Native Language – Use Common Phrases in Most Popular Languages

The world is shrinking. Across my career, I’ve worked on many multicultural and international teams. Today, I work directly with individuals who have a native language of English, Italian, Hindu, Chinese, French, German, Portuguese,  Spanish or Vietnamese. Based on my experiences, I wrote tips for leading global teams. In that post I recommend using simple terms in the native language of the person you address. However, there were still members of my own team for whom I had yet to learn these simple phrases.

I decided to compile the most common words and phrases I use in regular business conversation across the most popular languages. Below is the list of these terms for your reference. If you work with a global team, chances are you will find relevant native languages below (alphabetical order):

Native Language Translations for Common Business TermsArabic

Hello – مرحبا
Goodbye – وداعا
Please – من فضلك
Thank you – شكرا
You’re welcome – فنحن نرحب بك
Yes – نعم
No – لا

Chinese (Simplified)

Hello – 您好
Goodbye – 再见
Please – 请
Thank you – 谢谢
You are welcome – 欢迎您
Yes – 是
No – 无


Hello – Bonjour
Goodbye – revoir
Please – S’il vous plaît
Thank you – Merci
You’re welcome – Vous êtes les bienvenus
Yes – Oui
No – Aucun


Hello – Hallo
Goodbye – Auf Wiedersehen
Please – Bitte
Thank you – Danke
You’re welcome – Gern geschehen
Yes – ja
No – nicht


Hello – नमस्ते
Goodbye – नमस्ते
Please – कृपया
Thank you – शुक्रिया
You’re welcome – कोई बात नहीं.
Yes – हां
No – नहीं


Hello – ciao
Goodbye – arrivederci
Please – per favore
Thank you – grazie
You’re welcome – Prego
Yes – sì
No – no


Hello – こんにちは
Goodbye – さようなら
Please – してください
Thank you – ありがとう
You’re welcome – あなたどういたしまして
Yes – はい
No – なし


Hello – 안녕하세요
Goodbye – 안녕
Please – 하세요
Thank you – 감사합니다
You’re welcome – 참 잘 오셨습니다
Yes – 예
No – 아니


Hello – Olá
Goodbye – adeus
Please – por favor
Thank you – obrigado
You’re welcome – De nada
Yes – sim
No – não


Hello – привет
Goodbye – до свидания
Please – пожалуйста
Thank you – спасибо
You’re welcome – Всегда пожалуйста
Yes – да
No – нет


Hello – ¡Hola
Goodbye – despedida
Please – Por favor
Thank you – Gracias
You’re welcome – No hay de qué
Yes – sí
No – no


Hello – Merhaba
Goodbye – güle güle
Please – lütfen
Thank you – teşekkür ederim
You’re welcome – Estağfurullah
Yes – evet
No – yok


Hello – Xin chào
Goodbye – Tạm biệt
Please – Xin
Thank you – cảm ơn bạn
You’re welcome – Bạn đang chào đón
Yes – Có
No – không có

A brief word of caution: I am not an multilingual expert. Before considering using these phrases in a formal manner or critical negotiation, be sure to consult an expert to avoid offending anyone. Furthermore, if you do not see the language, word you seek or if you need the pronunciation, I suggest using Google Translate – the source of most translations here.

Question: Have you tried using simple phrases of the native language with global team members? What was the impact?


Picture of Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner

Ben Lichtenwalner is the founder and principal of Modern Servant Leader and Radiant Forest, LLC. He has studied and promoted servant leadership awareness and adoption for over 20 years. He is the author of 2 leadership books and has 2 decades of corporate management and leadership experience. His corporate experience spans CIO, VP, Director, and many management roles at Fortune 500, INC 500, and Nonprofits. Ben’s education includes a B.S. in Management Science & Information Systems from Penn State University and an MBA from Lehigh University. Ben's Full Profile Here: About Ben Lichtenwalner

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