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How to Say Welcome in Different Languages
Have you ever found yourself with a company that does not speak the same language as you? Using the word "welcome" is a lovely introduction in any language. This article provides a list of the relevant ways to say welcome in other languages than English.
Method 1 Using Asian and Pacific Islander Languages
1Bengali - Shushagatom/ Shagatom. The first is for welcoming singular people, the later for plural groups of people.
2Chinese (Cantonese) - 歡迎 (fòonying). This is one is tricky if you've never spoken Chinese, as inflection is everything. Put a little extra stress on the first half of the word.
3Chinese (Mandarin) - 欢迎 [simplified], 歡迎 [traditional]. Written phonetically like this, "huānyíng, you want to focus of emphasizing the second half just a little louder than the first.
4Hawaiian - Aloha. Simple and easy, you've heard this plenty of times. It also means goodbye.
5Hindi - स्वागत (Svagat) सवागत हैं (svagat hain). Both of these will work, though the second is a little more formal
6Japanese - ようこそ (yōkoso). The first "O" sound is a lot longer than it seems. This is one where listening to an example or native speaker will be huge
7Korean - 환영합니다 (hwangyong-hamnida). Perhaps the toughest one on the list, it is a lot of syllables that come pretty quickly. Take your time learning each part before putting it all together.
8Mongolian - Тавтай морилогтун (tavtai morilogtun). Another tricky one, it is pretty guttural, especially at the end of the second word. Try to use a thick, breathy voice. The first word sounds a bit like "tafta."
9Telugu - సుస్వాగతం (susvaagatam). It almost sounds a bit French, with the words sliding effortlessly together. If you speak French, the first half sounds a lot like "Ce Soir.
10Tagalog - Tuloy ka (singular), or Tuloy po kayo (plural). The first simply means "enter," and is used for one person or a casual acquaintance. The second is for groups or elderly people.
Too-loy poo kai-yoh
Method 2 Using African and Middle Eastern Languages
1Afrikaans - Welkom. This language is partially based in English, so the pronunciation should be easy. The W sounds slightly like a V, almost a hybrid of W & V
2Arabic - أهلا وسهلا (Ahlan'wa sahlab). Tricky for English speakers, you will have an easier time if you think about it as three separate words that you run together. The first and last sections rhyme.
Ahh-lehn wa Sa-lehn
3Hebrew - Shalom. It sounds just like it looks. The second syllable rhymes with the English "foam."
4Turkish - Hoşgeldiniz. Again, this is a tricky one if you don't break it down into smaller parts. You can also use the more general phrase, "Buyurun," ("Booh-Rohn"), to say hello and welcome all at the same time.
5Swahili - Karibu. This is the singular form, meaning it is how you welcome only one person. For plural, you would say "karibuni.
Method 3 Using European Languages
1Czech - Vítej (informal) or Vítejte (formal). There are a ton of welcoming lines in Czech, but these are the two easiest ones to use. The other seven or so options are for specific cases, but these two will work almost anywhere.
Vítej -- "Vee-tai"
Vítejte -- "Vee-tai-ta"
2Danish - Velkommen. Simple and easy, it is the sort of thing that sounds just like an English "welcome." However, turn the W to a V and add the word "men" to the end.
3Dutch - Welkom. Almost exactly like the English version, but with a little harder final syllable. It sounds a bit like "comb."
4French - Bienvenue. Simple and easy, it literally means "Good to see you." When saying the final "U" sound, try to pucker your lips a bit. To learn how, say an "EEEE" sound, then move your lips into a U shape. This "e-ooo" is the French U.
5German - Willkommen. Like the Danish (the are related languages), this is similar to the English version. However, you again want to sound out the W more like a V.
6Greek - Καλώς ορίσατε (Kalōs orisate, formal), Καλώς Όρισες (Kalós órises, informal). Another language with multiple, difficult versions, these two will get you started in any circumstance. Note that, while there is an "sh" sound, you want to keep it subtle, almost burying it in the rest of the word.
Καλώς Ορίσατε -- "Kah-losh o-rees-a-teh"
Καλώς Όρισες -- "Kah-losh o-reese-is"
7Bosnian - Dobrodošli
8Italian - Benvenuto. Similar to the French version, but easier to pronounce. If you're speaking to a woman, replace the final "O" with an "A."
9Portuguese - Bem Vindo. Again, replace the "O" with an "A" if speaking to a female. Note that these are two separate words.
10Spanish - Bienvenido. Almost identical to the French and Portugese, as they come from similar linguistic roots (Latin).
11Swedish - Välkommen
12Norwegian - Velkommen. Put it in the box with Dutch, German, and the others. Keep it simple and replace the W with a V, and add the "men" to the normal English "welcome!"
13Frisian - Wolkom. This is the closest "living" relative of English. It makes speaking super easy -- so just match it close to the normal "Welcome," but use a longer O sound at the end (like in the word "comb."
14Maldivian (Divehi) - Kale ah maruhabaa. Another tricky one -- but you have this! Kale is just like vegetable, but with an "A" sound at the end. The rest sounds just like it looks.
Kal-eh hah Mah-roo-ha-bah