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Common phrases in different languages

It is possible for tourists in a country whose language they do not understand to get along with a surprisingly short list of phrases, combined with pointing, miming, and writing down numbers on paper.

Here is such a list of common phrases in different languages.

You are invited to add more languages to the list. Please use the minimum number of words that would be understandable and put the pronunciation in slashes according to SAMPA transcription if possible. If desired, also add a pseudo-English pronunciation guide for those not familiar with SAMPA or IPA. However, actual pronunciations of the pseudo-English spellings will vary wildly from speaker to speaker. Enclose the "spelling guide" in parentheses, separate syllables with dashes, use English words that sound like the syllables if possible, and render the stressed syllable in ALL CAPS.

The language family of every language is listed in parentheses.

See also http://www.elite.net/~runner/jennifers/language.htm

As a sample, here's English, according to standard British Received Pronunciation, followed by American English/Standard American English:

Table of contents

English (Germanic)

  • English: English /"iN lIS/, /IN glIS/
  • hello: hello /"hE l@U/, /hE low/
  • good-bye: good-bye /'gUd "baI/, /gUd baj/
  • please: please /pli:z/, /pliz/
  • thank you: thank you /"T{Nk ju:/, /T&Nk ju/
  • that one: that one /"D{t wVn/, /D&t wVn/
  • how much?: how much /haU "mVtS/, /haw mVtS/
  • yes: yes /jEs/, /jEs/
  • no: no /n@u/, /now/
  • sorry: sorry /'sOri/
  • I don't understand: I don't understand /aI'd@Unt Vnd@:s't{nd/
  • where's the bathroom?: where's the bathroom? /wE@z D@ "bA:T rUm/, /wErz D@ b&T rum/
  • generic toast: bottoms up! /'bA t@mz "Vp/, /bA t@mz Vp/
  • Do you speak English? /du: ju: spi:k "IN gliS/, /du ju spik IN glIS/

Albanian (Albanian)

  • Albanian: shqip /shqip/ (shqEEp)
  • hello: tungjatjeta /tun gjat ie ta/ (tUhn-ngIAt-IEta)
  • good-bye: mirupafshim /mir uh pa fshim/ (mEEr-Uh-oA-fshEEm)
  • please: ju lutem /iu lu tem/ (iU LU-tehm)
  • thank you: faleminderit /fah le mi nde rit/ (fAh-leh-mEE-nde-rEEt)
  • that one: atë /ateh/ (ATEH)
  • how much? sa është? /sa ush te/ (sAh ush-te)
  • English: anglisht /an gli sht/ (ahn-GLEE-sht)
  • yes: po /poe/ (POE)
  • no: jo /ioh/ (IOH)
  • sorry: më fal /muh fal/ (mUh FAL)
  • I don't understand: nuk kuptoj /nuk kup toi/ (nUhk KUP-toi)
  • where's the bathroom?: ku është banjoja? /ku ush teh ba nio ia/ (kuh ush-tEh bA-nio-jA)
  • generic toast: gëzuar /guh zu ar/ (gUh-zuh-ar)
  • Do you speak English?: flisni Anglish? /fli sni ang lisht/ (flee-snEE ahn-GLEE-sht)

Arabic (Semitic)

Note that this is relevant only to Classical Arabic; since these are commonplace words, they're often changed in local dialects, meaning most Arabs, even educated ones, will have difficulty understanding these in common usage.

Pronunciation guide: Stress in Arabic is most often on the penult syllable (i.e. one preceding the last). For the SAMPA transcriptions, /h/ is a glottal fricative; /h./ represents a voiceless pharyngeal fricative; /‘/ represents a voiced pharyngeal fricative; /’/ represents a glottal stop, and /:/ represents lengthening of the preceding phoneme. These are represented as double letters in the "spelling guide", and should be emphasized; the other spellings should be apparent from comparison with the SAMPA transcription.

  • Arabic: العربيّة /al ‘a ra bi y:a/ (ahl 'a ruh bee ya)
  • hello: مرحبًا /mar h.a ban/ (mer hhuh bun)
  • good-bye: إلى اللّقاء /i la l:i qa/ (ila-lliqa)
  • please: من فضلك
  • thank you: شكرًا /Su kran/ (shook run)
  • that one: ذلك
  • how much?: كمّ؟ /kam:/ (kamm)
  • English: الإنجليزيّة /al in gli: zi y:a/ (al-ingleeziyya)
  • yes: نعم /na ‘am/ (na 'am)
  • no: لا /la:/ (laa)
  • Where's the bathroom?: أين الحمّام؟ /a ’i nal h.a m:am/ (a'ina-l-hammam?, a ee null hhum mum?)
note: these were snagged off of Ajeeb.com (http://tarjim.ajeeb.com/ajeeb/default.asp?lang=1)'s Web translator, with SAMPA and spelling guide renderings a best-guess only.

Basque

Note on SAMPA: a comma after a fricative indicates that it is apical rather than laminal.

