Language Tips: German, Italian, French, Spanish, and Portuguese

Posted on: November 20th, 2011 by paul

Getting by with Basic Greetings

Being from North America definitely has its benefits, in that English is a common language throughout the world. North American’s can go pretty well anywhere in the world and get by, or in some cases barely squeak by (like northern Italy or some parts of Asia and the Middle East) with our mother tongue.

Even though we feel secure that we will be able to order a coffee and book a hotel room pretty well anywhere in the world, is it right to just waltz into a country and assume everyone will and should understand you? NO! Don’t be an ignorant traveler! Most modern Europeans speak 3 languages. Maybe one of those languages is English, maybe it is not.


Attempt basic greetings in the local language and the locals will appreciate the fact that you are trying not to be an ignorant North American traveler. Here is a list of basic greetings in the 5 languages spoken in the majority of Europe.


Hello Ciao
Goodbye Arrivederci
My Name is … Mi chiamo …
How are you? Come sta?
Thank you Grazie
How much? Quanto costo?
Where is …? Dov’è
Can I have…? Potrei avere …?
Bathroom Bagno



Hello Bonjour
Goodbye Au revoir
My Name is … Je m’appelle …
How are you? Comment allez-vous?
Thank you Merci
How much? Combien
Where is …? Où est …?
Can I have…? Puis-je avoir …?
Bathroom Salle de bains; toilettes




Hello Hola
Goodbye Adiós
My Name is … Mi nombre es…
How are you? ¿Como estas?
Thank you Gracias
How much? ¿Cuanto cuesta?
Where is …? ¿Dónde está …?
Can I have…? ¿Tengo que hacer…?
Bathroom Baño



Hello Hallo
Goodbye Auf Wiedersehen
My Name is … Mein Name is…
How are you? Wie geht es dir?
Thank you Danke
How much? Was kostet das?
Where is …? Wo ist … ?
Can I have…? Kann ich denn … ?
Bathroom Waschraum; Toilette



Hello Olá
Goodbye Adeus
My Name is … Meu nome é …
How are you? Como vai?
Thank you Obrigado!
How much? Quanto custa?
Where is …? Quando é … ?
Can I have…? Posso ter … ?
Bathroom Banheiro




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