Learning how to say “thank you” in other languages before traveling abroad shows locals that you appreciate and respect their culture. Read on to learn how to say thank you in the most spoken languages of the world!
My favorite part of traveling to a new country is immersing myself in its culture. The food, the local way of living and spoken language all make up the cultural fabric of a destination.
A wonderful way to better connect with a country’s culture is to interact with the local people living there — which is when knowing how to say a simple “thank you” in other languages comes in handy.
Learning to say thank you in different languages helps you show a token of gratitude while you’re traveling through foreign lands. What better way to show appreciation for a local hotel owner, restaurant chef or tour guide than to say “thank you” their native tongue?
I’m a big proponent of learning common phrases like “thank you,” “hello” and “excuse me” before traveling abroad. It’s a small gesture that shows you’ve taken put in time and effort to learn about a country’s culture and language.
Let’s dive into how to say “thank you” in over 75 different languages.
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How To Say Thank You in the Top 10 Spoken Languages in the World
If you know how to say “thank you” in each of these languages, you’ll be able to communicate gratitude all over the world! According to Babbel, these are top 10 spoken languages of the world.
ENGLISH — thank you (thaŋk-ˌyü)
MANDARIN — xiè xie (syeh-syeh)
HINDI — dhanyavaad / shukriyaa (Dhan-ya-bad / Shook-Ree-Yuh)
SPANISH —gracias (GRAH-syahs)
FRENCH — merci (MEHR-see)
ARABIC — shukran (shook-ran)
BENGALI — dhonnobad (dhon-no-baad)
RUSSIAN — cпасибо (spaSEEbah)
PORTUGUESE – obrigado (masculine) + obrigada (feminine) (oh-bree-GAH-doo / oh-bree-GAH-dah)
INDONESIAN — terima kasih (Tur-EE-mah KAH-see)
Learn to Say “Hello” in the Top 10 Spoken Languages in the World
ENGLISH — hello (hell-OH)
MANDARIN — ni hao (nee haow)
HINDI — namaste (nam-as-stay)
SPANISH — hola (OH-lah)
FRENCH — bonjour (bōⁿ-zhür)
ARABIC — مرحباً (marhaba)
BENGALI — হ্যাল (hyālō)
RUSSIAN — privyet (pree-vyet)
PORTUGUESE – olá (oh-LAH)
INDONESIAN — halo (HAH-lo)
Learn How To Say Thank You In 65+ More Languages
Now you can easily learn to say “thank you” in more than 65 of the most spoken languages across the globe.
AFRIKAANS – dankie (dahn-kie)
ALBANIAN – faleminderi (fah-lehm-meen-DEH-reet)
ARMENIAN – shnorrhakalutsjun (shno-rha-kal-ut-syun)
AZERBAIJANI — sağ ol (sa-ol)
BALINESE — suksma / terima kasih (suks-maa / Tur-EE-mah KAH-see)
BOSNIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
BULGARIAN – благодаря / blagodaria (blah-goh-da-rya)
BURMESE — kyei zu tin ba de (chay-tzoo-tin-bah-teh)
CATALAN – gràcies (GRAH-syuhs)
CANTONESE – M̀h’gōi (m-goi)
CAMBODIAN KHMER — អរគុណ (aw khun)
CROATIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
CZECH – děkuji (deh-ku-yih)
DANISH – tak (tahg)
DUTCH – dank je (dahnk ya)
ESTONIAN – tänan / aitäh (TA-nahn / ait`äh)
FINNISH – kiitos (KEE-tohss)
GALICIAN — grazas (GRAH-sahs)
GEORGIAN — გმადლობ (gmahd-lohb)
GERMAN – danke (dahn-kah)
GREEK – ευχαριστώ / efharisto (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
HATIAN CREAOLE — mèsi (meh-see)
HAWAIIAN – mahalo (ma-HA-lo)
HEBREW – .תודה / todah (toh-DAH)
HUNGARIAN – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm)
ICELANDIC – Þakka þér / Takk (thah-kah th-yeh-r / tahk)
INDONESIAN – terima kasih (tuh-REE-mah KAH-see)
IRISH — go raibh maith agat (gur-uv mah ah-guth)
ITALIAN – grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh)
JAPANESE – arigatô (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
JAVANESE — matur nuwun
KOREAN – kamsa hamnida / 감사합니다 (GAM-sah-ham-NEE-da)
LAO — ຂອບໃຈ / khop jai (khawp-jai)
LATVIAN – paldies (PUHL-dyehs)
LITHUANIAN – ačiū (AH-choo)
MACEDONIAN – Благодарам / blagodaram (blah-GOH-dah-rahm)
MALAY – terima kasih (Tur-EE-mah KAH-see)
MALTESE – grazzi (GRUTS-ee)
MARATHI — dhanyawada
MONGOLIAN – Баярлалаа (bayarlalaa)
NEPALI — dhanyabaad (Dhan-ya-bad)
NORWEGIAN – takk (tahk)
PERSIAN — متشکرم (motshakeram)
POLISH – dziękuję (Jen-koo-yen)
PUNJABI — meharbani (mehr-bah-nee)
QUECHUA — sulpayki (sool-pay-ki)
