In how many languages can the greeting "Hello" be said?I'm mainly looking for a number; the words with the translation would be cool, too, but the number would be a lot more helpful. Thank you!

Expert Answers
chimeric eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The word "hello" can be easily understood by speakers of virtually every language on the planet, it is probably the most common word after "okay".

It is commonly used in all English-speaking countries (104) and also it is used in Hungarian, as Hungarians say that Mr. Watson, Alexander Bell's assistant was Hungarian and that is the source of the word, though I have not been able to corroborate this story, Hungarians use the word "hello" when speaking on the phone, but mainly when they say "good-bye"! The Hungarian word for "hello" is "Szia" it is also their word for "good-bye" (like the Hawiian word "Aloha" that is also both hello and good-bye) When Hungarians answer the phone, they say "Szia" (sounds like 'see-ya') and when they are ready to hang up, they say "Szia-hello".

Russian speakers say "hello" also, but as almost all non-English speakers, the pronunciation is more like "hallo". However, they use it mostly to mean "can you hear me?" Like we do when we repeat "hello, hello" when we're not sure of a good connection.

I have traveled around most of Europe and some parts of Asia Minor and I have never found a place where people did not understand "hello."