How to Say Hello ,Thank You, Yes and No in 9 Foreign Languages While Traveling in Western Europe

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If you're traveling in Western Europe, most people are multilingual and many people speak English. However, it's a great courtesy to address people in their native language and it's really helpful to know a few basics in a foreign language.


The nine foreign languages most commonly spoken in Western Europe include Dutch, French, Finnish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish. Learning to say a few words -- hello, thank you and yes -- in each language will give you a way to show your appreciation for your hosts' cultures.

  • In Dutch, say:

    Hello: Hallo (pronounced: HAH-low)
    Thank you: Dank (pronounced: DAHNK uu)
    Yes: Ja (pronounced: YAH)
    No: Nee (pronounced: NAY)

  • In Finnish, say:

    Good day: Hyvää päivää (pronounced: HUU-vaa PIGH-vaa)
    Thank you: Kiitos (pronounced: KEE-tohss)
    Yes: Joo (pronounced: YOH)
    No: Ei (pronounced: AY)

  • In French, say:

    Hello: Bonjour (pronounced: BOHN-zhoor)
    Thank you: Merci (pronounced: mair-SEE)
    Yes: Oui (pronounced: WEE)
    No: Non (pronounced: NOH)

  • In German, say:

    Hello: Hallo (pronounced: HAH-low)
    Thank you: Danke sehr (pronounced: DAN-keh zayr)
    Yes: Ja (pronounced: YAH)
    No: Nein (pronounced: NINE)

  • In Italian, say:

    Hello: Buon giorno (pronounced: bwohn JOHR-noh)
    Thank you: Grazie (pronounced: GRAHT-tsyeh)
    Yes: Si (pronounced: SEE)
    No: No (pronounced: NOH)

  • In Norwegian, say:

    Hi: Hei (pronounced: HEY)
    Thank you: Takk (pronounced: TAK)
    Yes: Ja (pronounced: YAH)
    No: Nei (pronounced: Nai)

  • In Portuguese, say:

    Hello: Olá (pronounced: O-la)
    Thank you: Obrigado (pronounced: Ob-ree-GAH-doo)
    If you are a woman, say: Obrigada
    Yes: Sim (pronounced: SEE)
    No: Não (pronounced: NOW)

  • In Spanish, say:

    Hello: Hola (pronounced: OH-lah)
    Thank you: Gracias (pronounced: GRAH-syahs)
    Yes: Si (pronounced: SEE)
    No: No (pronounced: NOH)

  • In Swedish, say:

    Hello: God dag (pronounced: Good dahg)
    Thank you: Tack (pronounced: TACK)
    Yes: Ja (pronounced: YAH)
    No: Nej (pronounced: NAY)

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