How-To Say Thank You in 14 Different Languages

Whenever Bob and I travel to a non-English speaking city, we try to interact with locals using their own language (even if we butcher it sometimes). The effort seems to go a long way in showing respect and befriending a stranger. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve ekk’ed out merci or gracias and been given a helpful smile (or directions and advice) from a local. Committing to a basic understanding of a foreign language is a great, FREE, travel tool to have up your sleeve.

How-To Say Thank You in 14 Different Languages:

English- Thank you, Thanks

Spanish- Gracias

French- Merci  (Thank you very much= Merci Beaucoup)

Italian- Grazie

Japanese- (Domo) Arigato (ah-ree-gah’-toh) or written ありがとう

Chinese- do jeh, daw-dyeh

German- Danke sehr

Thai- Khop Khun Mak Kha

Russian- Spasiba (spah-see’-boh)

Korean- written 감사합니다 gamsahabnida

Icelandic- Takk

Hawaiian- Mahalo

Hebrew- Toda (toh-dah’)

Greek- Efharisto (ef-har-ris-tou’)

Is there a special way to say thank you where you are from? When we were in Australia, everyone would say No Worries or Easy As whenever we would thank them. In my hometown of St. Augustine, you are likely to hear a few, Thanks, y’all, coming from the locals. Have any favorites that should be added to the list? Let us know in the comments below!

(*image via WoodleyWonderworks)

Jade Broadus is a spunky girl hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Florida. She’s addicted to traveling and has a strange obsession with maps and globes. A lover of dogs, fashion, fish tacos, marine biology, and college football, she has a broad range of interests. Jade has a strong passion for the film “Love, Actually” and has watched it 176 times. Her interests include singing really loud, impromptu dances, shopping, and dressing up in cute dresses and extravagant hats. She has written for Gadling, AOL Travel, Discover Los Angeles, LACOT, LandLopers, Wedding Nouveau, and The Vacation Gals. She is currently the social media and marketing director for Inside Out Media, a media company that owns TravelMindset.com and iExplore.com.

13 Comments

  • Reply November 2, 2011

    Cathy Sweeney

    Thanks for the list! It really does make a positive difference when traveling to make an attempt at the language. And learning a phrase like “thank you” is so simple. I never heard of the Australian “Easy As” response to thanks — cool.

  • Reply November 3, 2011

    Zak

    “Hvala” (Serbo-Croatian) has become one of my favorites lately, mostly because I had to use it a ton this past summer…

    Great post! I love language-related insights :)

  • Reply November 3, 2011

    Juno

    Glad to see Korean here! Hello, Thank you, Excuse me in local language is important, in my opinion too. :)

  • Reply November 3, 2011

    Christy @ Technosyncratic

    I know Domo Arigato from Mr. Roboto! Never thought about how that could come in handy. ;)

  • Reply November 3, 2011

    Helen

    The Chinese you gave was Cantonese. In Mandarin Chinese, thank you is “xie xie.”

    Also, Portuguese: Obrigado

    While I’m at it, here are a bunch of other thank you’s:
    http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/thankyou.htm

  • Reply November 6, 2011

    Abhijit

    In Hindi, it is Dhanyawaad. :)

  • Reply November 8, 2011

    Dan Brook

    Thanks for this list!

    The Thai version you wrote says “thank you very much” (spoken by a female).

    Mak = very

    Khop Khun Kha = Thank you (spoken by a female)

    Khop Khun Khap = Thank you (spoken by a male)

  • Reply November 12, 2011

    Denise

    I can add a couple. I was in Bali about a month ago and I learnt ‘terimakassi’. It always made the locals smile when I used it, and they seemed to appreciate the effort. And in Swiss-German, they say Merci, as in French, but with the stress on the first part of the word.

  • Reply January 5, 2012

    Uncle Demotivator

    In Polish it will be “dziękuję” :)

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  • Reply November 14, 2013

    FRANCIS LIM

    In Tagalog (Philippine Language): Thanks (commonly used) = Salamat Thanks (with respect to elders) = Salamat Po Many Thanks = Maraming Salamat
    But everybody will understand if you say, Thank You.

    • Reply November 14, 2013

      FRANCIS LIM

      Correction:
      In Tagalog (Philippine Language): Thanks (commonly used) = “Salamat”. Thanks (with respect to elders) = “Salamat Po”. Many Thanks = “Maraming Salamat”.
      But everybody will understand if you say, Thank You.

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