Africa. Many countries have adopted European languages like English, French, Portuguese, and Spanish as official languages alongside indigenous languages. Understanding and using greetings in both the colonial and local languages can be highly appreciated by locals.


As you explore different regions of Africa, remember that each language carries its own unique cultural significance. Embracing the linguistic diversity of the continent will not only enrich your travel experience but also foster meaningful connections with the people you meet along the way.


Languages of the Americas

The Americas, with its rich tapestry of cultures and heritage, is home to a wide range of languages. Here are a few ways to say hello in languages spoken in different regions of the Americas:

  1. Spanish – Hola
  2. English – Hello
  3. Portuguese – Olá
  4. French – Bonjour
  5. Quechua – Rimaykullayki
  6. Guarani – Mba’éichapa
  7. Inuktitut – ᐊᔭᖃᖅ (Aayaaq)
  8. Mohawk – Sekojágon
  9. Hopi – Kwakwá’kway
  10. Hawaiian – Aloha

The Americas encompass a vast cultural and linguistic diversity, from the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America to the Indigenous languages spoken by various Native American tribes. Spanish, as the most widely spoken language, can be heard in countries like Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, and many others. Similarly, English is spoken in countries like the United States, Canada, and several Caribbean nations.


Indigenous languages play a crucial role in the cultural fabric of the Americas. Quechua, spoken by indigenous communities in Peru, Bolivia, and Ecuador, is one of the most widely spoken Native American languages. Learning basic greetings in these languages can demonstrate respect for indigenous cultures and enhance your cultural interactions.


In North America, Native American languages such as Mohawk, Hopi, and Inuktitut carry the heritage and traditions of their respective communities. Greeting someone in their indigenous language can be a meaningful way to honor their heritage and foster cross-cultural understanding.


Moreover, it is important to acknowledge the impact of colonization, which brought European languages like French and Portuguese to the Americas. These languages coexist alongside indigenous languages, creating a unique linguistic landscape.


By familiarizing yourself with various languages spoken in the Americas, you can connect with both the history and the vibrant present of these diverse cultures and communities.


Languages of Oceania

Oceania, a vast region comprising thousands of islands and diverse cultures, is home to a fascinating array of languages. Here are a few ways to say hello in languages spoken in different parts of Oceania:

  1. Māori – Kia ora (New Zealand)
  2. Hawaiian – Aloha
  3. Tongan – Mālō e lelei
  4. Samoan – Tālofa
  5. Fijian – Bula
  6. Palauan – Alii
  7. Micronesian – Mogethin (Palau)
  8. Papua New Guinean – Gutpela dei (Tok Pisin)
  9. Marshallese – Yokwe
  10. Kanak – Yalaké

Oceania is a region rich in indigenous languages that represent the cultural heritage of its diverse communities. Māori, the language of the indigenous people of New Zealand, is widely spoken and carries significant cultural importance. Learning and using greetings like “Kia ora” can foster connections and show respect for Māori culture.


In the Pacific Islands, the Polynesian languages of Tongan, Samoan, and Fijian are prevalent. Tongan, for example, uses the greeting “Mālō e lelei,” which is an essential phrase when interacting with locals. Similarly, in countries like Papua New Guinea, a linguistically diverse nation, Tok Pisin, a creole language, is widely spoken alongside other indigenous languages.


It’s worth noting that English is also spoken in many countries across Oceania due to colonization and globalization. However, incorporating greetings from local languages can still show an appreciation for the unique cultures and traditions of the region.


Oceania’s linguistic diversity is a testament to the vastness of its cultural landscape. As you explore this region, take the opportunity to learn and understand the languages spoken by the indigenous communities, allowing you to connect more deeply with the people and their heritage.


