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How to Say “Hello” in Different Languages: Greet Your Friends in 15 Ways

Ronny Okumu
Ronny Okumu

How would you say “hello” if you went to work or even visited a friend in a community where people speak a different language? How would you greet them? How do you say “hello” in French, Arabic, or even Swahili? Read on to find out.

The internet, of course, has made it especially easy to access and learn a new language anywhere we want. Nowadays, we even have websites and blogs that publish very helpful information.

Now, let’s learn how we can say “hello” to the world in 15 different ways, including English, Turkish, Hebrew, and Italian, to name a few.

Learn How to Say “Hello” to the World in 15 Different Ways

  1. English: formal greeting, “Hey.” Casual greeting, “Hi,” or “Hello.”
  2. French: formal greeting, “Bonjour.” Casual greeting, “Salut.”
  3. Spanish: formal greeting, “Hola.” Casual greeting, “¿Qué tal?” is pronounced, “que tal.”
  4. Portuguese: formal greeting, “Olá.” Casual greeting, “Oi.”
  5. Hindi: formal greeting, “Namastē.” Casual greeting, “Hē.”
  6. Germany: formal greeting, “Hallo.” Casual greeting, “Guten Tag.”
  7. Arabic: formal greeting, “Asalaam alaikum.” Casual greeting, “Ahlan.”
  8. Chinese: formal greeting, “Nǐn hǎo,” is pronounced “nee haow.” A casual greeting, “Nǐ hǎo,” is pronounced, “Ni hao.”
  9. Japanese: formal greeting, “Konnichiwa.” A casual greeting, “Yā, _Yō,” is pronounced, “Ya Yu Yo.”
  10. Hebrew: formal greeting, “Shalom aleichem.” Casual greeting, “Shalom.”
  11. Swedish: formal greeting, “God dag.” Casual greeting, “Hej.”
  12. Greek: formal greeting, “Kalimera.” Casual greeting, “Yasou.”
  13. Italian: formal greeting, “Salve.” Casual greeting, “Ciao.”
  14. Turkish: formal greeting, “Merhaba.” Casual greeting, “Selam.”
  15. Swahili: formal greeting, “Jambo,” or “Habari.” Casual greeting, “Mambo.”
  16. Zulu: formal greeting, “Ngiyakwemukela.” Casual greeting, “Sawubona.”

Now that we have learned how to say “hello” in different languages, how do we know when to use formal or casual ways of saying “hello”? Let’s find out below.

When Do We Use Formal or Casual Ways to Say “Hello”?

To understand the difference, just think about how you often greet friends and how you would greet their parents. When meeting up with strangers or speaking with the elderly, you’ll definitely want to greet them more formally.

Formal ways of saying “hello” are more suitable in most business situations. Think about banks, restaurants, or stores, for example. But if you are unsure, I would advise you to wait until someone speaks to you; then, you will know how to approach the conversation.

Be very thoughtful of what the locals say around you because what makes something casual or formal varies by location and the spoken language. You will notice that people will start using casual or informal ways to say “hello” once you get to know each other more. But if you’re still in doubt, then use formal greetings in every situation.


Learning a little bit of a foreign tongue, even if it’s just to say “hello” in English or “shalom” in Hebrew, is a great way to make the best first impression. And it’s also friendly and very polite.

Whether it’s a corporate meeting or just a friendly conversation with strangers or your friends, the word “hello” is usually that magical word that starts it all.

Language Learning

Ronny Okumu

I'm Ronny Okumu with over 7 years of professional writing. Learning new things is something I truly enjoy. And if I meet a new topic, I just spend some time researching until I can write about it.

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.

Valentina Dordevic

Hello! My name is Valentina. Book digesting is my specialty. I transform book ideas into easy-to-follow summaries, articles, study guides, reviews, essays, analyses, slides, or e-books.

Beth Taylor

Hello! My name is Beth. I'm from France. I'm a French and English native speaker and I really like writing.