  • Basque: Euskara /ews ka ra/
  • hello: kaixo /kaj S,o/
  • good-bye: agur /a gu4/
  • please: mesedez /me se des,/
  • thank you: Eskerrik asko /es ke rik as ko/
  • that one: hori /ho 4i/
  • how much?: zenbat /s,en bat/
  • English: ingelesa /in ge le sa/
  • yes: bai /baj/
  • no: ez /es,/
  • generic toast:

Catalan (Romance)

  • Catalan: Català /k@t@'lA/
  • hello: hola /'Ol@/
  • good-bye: adeu /@'DEw/
  • please: si us plau /sis'plAw/
  • thank you: gràcies /'grAsi@s/; merci /'mErsi/
  • sorry: perdo /p@r'Do/
  • that one: aquest /@'kEt/ (masc.); aquesta /@'kEst@/ (fem.)
  • how much?: quant val? /'kwAm'bAl/; quant es? /'kwAn'tes/
  • yes: si /'si/
  • no: no /'no/
  • sorry: perdó /p@r'Do/
  • I don't understand: No ho entenc /'no w@n'teN/
  • where's the bathroom?: on es el bany? /'on'ez@l'BaJ/; on es el lavabo? /'on'ez@l'l@'BABu/
  • generic toast: salut! /s@'lut/;
  • Do you speak English?: Que parla angles? /k@ 'parl@ @n'glEs/
  • Do you speak Catalan?: Que parla catal`a? /k@ 'parl@ k@t@'lA/

Chinese, Mandarin (Chinese)

Note: tone 1 is high and level; 2 is rising; 3 is dipping; 4 is falling. A dot following SAMPA palatals indicates a retroflexed phoneme. For more info, see pinyin.

  • Mandarin Chinese: 普通话 (pu3-tong1-hua4) /phu thON hwa/ (poo-tongue-hwa) or 国语 (guo2 yu3) /kwO jy/ (gwaw yoo)
  • hello: 你好 (ni3-hao3) /ni haw/ (knee-how)
  • good-bye: 再见 (zai4-jian4) /tsaj cian/ (T'SIgh-JEn)
  • please: 请 (qing3) /tSiN/ (cheeng)
  • thank you: 谢谢 (xie4-xie4) /CjE-CjE/ (shyeh-shyeh)
  • that one: 那个 (na3.ge) /nEj g@/ (nay guh)6
  • how much?: 多少 (duo1-shao3) /dwO S.aw/ (dwaw shahw)
  • English: 英文 (ying1-wen2) /YIN-w@n/ (yeeng won)
  • yes: 是 (shi4) /S.r./ (sure)4
  • no: 不是 (bu4-shi4) /pu S.r./ (Boo-Sure)5
  • where's the bathroom?: 厕所在那里 (ce4 suo3 zai4 na2 li3?) /ts@ swO tsaj na li/ (tsuh swaw tzai nah lee?) -- Not the politest, but you'll get your point across!
  • generic toast: 干杯 (gan4 bei4) /gan p@j/ (gahn bay)

Czech (Slavic)

  • Czech: Česky (CHEHskee) /tSEski/
  • hello: dobry' den (DObree den) /dobri dEn/ Literal translation: good day
  • good-bye: na shledanou (nas KHLEdanow) /nas xlEdano/
  • please: prosím (PROseem)
  • thank you: děkuji vam (DYEkooyi vam)
  • that one: tam ten (tam ten)
  • how much?: kolik (KOlik)
  • English: anglicky (anglyscy)
  • yes: ano /A no/
  • no: ne /ne/
  • generic toast: Na zdraví //

Danish (Germanic)

  • Danish: dansk /dansk/
  • hello: hej /hi/
  • good-bye: farvel /fah-vel/
  • please: 1 (Be understood. A matter of course, if not Vær venlig)
  • thank you: tak /tack/
  • that one: denne /DEN-nuh/
  • how much?: hvor meget koster det? /vo MY-it/
  • English: engelsk /ENG-uhlsk/
  • yes: ja /ya/
  • no: nej /nigh/
  • can I take your picture?: Maa jeg tage et billede af dig?
  • Where is the bathroom?: Hvor er der et toilet? /toa'laett/
  • where do you come from?: Hvor kommer du fra?
  • do you speak English?: Kan du tale engelsk?
  • generic toast: skål /skal/

Dutch (Germanic)

  • Dutch: Nederlands /nay-dar-laendhs/
  • hello: hallo /ha-loh/
  • good-bye: tot ziens /toth-zeens/
  • please: alstublieft /aelst-ue-bleeft/
  • thank you: dankjewel /daenck-jae-well/
  • that one: die /dee/
  • how much?: hoeveel /hoe-veel/
  • English: Engels /engh-els/
  • yes: ja /ya/
  • no: nee /neh/
  • generic toast: proost /prohw-st/

Esperanto (planned, based on European languages)

  • Esperanto: Esperanto /EspEranto/
  • hello: saluton /salut@Un/
  • good-bye: ĝis /dZis/
  • please: bonvolu /b@Unv@Ulu/
  • thank you: dankon /dank@U/
  • that one: tiu /ti@U/
  • how much?: kiom /ki@Um/
  • English: la angla /la angla/
  • yes: jes /jes/
  • no: ne /ne/
  • Where is the bathroom?: Kie estas la necesejo? /kie Estas la nEtsEseIo/
  • generic toast: je via sano /jE via sano/
  • Do you speak English?: Ĉu vi parolas angle? /tSu vi parolas anglE/

Estonian (Finno-Ugric)

  • Estonian: eesti
  • hello: tere
  • good-bye: head aega
  • please: palun
  • thank you: aitäh
  • that one: see
  • how much?: kui palju
  • English: inglise
  • yes: jah
  • no: ei
  • sorry: vabandage
  • I don't understand: Ma ei saa aru
  • generic toast: terviseks
  • Do you speak English?: Kas te räägite inglise keelt?

Filipino (Tagalog)

Note: Stress is on the capitalized syllable.