Lesser-known and Indigenous Languages

Beyond the well-known languages, there are numerous lesser-known and indigenous languages across the globe, each with its own unique greetings. Here are a few examples of greetings from lesser-known and indigenous languages:

  1. Basque – Kaixo (spoken in the Basque Country, Spain)
  2. Inuktitut – ᐊᖁᔭᖅ (Aqujaq, spoken in the Arctic regions of Canada and Greenland)
  3. Yoruba – Kúkú (spoken in West Africa, primarily in Nigeria)
  4. Māori – Tēnā koe (spoken in New Zealand)
  5. Mapudungun – Kiñe ñi mapu feyentun (spoken in Chile and Argentina by the Mapuche people)
  6. Igbo – Ndewo (spoken in Nigeria and parts of Equatorial Guinea)
  7. Cherokee – ᎣᏏᏲ (Osiyo, spoken by the Cherokee Nation in the United States)
  8. Haida – Ḵínáa (spoken by the Haida people in Canada and Alaska)
  9. Maori – Kia ora (spoken in New Zealand)
  10. Navajo – Yá’át’ééh (spoken by the Navajo Nation in the southwestern United States)

These languages represent a small fraction of the rich linguistic heritage of indigenous communities around the world. Indigenous languages carry invaluable cultural knowledge and traditions, and learning basic greetings in these languages can offer deeper insights into their way of life.


Unfortunately, many of these languages are endangered and face the risk of disappearing. By learning and appreciating these languages, we can help preserve and revitalize them, giving a voice to indigenous communities and honoring their culture.


When traveling to regions where lesser-known or indigenous languages are spoken, making the effort to greet locals in their native tongue can show respect, create meaningful connections, and foster positive cultural exchanges.


So, whether it’s a greeting in Basque, Inuktitut, or any other lesser-known language, embrace the diversity of these languages and celebrate the cultures they represent.


Sign Languages

While spoken languages play a significant role in communication, it is important to recognize the importance of sign languages, which are used by the deaf and hard-of-hearing community. Here are a few examples of greetings in sign languages from different regions:

  1. American Sign Language (ASL) – Hello
  2. British Sign Language (BSL) – Hello
  3. Australian Sign Language (Auslan) – Hello
  4. Japanese Sign Language (JSL) – Hello
  5. Russian Sign Language (RSL) – Hello
  6. South African Sign Language (SASL) – Hello
  7. Brazilian Sign Language (Libras) – Hello
  8. French Sign Language (LSF) – Hello
  9. New Zealand Sign Language (NZSL) – Hello
  10. Indian Sign Language (ISL) – Hello

Sign languages rely on visual gestures, body movements, and facial expressions to convey meaning and communicate effectively. Each sign language has its own unique grammar and vocabulary, making it a distinct and complete language system on its own.


Learning a few basic greetings in sign language can go a long way in creating an inclusive and accessible environment. It shows respect for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community and facilitates communication with individuals who rely on sign language as their primary mode of communication.


It’s important to remember that sign languages are not universal; they vary from country to country. American Sign Language (ASL) is one of the most well-known sign languages, but there are numerous other sign languages used around the world. British Sign Language (BSL), Australian Sign Language (Auslan), Japanese Sign Language (JSL), and South African Sign Language (SASL) are just a few examples.


By taking the time to learn and understand sign languages, we can promote inclusivity, bridge communication gaps, and foster a more inclusive world.



Learning how to say hello in different languages is not only a practical skill for travelers, but it also represents a sincere effort to connect with people from diverse cultures and backgrounds. Greetings are more than just words; they demonstrate respect, curiosity, and a willingness to embrace and understand different perspectives.


Throughout this article, we have explored greetings in various languages spanning Europe, Asia, Africa, the Americas, Oceania, lesser-known and indigenous languages, and sign languages. Each language represents a unique cultural heritage and embodies the customs and traditions of the people who speak it.


By taking the time to learn a few basic greetings in the local language of the country you are visiting, you can make a positive impression, foster meaningful connections, and show respect for the local culture. It’s an opportunity to bridge the gap between cultures, engage in conversations, and gain a deeper understanding of the places you visit.


From the melodic greetings of Asia and the rich linguistic tapestry of Africa to the indigenous languages of the Americas and the sign languages that bridge communication for the deaf community, we have explored the vastness of human language and expression.


As you embark on your journey, whether it’s across continents or within your local community, remember that greetings are the first step in building connections. Embrace the diversity of languages, cherish the cultural nuances they represent, and celebrate the richness it brings to our global community.


So, next time you find yourself in a new country or encounter someone from a different culture, don’t hesitate to say “hello” in their native language. It may be a simple word, but it has the power to break barriers, create friendships, and leave a positive and lasting impact.