Hello – the hallmark start to any half-decent conversation or interaction across the world. Considering how universal the greeting is – it kinda makes sense there there should be just one way to say but having just one word to greet each other with would rob the world of it’s diversity (and us travellers of reasons to travel) and so to make things slightly easier for travellers (at least in Europe, for this blog post), we’ve put together a list of how to say “Hello” in 40 European Languages:

  1. English – Hello in English is Hello – no point repeating that really but figured I might as well start with the obvious! 😉
  2. Ukrainian – Dobriy den
  3. Spanish – Hola
  4. French – Bonjour
  5. Russian – Zdravstvuyte
  6. Portugesel – Olá
  7. Dutch – Hallo
  8. Danish – Hej
  9. German – Guten tag
  10. Estonian – Tere
  11. Italian – Ciao
  12. Slovak – Ahoj
  13. Basque – Kaixo
  14. Bulgarian – Zdraveĭte
  15. Icelandic – Góðan dag
  16. Hungarian – Jó napot
  17. Greek – Geia sas
  18. Lithuanian – Sveiki
  19. Croatian – Bok
  20. Czech – Ahoj
  21. Luxembourgish – Moïen
  22. Macedonian – Zdravo
  23. Bosnian – Dobar dan
  24. Belarussian – Zdravstvujtie
  25. Finnish – Hei
  26. Norwegian – Hallo
  27. Swedish – Hallå
  28. Polish – Cześć
  29. Maltese – Bonjour
  30. Romanian – Salut
  31. Serbian – Zdravo
  32. Slovenian – Živjo
  33. Georgian – Komentari
  34. Turkish – Merhaba
  35. Welsh – Helo
  36. Latin – Salve
  37. Yiddish – Sholem aleikhem
  38. Albanian – Përshëndetje
  39. Armenian – Barev Dzez
  40. Frisian – Goeie dei
See Also:  5 Quick Truths To Remember This Month!

YOUR TURN! How do you say hello in your local language? You get extra points if you can speak several languages…

I (Yaya) speak English, Yoruba and a bit of French so my 3 are: Hello (easy), Bawo Ni (Yoruba) and Bonjour.

Lloyd says his are English and Welsh so Hello and Helo! 🙂Say Hello Across The World In Different Languages
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  • Nina

    Well, i don’t completly agree. In Swedish we sat ” Hej”. “Hallå” is more slang and not something that is used normally except in certain groups.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool! Thanks Nina! 🙂

  • Bori

    I speak Hungarian – Jó napot, Slovak – Dobrý den, Russian – Zdravstvuyte, English – Hello 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow! I wish I’d seen Dobrý den before heading to Bratislava last week! Will have to remember that one. 😉

      Dobrý den Bori!

  • Margit V

    I speak Estonian – Tere, English – Hello, a little bit of French – Bonjour, and German – Guten tag.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      I’m officially jealous of your language skills!

  • maripui

    I have to disagree little. Just little though. In Finland we do say “Hei” too, but that’s a bit too formal. Normally people use “Moi” or “Terve” (terve also means healthy). “Hei” would be used more in work meetings or if you’re trying to keep your space. If you’re looking to make friends, you use some more relaxed way to say hi.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Hehehe! That’s true! I remember people saying Moi all the time but those were friends (or friends of friends).

  • In Norway we actually use “Hei” more often 😀 Or if you wanna heng with the cool kidz you use the slag version “Halla”
    “Hallo” is way more formal. Complete opposite of Finland I see xD

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool! I think I’m gonna say ‘Halla’ to everyone I meet in when we go to Bergen in a few weeks… Y’know, cos I’m cool like that! (I wish – hehehe!)

  • I speak English primarily at home so I say “Hello” or “Hi’! Hah! But I am from the Netherlands and speak Dutch, and in addition to “Hallo” you can also say “Goede Morgen/Avond/Nacht” depending on the time of day as well as a casual “Hoi!”.
    Thanks for sharing all these ways to say hello! It’s very interesting to see languages I have no idea about.

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva
    http://www.stephanieheva.blogspot.com

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Thanks Stephanie! It’s so nice to learn about all these subtle differences!

  • In Norwegian we say hei to hi and hallo to hello 🙂 🙂 Same with Sweden and Denmark as well.

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Nice! Are other phrases quite similar between Swedish, Norwegian and Danish?

  • eleftheria motaki

    Greek is written “Geia sas”, but it sounds “Yia sas”

    xxx

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool!

  • Evi

    Great list! Dutch is my native language (“Hallo”), but I also speak English, French (“Bonjour”), German (“Guten Tag”) and a little bit Spanish (“Hola”).

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Wow! Impressive! 🙂

  • Raylene Debattista

    The Maltese language has been influenced by the different nations that occupied the islands. Bonjour is actually ‘Bongu’ (a ‘bastardised’ version of good morning from French) and we also use merhba (from Arabic). But we’re still more likely to just say ‘hello’ today 🙂

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Ah I see! Thanks!!!

  • Great list! I am from India and in my native language (Hindi) we say ‘Namaste’, which is more likely to be used when greeting elders, but mostly we use ‘Hello’ nowadays. 🙂

    Aditi
    Diary of a Cusp

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Cool!!! You know that, thank to you, when I go to India all I’m gonna be saying is “Namaste” right? 😉

      • Haha, yeah, to the elders. They will love it! 😀

        • HandLuggageOnly

          Cool! Planning a trip to India very soon so I’m gonna take your word for this and try this out when we get there!

          • That’s great! Share your experience, would love to hear from you. 🙂

            Diary of a Cusp

          • HandLuggageOnly

            Thanks Aditi! Will do!

  • This is such an awesome comprehensive list! Thank you so much for putting this together- very helpful indeed. I have put together my own list of how to say thank you and goodbye, in addition to hello, in various languages- check it out here: http://lifehungry.com/2015/11/06/useful-travel-words-in-8-languages-part-i/

    • HandLuggageOnly

      What a great post – loved it. I’m bookmarking this as we speak! Thanks for sharing.
      Lloyd & Yaya

  • Clara

    Hello, hi, hey. English is my native language, so for the languages that aren’t native, hallo, (German) aloha, (Hawaiian) hola, (Spanish) *waves at you*, (ASL, probably the british version of asl too) hej, (Swedish) bonjour, (French). Those are all the ones I know. A lot of those aren’t European, haha

    • HandLuggageOnly

      Haha! Good skills though, Clara!

      Lloyd & Yaya xx