The words "thank you" are used to express gratitude. There are many different words used around the world to relay this message and show others that you appreciate their kindness.
Say Thank You in 20 Languages
In the English language it is common to hear thank you or thanks as a polite response. Whether you are planning a trip to a foreign country, have a friend from another country, or are looking for a unique way to say thanks, there are many ways to express your gratitude.
The following are 20 ways to say thank you in languages other than English:
- Arabic – shukran (shoe-kran)
- Chinese – xiexie (shye-shye)
- Croatian – hvala (HVAH-lah)
- Danish – tak (tahg)
- Dutch – dank u (dahnk u)
- Finnish – kiitos (key-toss)
- French – merci (MEHR-see)
- German – danke (dahn-kah)
- Greek – efharisto (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
- Hawaiian – mahalo (ma-HA-lo)
- Indonesian – terima kasih (Tur-EE-mah KAH-see)
- Italian – grazie (GRAHTS-yeh)
- Japanese – arigato (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
- Korean - kamsahamnida (KAM-sah-ham-NEE-da)
- Norwegian – takk (tahk)
- Portugese – obrigado (oh-bree-GAH-dooh)
- Russian – spasiba (spuh-SEE-buh)
- Spanish – gracias (GRAH-syahs)
- Tagalog – salamat (sa-LAH-mat)
- Thai – kop khun (cap-coohn)
In addition to speaking the words thank you, you can also sign the words in American Sign Language. To do this, start with the fingers on your prominent hand and place there near your lips. Keep your hand flat and move your hand forward and down in the direction of the person you want to thank.
Cultural Tips for Saying Thanks
Saying thank you can vary from culture to culture. Some cultures do not rely on words to say thank you but use gestures instead when it is appropriate to express gratitude for something.
Some cultural tips for saying thanks in other countries to keep in mind are:
- In China, it is more common to say thanks with a thoughtful gift rather than words. Giving someone a small token of appreciation is more accepted than saying thank you.
- In India, saying thank you is quite formal and puts social distance between you and the recipient. Saying thank you is more usual with strangers than those close to you as it is expected that friends and family will do things for one another.
- In Japan, people often bow to one another to show their thanks rather than actually saying the words. The Japanese also have many holidays and occasions where your thanks can be given as gifts.
When in doubt, go with what the locals are doing to say thanks. You can always ask someone what is appropriate and follow through with that gesture.
Using Different Languages to Say Thank You
There are many ways to say or express your gratitude. Saying a sincere thank you is usually a great way to express your appreciation to someone who does something kind for you, but remember that in some culture a small gesture or gift is welcome instead or even no thanks at all.
Learning to say thank you in a different language is not only fun, but can be a great way to grab the attention of those around you and to show your politeness when visiting another country.
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"How to Say Thank You in Many Languages." YourDictionary, n.d. Web. 18 September 2018. <http://reference.yourdictionary.com/reference/other-languages/how-to-say-thank-you-in-many-languages.html>.
How to Say Thank You in Many Languages. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18th, 2018, from http://reference.yourdictionary.com/reference/other-languages/how-to-say-thank-you-in-many-languages.html