  • English: Ingles (ing GLES)
  • Filipino Pilipino (pi li PI noh)
  • hello: kamusta (kah mus TAH)
  • good-bye: paalam (pa A lam)
  • please: paki- (pa KIH)
  • thank you: salamat (sa LAH mat)
  • that one: iyan (yawn)
  • how much?: magkano? (mag KA noh?)
  • yes: oo (awe awe) [o has neutral pronunciation]
  • no: hindi (hin DE)
  • sorry: pasensya po (pa SEN sha PO)
  • I don't understand: Hindi ko maintindihan (hin DE ko MA intin di HAN)
  • where's the bathroom?: Saan ang banyo? (sa AN ang BAN yoh?)
  • generic toast: para sayo! (PA ra sa YOH) [literally - "this is for you"]
  • Do you speak English? Nagsasalita ka nang Ingles? (nag SA sa lita kah nang ing GLES?)

Finnish (Finno-Ugric)

  • Finnish: suomi /swo mi/ (sue-o-MI)
  • hello: päivää (p}j v}:) (pay-vaeh) (except the vowels are like "pay" with the vowel from "cat" followed by the vowel from "tick"; the syllable "vaeh" has the long syllable from "bad")
  • good-bye: näkemiin /n} ke mi:n/ (NACK-eh-MEAN)
  • please:  1
  • thank you: kiitos /ki: tos/ (key-toss)
  • that one: tuo /tu o/ (to-oh)
  • how much?: kuinka paljon /kujn ka pal jon/ (kuyn-kah pal-yon)
  • English: englanti /EN lan ti/ (ENG-lan-TEH)
  • yes: kyllä /ky l:}/ (kul-laeh)
  • no: ei /ej/ (ey)
  • sorry: anteeksi (AN-tehk-SI)
  • where is the toilet?: missä on vessa? (MIS-sah on VEHS-sah)
  • generic toast: kippis /ki p:is/ (KIP-pis)

French (Romance)

  • French: français /frA~ sE/ ("fraw(n)-SAY")
  • hello: bonjour /bO~ Zur/ ("boh(n)-zhure")
  • good-bye: au revoir /o r@ vwar/ ("oh-reh-VWA")
  • please: s'il vous plaît /sil vu plE/ ("seal vuh play")
  • thank you: merci /mEr si/ ("mair-SEE")
  • that one: cela /s@ la/ ("SEH-lah")
  • how much?: combien /kO~ bjE~/ ("ko(n)m-BYEN")
  • English: anglais /A~ glE/ ("ah(n)-GLAY")
  • yes: oui /wi/ ("wee")
  • no: non /nO~/ ("nah(n)")
  • sorry: pardon /par-DOHN/ ("pahr-do(n)"), excusez-moi ("ex-KYU-say-mwa")
  • I don't understand: Je ne comprends pas /Zh@ ne co~'pRahn 'pa/ ("ZHE ne CO(N)M-pro(n) Pah")
  • where's the bathroom?: Où sont les toilettes? /u sO~ lE twa lEt/ ("ooh SO(N) lay twa-LET)8
  • generic toast: Santé! /sA~te/ ("sahn-TAY")
  • Do you speak English?: Parlez-vous anglais? /par lE vu A~ glE/ ("PAR-lay voo zah(n)-GLAY")

German (Germanic)

  • German: Deutsch /dojtS/ (doytch)
  • hello: hallo /h@ lo:/ (hullo in Received Pronunciation)
  • good-bye: auf Wiedersehen /awf vi: dER se:n/ (owf vee dare zane)
  • please: bitte /bI t@/ (bit uh)
  • thank you: danke /daN kE/ (dong keh)
  • that one: das /dAs/ ("dus" in "dust")
  • how much?: wieviel /vi fi:l/ (vee feel)
  • English: Englisch /EN glIS/ (eng glish)
  • yes: ja /ja/ (jaa)
  • no: nein /najn/ (nine)
  • where's the bathroom?: Wo ist die Toilette? /vo ist di toilEte/ (voe ist dee toy-let-te)8
  • generic toast: prosit /pro sit/ (pro seat) or prost /pro:st/ (brohst)
  • Do you speak English?: Sprechen Sie Englisch? /SpRE CEn zi: EN glIS/ (Shpreh khen zee eng glish)
  • I don't understand: Ich verstehe nicht. /IC fEr 'Ste: @ nICt/ (IS fair shtay uh nihht)
  • Sorry: Entschuldigung /Ent 'SUl dI gUN/ (ant shool dih goong)

Greek

  • Greek: Ελληνική /e lI ni ki/ (el lin knee KEE)
  • hello: **&Γειά σας (YASsas)
  • please: παρακαλω /pa ra ka LO/ (puh rah kah LOW)
  • thank you: Ευχαριστώ /Ef xa ris to/ (eff kha reess TOE)
  • that one: εκείνο (ekEENo)
  • how much: Πόσο κάνει; /pOs ka ni/ (POSSo kah knee)
  • English: Αγγλικά /aN gli k@/ (ang glee kA)
  • yes: ναι /nE/ (neh) (this is a false friend for many European language speakers)
  • no: οχι /O xi/ (aw khee)
  • sorry: συγγνωμη /siG'nOmi/
  • I don't understand: Δεν καταλαβανω /'Den ka ta la 'vE no/ (then cut a la venn oh)
  • where's the bathroom?: που εισται οι τουαλεττες; /pu is tE i tu a lE tEs/ (poo ehe te too uh LET tess)
  • generic toast: Γειά μας /Ja mas/
  • Do you speak English?: Μιλάτε αγγλικά; ;; /mi la tE aN gli k@/ (mee LAH te ang glee KA)

