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Say "Hello!" Around the World


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  • Arts & Humanities
  • Foreign Language
  • Language Arts
  • Educational Technology
  • Social Studies
  • Geography, Regions/Cultures


Pre-K, K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

Brief Description

Students create a map or bulletin board to show how the greeting "Hello" is spoken in languages of countries around the world.


Students will

  • learn how the greeting "Hello" is spoken in other countries around the world.
  • create a bulletin board or map to show where each greeting is spoken.
  • use online translators to match each "hello" with the country or countries in which it is spoken (optional)
  • show they have mastered the skill by achieving a score of at least 80 percent on an assessment.


    hello, foreign, language, map, geography, world, multicultural, culture, vocabulary

    Materials Needed

  • large world map
  • index cards with "Hello" written in different languages (see below)
  • computer with Internet access
  • yarn
  • pushpins
  • copies of a world outline maps -- sources: 1, 2, 3 (optional)

    Lesson Plan

    How do people say "Hello" in languages around the world? The following activity can be adapted for use across the grades:


  • Create a bulletin board with a world map as its central focus.
  • Surround the map with index cards on which you have written the greeting "Hello" in different languages.
  • Have students use Google translate to match each foreign-language greeting with the country or countries in which it is spoken. The page includes a pronunciation audio, so students can hear "Hello" being spoken in each language.
  • Students use colored yarn and pushpins to connect each "Hello" card to the appropriate country or countries.
  • Have students use the bulletin board to complete the activity in the Assessment section below. Older students can create individual world maps.

    For Younger Students
    This group of "hello greetings might be appropriate for students up to third grade. Give each student a card with the name of a language and the name of the country in which that language is predominantly spoken. Have students use the Say Hello to the World Web site to learn how people say hello in that language/country. Then ask students to find the hello expression on a card that borders the world map, locate the country, and connect the card to the country with a piece of yarn. Students will find all the answers within a single click of the Say Hello to the World home page.

    Alternate Activity: Give students a list of languages and countries, and have them use the Say Hello to the World Web page to find how hello is spoken in each language.
    • Arabic (Saudi Arabia): Al salaam a'alaykum
    • Chinese (China): Ni hao
    • English (United States): Hello
    • Finnish (Finland): Paivaa
    • French (France): Bonjour
    • German (Germany): Guten tag
    • Greek (Greece): Kalimera
    • Hawaiian (United States): Aloha
    • Hebrew (Israel): Shalom
    • Hungarian (Hungary): Szia
    • Indonesian (Indonesia): Selamat pagi
    • Italian (Italy): Buon giorno
    • Japanese (Japan): Konichiwa
    • Korean (Korea): Annyong ha shimnikka
    • Portuguese (Portugal): Bom dia
    • Romanian (Romania): Buna ziua
    • Russian (Russia): Zdravstvuite
    • Spanish (Spain): Hola
    • Swedish (Sweden): God dag
    • Tagalog (Philippines): Magandang tanghali po
    • Turkish (Turkey): Merhaba
    • Welsh (Wales): Bore da

    For Older Students
    For older students, you might use the cards above plus the cards listed below. Provide only the greetings on the index cards. Students will use their critical thinking skills to determine the country or countries where each expression is predominantly used. This group of greetings requires students to dig a little deeper into the Say Hello to the World Web pages (by clicking on the And many more! link on the home page). Students might also need to refer to the Who Can You Talk To? section on each individual language page to determine in which country the expression is used. In addition, some of the hello expressions below are phonetically spelled because the languages do not use the characters of the English alphabet.

    • Bosnian (Bosnia): Zdravo
    • Polish (Poland): Dzien' dobry
    • Danish (Denmark): Goddag
    • Estonian (Estonia): Tere
    • Icelandic (Iceland): Hallo
    • Hindi (India): Nah-mah-stay
    • Dutch (The Netherlands): Hallo
    • Thai (Thailand): Sa-wa-dee-krab (boy) or Sa-wa-dee-kah (girl)

    Online Translation Tools
    Use the following online translators to extend student learning about languages around the world:

  • iTools Language Translator
  • Yahoo! Babel Fish Translator


    Make the bulletin board the focus of a learning-center activity. Create a ten-question matching activity, such as the one below. Students can use the bulletin board as a resource as they complete the matching activity. Students will correctly match each greeting with the country in which that greeting is spoken. Following is a sample assessment tool for younger students:

    1. United States
    2. China
    3. France
    4. Germany
    5. Russia
    6. Hungary
    7. Israel
    8. Italy
    9. Japan
    10. Spain
    a. Zdravstvuite
    b. Bonjour
    c. Ciao
    d. Guten tag
    e. Hello
    f. Hola
    g. Konichiwa
    h. Ni hao
    i. Shalom
    j. Szia
    Answer Key: 1. e 2. h 3. b 4. d 5. a 6. j 7. i 8. c 9. g 10. f.

    Lesson Plan Source

    Education World

    Submitted By

    Gary Hopkins

    National Standards

    LANGUAGE ARTS: English


    LANGUAGE ARTS: Foreign Language SOCIAL SCIENCES: Civics
    • GRADES K - 4
      NSS-C.K-4.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    • GRADES 5 - 8
      NSS-C.5-8.4 Other Nations and World Affairs
    • GRADES 9 - 12
      NSS-C.9-12.4 Other Nations and World Affairs

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    Updated 12/23/2013