Hello! The popularly spoken greeting of the world is the beginning to all other informal and/or formal communication. A hello spoken in the native language definitely serves to bring a smile to any strange face and helps you forward. There are a few main language families in the world like the Afro-Asiatic family, the Indo-European family, the Caucasian family, the Dravidian family, the Sino-Tibetan family.
Listed below are equivalents of the word ‘hello' in various languages of the world starting with the most commonly used languages. It is also rewarding if you learn to pronounce these words right.
- Chinese- Putonghua
(Mandarin) Nǐhǎo (Knee how)
- Chinese- Hakka
- Arabic (in various dialects)
Marhaba or Marhanban as-salam alaykum
Ei Je (EYE-jay)
- German Standard
Guten Tag (GOOT-en Tahk)
Annyong ha shimnikka (An-YOH HASHim-ni-kah)
The form of address differs based on whom you are addressing:
An older man it is "Chao ong", an older woman it is "Chao da", a younger man it is "Chao anh", a younger woman, it is "Chau co", for small children it is "Chao chau"
- Bhutanese (Dzongkha)
Kuzo zangpo la
- Kazakh (Qazaq)
Dumela rra (to males)
Dumela mma (to females)
ia ora na (ee-ah oh-rah nah)
- Italian (italiano)
Dobry den (DO-bry den)
Buna ziua(BOO-nuh ZEE-wa)
Bore da (BOY-ray DAH)
In today's ‘connected' world, there is no way we cannot be aware of the poly-culturalism that exists. Understanding this and using this understanding will serve to enhance national as well as business relations globally.
While we have listed the ‘hello' used in different languages of the world, language is just one aspect of the culture of any country and we need to keep in mind the different forms of greetings and conduct which can always serve to help create and maintain better relations .
Listed below a few features of greetings in different cultures which illustrate how being aware of another culture can either make or break relations.
- 1. Majority of the cultures of the world do not greet by shaking hands
- 2. Those who shake hands in greeting also do it in varied ways
- 3. The Germans have a very firm handshake, the French a light short one, the British a short but firm one and the Italians will follow a handshake with a hug or kisses on the cheek
- 4. The French, Italians, Portuguese and Italians greet friends by kissing on both cheeks
- 5. Following their custom, Hawaiians hug in greeting and exchange wreaths
- 6. Bowing is an important aspect of greeting in most Asian cultures
- 7. Thais hold their palms together about chest high, fingers outstretched and Cambodians do it as if they are praying with both hands folded together in front of their chest
- 8. The Japanese have deep bows signifying their level of respect
- 9. Maoris press their noses together in greeting
Notwithstanding the language of greeting, when a courteous gesture or Hello is accompanied by a smile, then a smile back is the natural and universal reaction expected!