Hawaiian

  • Hawaiian: Hawai`i /ha wa i ?i/ (ha why ee)
  • hello: aloha /a lo ha/ (a low ha)
  • good-bye: A hui hou. /A hu i ho u/ (a hoo-ee hoe)
  • please: e `olu `olu `oe /e ?o lu ?o lu ?o e/ (ey owe-loo owe-loo owe-ay)
  • thank you: mahalo /ma ha lo/ (ma ha low)
  • yes: `ae /?a e/ (ah ay)
  • no: `a`ole /?a ?o le/ (uh-oh lay)
  • how much?: `ehia? /?e hi a/ (ay hee uh)
  • Where is the restroom?: Aia i hea ka lumi ho`opaupilikia? /A i a i he a ka lu mi ho ?o pa u pi li ki a/ (ah ee ah ee ka loo mee hoe owe pow pee lee kee uh)
  • generic toast: Ola /o la/ (Oh la)

(Other useful words in Hawaiian:)

  • foreigner: haole "howlie"

Hebrew (Semitic)

  • Hebrew: עברית ivrit
  • hello: שלום shalom

  • good-bye: להתראות lehitraot
  • please: בבקשה bevakasha
  • thank you: תודה toda
  • that one: את זה et ze
  • how much? כמה kama
  • English: אנגלית anglit
  • yes כן ken
  • no: לא lo
  • generic toast: לחיים le-chaim

Hindi (Indo-Iranian)

  • Hindi: ' //
  • hello: namaste
  • good-bye: pirmelenge
  • please: merker-bani seh
  • thank you: shukriya
  • that one: woh wala
  • how much?: kitna
  • English: angreji
  • yes: haji
  • no: ji nahi
  • generic toast: '

Hungarian (Finno-Ugric)

  • Hungarian: magyar /'mAJAr/
  • hello: szervusz /'servus/ (szia, /'seeya/ common amongst friends)
  • good-bye: viszontlátasra /'wesontlaatashra/
  • please: kérem szépen /'keram seepan'
  • sorry: bocsánat /'BOchanaat/
  • thank you: köszönöm /'k2s2n2m/
  • that one: az /'Az/
  • how much?: mennyi? /'man yi/
  • yes: igen /'igen/
  • no: nem /'nEm/
  • sorry:
  • I don't understand: nem értem /'nEm er'tem/
  • where's the bathroom?: Hol van a mosdó? /'hole wan o moshdoh/
  • generic toast: egészségedre /'ageesheeged ray/
  • Do you speak English?: Beszél Angolul? /'baseel ongoluul/

Icelandic (Germanic)

  • Icelandic: islenska /i:s len ska/ (EES-len-ska)
  • hello: goðan dag /go: Dan dag/ (GOH-than dahg)
  • good-bye: bless /blEs:/
  • please: gjörðu svo vel /gj2r Tu svo vel/ (GYUHR-thuh so vel)
  • thank you: takk fyrir /tak: fy rir/ (tahk FEER-eer)
  • that one: þetta /Te t:a/ (thetta)
  • how much?: hversu /xver su/ (KVAIR-suh)
  • English: enska /en ska/ (enn ska)
  • yes: /ja:/ (yow)
  • no: nei /nej/ (nay)
  • generic toast:  

Ido (planned, reformed version of Esperanto)

  • Ido: Ido
  • hello: bona jorno
  • good-bye: adio
  • please: bonvole
  • thank you: danko
  • that one: co
  • how much: quanta
  • English: angla
  • yes: yes
  • no: no
  • generic toast:  

Indonesian (Malayo-Polynesian)

  • Indonesian: bahasa Indonesia /ba ha sa in do ne si a/
  • hello:
    • selamat pagi /se la mat pa gi/ (morning)
    • selamat siang /... si aN/ (around midday and in the early afternoon)
    • selamat sore /... so re/ (late afternoon)
    • selamat malam /... ma lam/ (after dark)
  • good-bye:
    • selamat tinggal /... tiN gal/ (said by person leaving)
    • selamat jalan /... ja lan/ (said by person staying)
  • please: tolong /to loN/
  • thank you: terima kasih /te ri ma ka sih/
  • that one: itu /i tu/
  • how much? berapa /be ra pa/
  • English: bahasa Inggris /ba ha sa IN gris/
  • yes: ya /ja/
  • no: tidak /ti dak/
  • generic toast:

Irish (Celtic)

  • Irish: Gaeilge /ge l@ gE/ (GWAY-lih-geh)
  • welcome: fáilte /fa:l tj@/(FALL-cha)
  • good-bye: slán /sla:n/ (slawn)
  • please: le do thoil /lE dO hil/ (leh duh hill)
  • thank you: go raibh maith agat /g@ rEv mah a g@t/ (guh rev MAH a-gut)
  • sorry:tá brón orm(ta: bro:n urm)
  • that one: e sin /Sin/ (a:shin)
  • how much?: cé mhéad /ke: ved/ (kay-vade)
  • English: Béarla /be:r l@/ (BARE-lah)
  • yes: 4sea /Sa/ (shah)
  • no: 5ní hea /ni: ha/ (knee-ha)
  • I don't understand:ní thuigim(ni:hig-im)
  • Where's the bathroom?:cá bhfuil an leithreas?(ka: vil un leh-ras)
  • generic toast: sláinte /sla:n tj@/ (SLAWN-tye)

Italian (Romance)

