The Dreaded “Hello!”

Picture the scene. How many times have you walked the school corridors or office block, drifting past the same spot countless times to see that one person. That one person who always has the coolest hair, the best grades, the funniest jokes. Haven’t you always wished you could be laughing at their in-jokes and be privy to all their secrets and disaster stories? And how many times have you looked back on those days and wondered what would have happened if you’d simply said “Hello,” instead of holding back because you thought they were “too cool for you”?

We’re all human. We all appreciate a little “Hello” every now and then, even if it’s from someone new (especially if it’s someone new!). Brightens up an otherwise dreary day, right? If you want to make friends and influence people, integrating into different cultures and lifestyles, you’ll get nowhere without these vital conversation starters. Much like a knight rescuing a princess in all the fairy tales, it’s a daunting task but one that’s very much worth your while in the end.

In French, the most common greeting is “Bonjour!” (bon- joo-err)  meaning “Hello!”. (You can’t go too wrong with that! : ) )


  • Bonsoir! (bon-swa-er)– Good evening!
  • Bonne nuit! (bon- new- ee) – Good night!
  • Ça va bien?  (Sah-vah- bee-en)–  Are you doing well?  [the cool thing about this one is that you can simply repeat the question back to them as the answer like so- “ça va bien,”- I am well. Nice, huh?)
  • Bienvenue! (bee-ah-ven- oo) Welcome!
  • Comment ça va? (com- on- sah-vah) – How are you?
  • Salut! (Sah-loo)– Hi!
  • Comment t’appelles-tu? (Com-on ta- pellz- too?)- What’s your name?
  • Je m’appelle… (Juh-mah-pell…) – My name is…
  • Enchanté (for men)
  • Enchantée (for women) (On- shon- tay)-  Nice to meet you.


  • à bientôt! (Ah bee-ahn- toe)See you soon!
  • à demain (ah duh-man)- See you tomorrow.
  • Bon après-midi! (bon-ah-pray-mee-dee)- Good afternoon!
  • Au revoir! (Aw- ray-vuhwa)- Goodbye!

In Spanish, the most common greeting is “¡Hola!” meaning “Hello!”

Here are a few more conversational phrases that will help kickstart your popularity (and impress your teachers!)


  • Buenas días! (boo-en- as- dee- as)- Good day!
  • Buenas tardes! (boo-en-as tar-dez)- Good afternoon/evening!
  • ¿Qué tal? (kay tahl) – How are you? (informal)
  • ¿Cómo estás?” (Com-oh- ess-tahs)- How are you? (formal)
  • Encantado (said by man) (En-can-tah-doh)
  • Encantada (said by woman) (En-can-tah-dah)- Pleased to meet you.
  • El gusto es mio (El goo-stoh- ess- mee-oh) – The pleasure is mine. (A polite answer to the above greeting)


  • ¡Adiós! (add-ee-os) – Goodbye!
  • ¡Hasta pronto! (has-tah- pr-on-toe)- See you soon!
  • ¡Hasta luego! (has-tah-loo-eh-go) – See you later!

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