How to Say ‘Hello’ and ‘Thank You’ in the Top Ten Languages of 2014

How to say Hello in 10 languages

The easiest way to get along in a foreign country if you don't speak the language is to at least learn how to say "hello" and "thank you." Most travelers realize that the residents don't mind helping with directions or pointing you in the direction of the nearest restroom, so long as you make the effort to say those two simple phrases in their native language. So, here is a quick list of how to say "hello" and "thank you" in the ten most spoken languages of 2014.

10. French

Hello - "Bonjour" (sounds like bon-zhour)

Thank You - "Merci" (sounds like mair-see)


9. Malay-Indonesian

Hello - In Malay, general greetings do not exist, so you have to say what time of the day it is.

Good Morning: "Selamat pagi" (sounds like pag-ee)
Good Afternoon: "Selamat tengah hari" (sounds like teen-gah har-ee)
Good Evening: "Selamat Petang" (sounds like puh-tong)

Thank you - "Terima kasih" (sounds like: ter-ee-mah kah-see) 


8. Portuguese

Hello - "Ola" (sounds like oh-la)

Thank you - "Obrigado/a (sounds like oh-bree-gah-doh/ah, ending depends on gender)


7. Bengali

Hello - "Ei Je" (sounds like eye-jay)

Thank you - "dhonyobad" (sounds like dhon-no-baad)


6. Arabic

Hello - "Al salaam a’alaykum” (sounds like Ahl sah-LAHM ah-LAY-koom)

Thank you - "Shukran" (sounds like shook-kran)


5. Russian

Hello - "Zdravstvuite" (sounds like zdra-stvooy-tye)

Thank you - "Spasibo" (sounds like spa-see-ba)


4. Spanish

Hello - "Hola" (sounds like hoh-lah)

Thank you - "Gracias" (sounds like grah-see-ahs)


3. Hindustani

Hello - "Namaste" (sounds like nah-mah-stay)

Thank you - "Dhanyavaad" (sounds like dha-neyah-vahd)


2. English

If you're reading this, you already know! So we'll skip to number one....


1. Mandarin

Hello - "Ni hao" (sounds like nee haOW)

Thank you - "Xie xie" (sounds like syeh-syeh)