  • Italian: italiano /i ta li a no/ (ee-tah-lee-AN-oh)
  • hello: ciao /tSaw/ (chow)
  • good-bye: arrivederci /a r:i ve der tSi/ (a-ree-veh-DARE-chi)
  • please: per favore /per fa vo re/ (per fa-VOAR-ay)
  • thank you: grazie /gra tsi e/ (GRAT-zee-eh)
  • that one: quello /kwe l:o/ (KWEL-low)
  • how much? quanto /kwan to/ (KWAN-tow)
  • English: inglese /in gle se/ (in-GLAY-say)
  • yes: /si/ (see)
  • no: no /no/ (no)
  • sorry: /es'kuza/ (ess koo za)
  • I don't understand: non capisco /non k@ pi So/ (non kuh pee show)
  • where's the bathroom?: dov'è il bagno? /do vE il ba Jo/ (do veh eel bah nyoh)
  • generic toast: salute /sa lu te/ (sall-OO-teh)

Japanese

  • Japanese: 日本語 nihongo /ni ho n go/ or /ni hoN go/ (nee-hon-go)
  • hello:
    • こんにちは konnichiwa /ko n:i tSi wa/ (kohn-nee-chee-wa)
    • hello on telephone: もしもし moshi-moshi /mo Si mo Si/
  • good-bye: さようなら sayōnara /sa jo: na ra/ (sigh oh na ra)
  • please: 下さい kudasai /ku da sa i/ (ku-da-sigh) (as part of a sentence, ie, "Please sit down.")
    • どうぞ douzo /doh zo/ (possibly alone)
  • thank you: ありがとう arigatō /a ri ga to:/ (ah-ri-ga-to-oh)
  • sorry: ご免 gomen (go men)
  • excuse me: 済みません sumimasen (sue mee mah sen)
  • that one: それ sore /so re/ (so ray)
  • how much? いくら ikura /i ku ra/ (i-ku-ra)
  • English: 英語 eigo /e i go/ or /ej go/ (ay-go)
  • yes: はい hai /ha i/ or /haj/ (high)
  • no: いいえ iie /i: e/ (ee-eh)
  • where's the bathroom?: ; トイレはどこですか toire wa doko desu ka or just トイレどこ toire doko /to i re wa do ko de su ka/ /to i re do ko/ (toy-ray wa do-ko des-ka) (toy-ray do-ko)
  • generic toast: 乾杯 kanpai /ka n pa i/ or /kam paj/ (kam-pie)
  • Do you speak English?: 英語話せますか eigo hanasemasu ka /e i go ha na se ma su ka/ (ay-go ha-na-say-mas-ka)
  • foreigner: 外国人gaikokujin (informally gaijin)

Klingon (Planned)

  • Klingon: tlhIngan Hol /tKINAn xol/ ("Klingon language")
  • hello: nuqneH /nuqnEx/ (literally "What do you want?", only said when someone approaches you, not the other way around)
  • goodbye: Qapla' /qXAplA?/ (literally "Success!")
  • please: 9
  • thank you: qatlho' /qAtKo?/ (when speaking to one person), Satlho' /s`AtKo?/ (when speaking to more than one person)
  • that one: Dochvetlh /d`otSvEtK/ (literally "that thing")
  • how much?: 'ar? /?Ar/
  • yes: HIja' /xIdZA?/ or HISlaH /xIs`lAx/ in response to a yes/no question; luq /luq/ in response to an order
  • no: ghobe' /GobE?/
  • sorry: jItlhIj /dZItKIdZ/ (literally "I apologise")
  • I don't understand: jIyajbe' /dZIjAdZbE?/
  • where's the bathroom?: puchpa' vISuch. nuqDaq 'oH? /putSpA? vIs`utS nuqd`aq ?ox/ (literally "I seek the bathroom. Where is it?")
  • generic toast: 'IwlIj jachjaj /?IwlIdZ dZAtSdZAdZ/
  • Do you speak English? DIvI' Hol DajatlhlaH'a'? /d`IvI? xol d`AdZAtKlAx?A?/
  • foreigner: nov /nov/

Korean

Note: Hangeul Official Romanization of South Korea[?] /SAMPA/ See also: Korean names for Korea

  • Korean: 한국어 hangugeo /han ku k7/
  • hello: 안녕하세요 annyeonghaseyo/an nj7N se jo/ (ah nyuhng ha say yo), 안녕 annyeong /an nj7N/ (ah nyuhng)

  • good-bye: 안녕히가세요 annyeonghigaseyo /an nj7N hi ka se yo/ (ah nyuhng hee ga say yo), 안녕 annyeong /an nj7N/ (ah nyuhng)
  • please:
  • thank you: 고맙습니다 gomapseupnida /ko map sMm ni ta/ (go mahp s'm nee dah), 고마워 gomawo /ko ma w7/ (go mah woe)
  • that one: 저것 jeogeot /c7 k7t/ (juh gut)
  • how much?: 얼마예요? eolmayeoyo /7l ma j7 yo/ (uhl ma yuh yo)
  • yes: 네 ne /ne/ (neh)
  • no: 아니오 anio /a ni o/ (ah nee oh)
  • sorry: 미안합니다 mianhamnida /mi an ham ni ta/ (mee ahn hahm nee dah)
  • I don't understand: 모르겠습니다 moreugesseumnida /mo rM kes' Mm ni ta/ (mow l' guess 'im nee tah)
  • where's the bathroom?: 화장실이 어디에요? hwajangsili eodieyo /hwa caN sil i 7 ti E yo/ (hwah jahng see lee uh dee ay yo)
  • generic toast: 건배! geonbae /k7n p&/ (gun ba) (2nd vowel is same as in English "bat") , 위하여! wihayeo /wi ha y7/ (wee hah yuh)
  • Do you speak English?: 영어 할 줄 아세요? yeongeo hal jul aseyo /y7N 7 hal cul a sE yo/ (young uh hall jool a say yo)