ROMANIAN – mulţumesc (mool-tzoo-MESK)
SERBIAN – xвала / hvala (HVAH-lah)
SHANGHAINESE — szah szah nòng (yáyà nóng)
SLOVAK – ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm)
SLOVENIAN – hvala (HVAA-lah)
SWEDISH – tack (tahkk)
TAHITIAN — māuruuru (mah-roo-roo)
TAMIL – nandri / நன்றி (naṉṟi)
TELEGU — ధన్యవాదాలు / dhan’yavādālu (dhan-ya-va-da-lu)
THAI – khop khun khaa (female) + khob khun krap (male) (cap-coohn KHAA / cap-coohn KRAP)
TIBETAN — ཐུགས་རྗེ་ཆེ་། (thu-je-che)
TURKISH – teşekkür ederim (teh-shek-uer eh-der-eem)
URDU — شکریہ / shukriyah (shook-riya)
UKRAINIAN – Дякую / dyakuyu (DYAH-koo-yoo)
UZBEK — rahmat (RAH-mat)
VIETNAMESE — cảm ơn (come-un)
WELSH – diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
YIDDISH – a dank (ah dank)
ZULU – ngiyabonga (Nn-i-ya bong-ga)
10 Tips For Communicating When Traveling Abroad
Arriving at an airport and realizing you don’t understand any of the signs can be overwhelming — I’ve been there many times! Yet it’s actually what I find most exciting about travel. I love arriving in a foreign country and having to figure out how to grab a cab and get to my hotel.
Aside from learning to say thank you in other languages, here are 10 tips that’ll help you better communicate while traveling abroad.
Research the culture before arriving: Every country has its own customs, and it’s good to know a bit about them before arriving. For example, if you’re traveling to a conservative country it’s helpful to know what clothing is acceptable before you arrive, as well as how you should address locals. Pointing with your finger, for example, is considered a rude gesture in some countries.
Learn how to say thank you and other basic phrases: Aside from learning how to say “thank you” in other languages, it’s also helpful to note down a few common expressions. Phrases such as “How are you?” “Where is the bathroom?” and “Where can I find a cab?” will always come in handy.
Download Google Translate: Downloading an app like Google Translate can help you communicate longer sentences or even have full conversations with the locals around you.
Use your body language: Many cultures are accustomed to communicating with hands gestures. You can always sue your hands and facial expressions to communicate when you don’t speak the language. Sometimes it can feel like you’re playing charades, but if you get the message across, that’s all that counts!
Be respectful: You should always approach locals with respect and kindness. Remember it’s not their duty to understand your native language, as you are a visitor in their country. Always start a conversation with a friendly “Hello, how are you?”
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Put your other languages to use: You never know when those college Spanish classes may come in handy! If you encounter someone who doesn’t speak English, don’t shy away from asking if they speak another language you can conversate in. Since I am fluent in both English and Portuguese and speak a bit of Spanish, I always ask locals if they speak any of the three.
Look up how to get to your accommodation ahead of time: Some of my most stressful travel memories are figuring out how to get to my hotel from the airport of a foreign country! Trying to hire a cab at a fair price or finding public transportation can be pretty difficult when you don’t speak the language. I always research the logistics of getting to my accommodation beforehand so I don’t have to deal with that stress anymore.
Use your hotel or hostel as a resource: Wherever you’re staying, the staff will surely be more than willing to help you get around. Use your hotel or hostel as an information resource for any doubt you have about the country you’re visiting.
Look for signs: Pay attention to signage! Many times airport and tourist signs have drawings on them that will look familiar. Depending on where you’re traveling, these signs might also have words written in both the country’s language and English, making them even easier for you to understand.
Be patient: Communicating in another language isn’t always easy. It’s important to be patient when trying to get your message across. Remember that a smile goes a long way!
Did I miss your language? Comment below, and I’ll add it to the list!