Friday, 21 September is World Gratitude Day. To celebrate, we’ve put together a guide on how to say “Thank You” around the world. Here’s how to express gratitude to someone in 50+ languages, including the top 50 spoken languages to cover over 80% of the world’s population.
How to Say Thank You In the UK
English: Thank you!
Irish: “Go raibh maith agat” which means “May you have goodness.”
How to Say Thank You In Scandinavia
Danish: Tak, tusind tak (thousand thanks) or Mange tak (Thank you very much!)
Swedish: Tack, tack så mycket (thank you very much) or tusen tack (thousand thanks).
Norwegian: Takk. Avoid “takk for alt” (thank you for everything), and Takk og farvel (thank you and goodbye) as these are used at funerals.
Finnish: Kiitos or Kiitos paljon! (thanks a lot!)
How to Say Thank You in Europe
Spanish: Gracias or Muchas Gracias (thanks a lot).
French: Merci or Merci beaucoup (thank you very much).
Greek: Σ’ ευχαριστώ! (S’ efharistó!)
Italian: Grazie or Grazie Mille (thank you very much)
Polish: Dziękuję or Wielkie dzięki! (thank you so much!)
Serbo-Croatian: Хвала (Hvala)
Russian: спасибо (spaseeba)
Turkish: Teşekkür ederim.
Ukrainian: Дякую (Diakuju) or Дуже дякую (Duže diakuju).
Azerbaijani: Təşəkkür edirəm or Çox sağ ol
Romanian: Mersi or Mulțumesc
How to Say “Thank You” in The Middle East
Pashto: manana or tashakor
Kurdish: Sipas dekem
How to Say “Thank You” in India and Pakistan
Note: In Indian culture, they don’t throw out “Thank you” quite as casually as we do in English. Save it for a big favour, look the person in the eye, and be sincere, or you might come across as rude or sarcastic.
Hindi: धन्यवाद (dhanyavāda) or बहुत शुक्रिया (bahuta śukriyā, or “thanks a lot.“)
Punjabi: tànvād or shukrīā
Tamil: நன்றி (nandri) or மிக நன்றி (miga nandri)
Telugu: ధన్యవాదములు (dhanyavaadhamulu)
Marathi: आभारी आहे (ābhārī āhe) or धन्यवाद (dhanyāvad)
Urdu: shukriya or bahut shukriya
Gujarati: ધન્યવાદ (dhanyavaad) or આભાર (aabhar)
Malayalam: നന്ദി (nāndi) or ഉപകാരം (upakaram)
Kannada: ಧನ್ಯವಾದ (dhanyavāda) or ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು (dhanyavādagaḷu)
Oriya: ଧନ୍ୟବାଦ୍ (dhanyabaad) or ତୁମ୍ଭଙ୍କୁ ଧନ୍ଯବାଦ୍ (tumbhangku dhanyabaad)
Bhojpuri: धन्वाद (dhanvaad)
How to Say Thank You in Africa
Hausa: Na gode.
Yoruba: O ̣se or E se.
Amharic: አመሰግናለሁ (amäsäggänallähw), which means “I praise you.”
How to Say Thank You In China
Much like in Indian culture, in Chinese culture, “Thank you” is used more rarely than it is in English. Instead of expressing gratitude verbally, Chinese people tend to use actions: small kindnesses and reciprocal gestures. Saying “Thank you” can even be seen as unfriendly, since it creates a sense of formality.
Chinese (Mandarin): 谢谢 (xiè xiè)
Cantonese: 多謝 (dòjeh), when someone has given you a gift. 唔該 (m̀hgòi), when someone has done you a favor.
Wu: 谢谢 (yáyà)
Taiwanese: 多謝 (to-siā), 感謝 (kám-siā), or 撈力 (ló làt)
Hakka: 多謝 (dosia) or 感謝 (gamsia)
How to Say Thank You in Asia
Japanese: ありがとう (Arigatou) or the more formal version ありがとうございます
(Arigatou gozaimasu). You can also say “どうもありがとう (Doumo arigatou), which means “Thanks a lot,” or shorten it to “Doumo” for “Thanks!”
Indonesian: Terima kasih
Korean: 감사합니다 (kamsa-hamnida)
Thai: ขอบคุณ (khàawp-khun)
Javanese: Matur nuwun
Vietnamese: Cảm ơn
Malay: Terima kasih.
Burmese: ေက်းဇူးတန္ပါတယ္။ (cè-zù tin-ba-deh)
Tagalog: Salamat (thank you) or maraming salamat po (Thank you very much).
Sundanese: Nuhun, Hatur nuhun or Nuhun pisan.
Thank You Around the World
Gratitude is a universal emotion, but the way people express it can vary across different languages and cultures. In fact, a study published in the May 2018 edition of Royal Society Open Science found that saying “thank you” to express gratitude isn’t the norm in most cultures and situations:
In informal everyday interaction across the world, the general norm is to tacitly acknowledge another’s cooperative behaviour without explicitly saying ‘thank you’, but by simply continuing with one’s activities, relying on a shared understanding of the good, service or support received as part of a system of social rights and duties governing mutual assistance and collaboration.
Cross-cultural communication blunders are easy to forgive in an individual. However, businesses are expected to do better. -That means word-to-word translations often aren’t enough – and forget about using Google Translate!
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