Low Saxon (Germanic)

  • Low Saxon: Plattdu:u:tsch /"Plutt deech/
  • hello: moin /moyn/
  • good-bye: tschüss /'chuss/
  • please: bidde /bidde/
  • thank you: danke /"D{Nka/
  • that one: düssen /"Dussan/
  • how much?: wo veel /vo "Fayl/
  • yes: jou /yow/
  • no: nee /nay/
  • sorry: tschulligung /'choo-lee-goonk/
  • I don't understand: Ik vörstah nich / eek forstaa nix /
  • where's the bathroom?: wo is dat bad? /vow is dutt baad/
  • generic toast: nich lang snacken - kopp in'n nacken! /neex lung snuckan 'kopp inAkan/
  • Do you speak English?: snacks du englisch? /snucks doo english/

Lojban (a priori planned language)

  • Lojban: la lojban /lah LOZH-bahn/
  • hello: coi /shoy/
  • good-bye: co'o /SHO-ho/
  • please: pe'u /PEH-hoo/
  • thank you: ki'e /KEE-heh/
  • that one: ta /tah/
  • how much?: la'u ma /LAH-hoo mah/
  • English: le glibau /leh GLEE-bow/
  • yes: .i go'i /ee GO-hee/
  • no: .i na go'i /ee nah GO-hee/
  • generic toast:

Nigerian pidgin[?] (English-based pidgin)

  • Nigerian pidgin:  
  • hello: How now
  • good-bye: A go dey see yu now
  • please: A beg
  • thank you: Thank yu
  • that one:  
  • how much?:  
  • English: Oyinbo
  • yes: Yes
  • no: No
  • generic toast:  

Norwegian (Germanic)

  • Norwegian: norsk /'norsk/ (norsk)
  • hello: hallo /ha'lu:/
  • good-bye: farvel /far'wel/ (far well)
  • please: vær så snill /'wE:r so snil/
  • thank you: takk /t_hak/ (takh)
  • that one: den /dEn/ (den)
  • how much?: hvor mye /wur my:E/
  • English: engelsk /EN Elsk/
  • yes: ja /ja/ (yah)
  • no: nei /nEj/ (nay)
  • can I take your picture?: kan jeg ta bilde av deg?
  • where is the bathroom?: hvor er badet?
  • where do you come from?: hvor kommer du fra?
  • do you speak English?: snakker du engelsk?
  • generic toast: skål /sko:l/

Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch (Germanic)

(dialects may vary)

  • Pennsylvania Dutch: Pennsilfaani(isch)-Deitsch
  • hello: hiya
  • good-bye: bis schpeeder
  • please: please
  • thank you: danki schee
  • that one: da do
  • how much: Wie viel
  • English: Englisch
  • yes: Ya
  • no: nee
  • Can I take your picture?: Kann ich dei Pikder nemme?
  • Where is the washroom?: Wu is die Baadschtupp?
  • Sorry I don't understand.: Sorry, Ich verschteh dich net.

Polish (Slavic)

  • Polish: Polski /pol-skih/
  • hello: dzień dobry /jien dohb-rih/ Literal translation: good day
  • good-bye: do widzenia /doh vidzenya/ Literal translation: untill seeing
  • please: proszę /proh-sheh/
  • thank you: dziękuję /jien-koo-ye/ (almost a false cognate)
  • that one: ten /ten/ (m), ta /tuh/ (f), to /toh/ (n)
  • how much?: ile /ih-leh/
  • English: angielski /un-ghiel-skih/
  • yes: tak /tuhk/
  • no: nie /nye/
  • generic toast: na zdrowie /nah zdrovyie/ Literal translation: to (out) health

Romanian (Romance)

  • Romanian: romaneste
  • hello: buna ziua
  • good bye: la revedere
  • please: va rog
  • thank you: multumesc
  • how much?: cat costa?
  • English: englezeste
  • do you speak English?: vorbiti englezeste?
  • yes: da
  • no: nu
  • generic toast: noroc

Russian (Slavic)

  • Russian: Русский /russkij/ (rooss key)
  • hello: Здравствуйте /zdravstvujtje/ (zdrav stvooy tyeh) Literal translation: (be) healthy (imperativ[?] 2nd person plural/singular out of respect)
  • good-bye: До свидания /dO svidanja/ (daw svee da nya) Literal translation: untill seeing
  • please: Пожалуйста /pazhalsta/
  • thank you: Спасибо /spa si b^/ (spahseebah)
  • that one: Это /E to/ (ehto)
  • how much?: Сколько (skolko)
  • English: Английский /aN glis kij/ (ahngleeskeey)
  • yes: Да /da/
  • no: Нет /nyet/
  • generic toast: За здоровье za zdorovyeh Literal translation: for health
  • Do you speak English?: Вы говорите по-английски? vy gavareetye pa-angliski

Sanskrit (Indo-Iranian)

  • Sanskrit: ' //
  • hello: namo namah //
  • good-bye: ' //
  • please: ' //
  • thank you: anugurihiitosumi //
  • that one: ' //
  • how much?: ' //
  • English: ' //
  • yes: ava //
  • no: ' //
  • generic toast: ' //

Sardinian (Romance)

  • Sardinian: sardu /'sarDu/ "sar-doo"
  • good-bye: adiosu /a'Djosu/ "ah-dhyohsoo"
  • bye-bye: a nos bidere /anos'biDere/ "a-nohss-BI-dere"
  • please: pro piaghere /'pro pja'Gere/ "pro pee-ah-gh-er-ay"
  • thank you: grassias /'grasias/ "GRAHSS-yahss"
  • that one: cussu /'kusu/ "KU-hssoo"
  • how much?: cantu /'kantu/ "KAHN-too"
  • English: Ingresu /in'gresu/ "in-GRAY-soo"
  • yes: eia /'eja/
  • no: no /'no/
  • sorry:
  • I don't understand:
  • where's the bathroom?:
  • hello, and generic toast: salude /sa'luDe/ "saw-LOODHE"

Serbian (Slavic)

  • Serbian: српски (srpski) /srp-ski/ (-skee)
  • hello: здраво (zdravo) /ZdrA-vO/ (z like in zebra) Literal translation: healthy
  • good-bye: довиђења (dovidjenja) /dO-vi-d'E-JA/ Literal translation: untill seeing
  • please: молим (molim) /mO-lim/
  • thank you: хвала (hvala) /hvA-la/
  • that one: то (to) /tO/ (not as english to)
  • how much?: колико? (koliko?) /co-lE-co/ (co-, -co => cup)
  • English: енглески (engleski) /En-glE-ski/ (-skee)
  • yes: да (da) /dA/
  • no: не (ne) /nE/
  • generic toast: живели! (živeli!) /Zi-vE-li/ Literal translation: live! (imperativ[?] 1st person plural)

Slovene (Slavic)

  • Slovene: slovensko /slo-vEn-s-cO/
  • hello: zdravo /ZdrA-vO/ (z like in zebra) Literal translation: healthy
  • good-bye: na svidenje /na swE-den-yE/
  • please: prosim /prO-sim/ (pro- => prospect, -sim => simulation)
  • thank you: hvala /hvA-la/
  • that one: tisti /tI-s-ti/ (ti-, -ti => Tibet)
  • how much?: koliko? /co-lE-co/ (co-, -co => cup)
  • English: angleško /A-nglE-S-co/
  • yes: da /dA/
  • no: ne /nE/
  • generic toast: na zdravje /nA z-drA-oU-yE/ Literal translation: to (our) health

Spanish (Romance)

  • Spanish: castellano /kaste'Lano/ (kass-ta-LYA-naw); español /espa'Jol/ (ess-pahn-YOHL)
  • hello: hola /'ola/ (OH-la)
  • good-bye: adiós /a'Djos/ (ah-THYOHS)
  • please: por favor /por fa'Bor/ (pour fah-VOAR)
  • thank you: gracias /'graTjas/ (GRAHSS-yahss)
  • sorry: perdon /per'Don/
  • that one: ése /'ese/ (EH-seh) (masculine); ésa /'esa/ (EH-sah) (feminine)
  • how much?: cuánto /'kwanto/ (KWAHN-taw)
  • English: inglés /iN'gles/ (ing-GLESS)
  • yes: /'si/ (see)
  • no: no /'no/ (no)
  • sorry: perdon /per'Don/
  • I don't understand: No comprendo /'no kom'prendo/
  • where's the bathroom?: ¿Donde esta el bano? /'donde es'ta el'BaJo/ (DON day esTAH el BA-nyaw)
  • generic toast: salud /sa'luD/ (sah-LOOTHE)
  • Do you speak English?: ¿Habla usted inglés? /'aBla us'teD iN'gles/ (AH blah OOS ted ing-GLESS)

Swahili (Bantu)

  • Swahili: Kiswahili /ki swa hi li/ (kee-swa-HEE-lee)
  • hello: Jambo (ja m boh) or (ya m boh)
  • good-bye: kwa heri /kwa he ri/ (kwa HAY-ree)
  • please: tafadhali /ta fa Da li/ (tah-fah-tha-lee)

  • thank you: asante /a san te/ (ah-SAHN-tey)
  • that one: yule /ju le/ (YOO-lay)
  • how much?: ngapi /Na pi/ (ng-AH-pee)
  • English: Kingereza /ki Ne re za/ (k-ing-reza)
  • yes: ndiyo /n di jo/ (nn-DEE-yoh)
  • no: hapana /ha pa na/
  • generic toast: //

Swedish (Germanic)

  • Swedish: svenska
  • hello: hej /hey/
  • good-bye: hejdå (hey-doh)
  • please: tack (tahck)
  • thank you: tack (tahck)
  • that one: den där (den dehr)
  • how much?: hur mycket (huwr muwk-eh)
  • English: engelska (eng-el-skah)
  • yes: ja /ja/ (ya)
  • no: nej /nEj/ (neigh)
  • generic toast: skål /skOl/ (skal or skol)

Tamil (Dravidian)

  • Tamizh: Tamizh /ta mil\/
  • hello: Vanakkam /va na k:am/
  • good-bye: poit varen /po it va ren/
  • please: dayavu koorndu /ta ja vu ko:n‘ tu/
  • thank you: nandri /nan t‘i/
  • that one: adhu /a thu/
  • how much?: evvalavu /e v:a la vu/
  • English: aangilam /a: Ni lam/
  • yes: aamam /a: mam/
  • no: illai /i l:aj/
  • generic toast: poriyal /po ri jal/

Telugu (Indo-Dravidian[?])

  • Telugu: Andhra Bhasha /an dhra bha Sa/
  • hello: namaskaaram /na mas ka: ram/
  • good-bye: Selavu /se la vu/
  • please: Daya chesi /da ja tSe si/
  • thank you: Dhanyavadamulu /dhan ja va da mu lu/
  • that one: mari ado /ma ri a do/
  • how much?: Enta /en ta/
  • English: Aanglam /a:N lam/
  • yes: Avunu /a vu nu/
  • no: Kaadu /ka: du/
  • generic toast: Kakarakaaya vepudu /ka ka ra ka: ja ve pu du/

Tok Pisin (Neo-Melanesian English creole)

  • Tok Pisin: Tok Pisin
  • hello: gut de
  • good-bye: gut bai
  • please: plis
  • thank you: tenkyu
  • that one: em
  • how much?: haumas
  • English: Inglis
  • yes: yes
  • no: nogat
  • generic toast:

Toki Pona (planned pidgin based on sources from around the world)

Words are accented on the first syllable.

  • Toki Pona: toki pona
  • hello: toki!
  • good-bye: mi tawa (said by person leaving); tawa pona (said by person staying)
  • thank you: pona
  • that one: ni
  • how much?: mute seme?
  • English: toki Inli
  • yes: lon4
  • no: lon ala5
  • generic toast: telo nasa pona!
  • Do you speak English?: sina sona ala sona e toki Inli?

Ukrainian (Slavic)

  • Ukrainian: Українська (Ukrayins`ka)
  • hello: Здоровенькі були (Zdoroven`ki buly) Literal translation: (may we) be healthy
  • good-bye: до побачення (Do pobachennya)
  • please: Будь-ласка (Bud` laska)
  • thank you: Дякую (Dyakuyu)
  • that one: Цей (Tcey)
  • how much?: скільки (Skil`ky)
  • English: Англійська (Angliys`ka)
  • yes: Так (Tak)
  • no: Ні (Ni)
  • generic toast: За кохання (Za kohannya)

Welsh (Celtic)

  • Welsh: Cymraeg /kum-REYEG/
  • hello: s'mae? /smy/
  • good-bye: hwyl /HOO-il/
  • please: os gwelwch yn dda /oss GOOEL-ook 'n tha/
  • thank you: diolch /DEE-olk/
  • that one: honno /HON-no/ (feminine); hwnnw /HOO-noo/ (masculine).
  • how much?: faint? /vie-nt/
  • English: Saesneg /SAUS-neg/
  • yes: 4ie /ee-yay/ Note: This is a false friend for Japanese speakers.
  • no: 5na /na/
  • generic toast: iechyd da /YEKid dar/

Xhosa language (Nguni languages, Bantu)

Note: [|] represents a lateral click, and [l.] represents a voiceless lateral fricative (equivalent to Welsh "ll").

  • Xhosa: isiXhosa /i si |ho sa/ (ee see kho sa)
  • hello: Molo /mo lo/ (mow low)
  • good bye: sala kakuhle /sa la ka ku l.e/ (sa la ka koo hlay)
  • please: enkosi /N ko si/ ('ng ko see)
  • thank you: enkosi kakhulu /N ko si ka khu lu/ ('ng ko see kuh coo loo)
  • that one: le, lo, olu, oku, yona, yena etc. (depends on noun class)
  • English: isiNgesi /i si Ne si/ (ee seeng ay see)
  • yes: ewe /e we/ (ay way)
  • no: hayi /ha ji/ (ha yee)


1No word directly corresponds to the word "please". Danish and Finnish express the concept of politeness in a request in various ways.

4This actually means "it is" and can only be used in an answer to a question with the verb "to be". Languages like Chinese, Irish, Toki Pona, and Welsh do not have words for "yes" or "no". Instead you repeat the main verb of the question in your answer.

5This actually means "it is not". See note 4 above.

6The second syllable of "nei3 ge" is actually a generic measure word; it is replaced by the appropriate measure word for the noun it refers to. Therefore, one uses "nei3 kuai4" when referring to a chopstick, "nei3 zhang1" when referring to a table, and so forth.

7 Greetings in Swahili are an incredibly complex affair and are a crucial aspect of Swahili culture; it is not uncommon for a conversation to last five minutes before it actually moves beyond saying "Hello". There is no generic word for "Hello" in the language, rather there are numerous options depending on the relative ages and/or race of the people involved, as well as singular and plural forms. A non-comprehensive list would include "hujambo" (reply "sijambo") for two people of similar age and race, "jambo" (reply "jambo") for between white and black people, "Shikamoo" (reply "Marahaba") for a young person to an elderly person, "Hodi" (reply "Karibu") when in the doorway of a house. There are additionally numerous informal greetings such as "Mambo", "Safi", and many more. Curiously, farewells are abrupt or even non-existent.

8 Toilet vs W.C. In many countries, the abbreviation W.C. for the British "Water Closet" may be used instead of the local word for "Toilet". In U.S. English "toilet" refers to the fixture (the toilet itself) rather than the room which contains it.

9 Many sentences which in English would be phrased as requests are represented in Klingon by imperative verbs, which are very freely used in this language. As a result, the word "please" is absent from the Klingon lexicon. Whereas in English one asks "what is it", in Klingon one would be more likely to say yIngu' (literally, "Identify it!"), and for Klingons, "ordering" a drink is not a metaphor: romuluS HIq HInob "give me Romulan ale!"


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