How to Say Thank You_

How to Say ‘Thank You’ in 100+ Different Languages

(Last Updated On: September 30, 2023)

How to say Thank You in different languages? In the dynamic journey of the English language, the word ‘thank’ we utter so routinely today possesses an intriguing historical lineage. Etymologically, ‘thank’ finds its ancestral connection in the Latin term ‘tongēre,’ an etymon curiously entwined with the word ‘think.’ Strikingly, the initial connotation of ‘thank’ bore a semblance to a promise—an unspoken commitment resonating with profound significance. It whispered, “I shall etch your deeds into the annals of my memory.” This ancient articulation, though diverging somewhat from the contemporary embodiment of ‘thank you,’ undeniably possesses the embryonic essence of gratitude itself.

Thank You’s Emergence: A Chronicle of the Middle Class

Delving into the annals of history to pinpoint the precise moment ‘thank you’ secured its place in linguistic prominence proves to be an endeavor of intricate complexity. Nevertheless, the sagacious gaze of historians takes us on a journey back in time to the 12th century—a period shrouded in the mists of antiquity. It is in this epoch that the first tentative whispers of ‘thank you’ or its shorter form, ‘thanks,’ are believed to have resonated within the chambers of human expression. However, it would be unwise to hasten our judgment, for it was to be several centuries, a kaleidoscope of cultural shifts, and a rich interplay of diverse languages before the dulcet harmonies of ‘thank you’ would echo resoundingly across the global linguistic landscape.

Exploring the Historical Odyssey of Expressing Gratitude

Embarking upon a scholarly expedition into the annals of linguistic history, one endeavors to ascertain the precise juncture at which the phrase ‘thank you’ earned its well-deserved linguistic eminence. This journey, however, proves to be a labyrinthine sojourn through time’s tapestry—a convoluted narrative woven with threads of intricacy. Casting our gaze backward through the corridors of antiquity, we are transported to the 12th century, a distant epoch steeped in the mists of bygone eras. It is here, amidst the hushed echoes of history, that the embryonic murmurs of ‘thank you’ or its truncated counterpart, ‘thanks,’ are believed to have made their inaugural appearances in human discourse. Yet, as we traverse the sands of time, we must temper our haste, for it would be many centuries, marked by the kaleidoscope of cultural transformations and the symphony of languages intermingling before the mellifluous harmonies of ‘thank you’ would resonate resplendently across the global linguistic stage.

The Emergence of Politeness: A Historical Perspective

The evolution of social etiquette, marked by the ubiquitous use of ‘please’ and ‘thank you,’ found its roots during the transformative period of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, commonly recognized as the commercial revolution. Remarkably, it was the emerging middle classes, who played a pivotal role in driving this revolution, that set the stage for this linguistic shift. The emergence of politeness was inextricably tied to the burgeoning world of bureaus, shops, and offices, and over the span of the last five centuries, it has unfurled its influence across the globe in tandem with these institutions. Yet, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ constitute merely the tip of an expansive iceberg—a tangible expression of a profound philosophy. This philosophy encompasses a multitude of assumptions about the nature of humanity and the reciprocal obligations individuals hold towards one another, assumptions so deeply ingrained in our collective psyche that they often elude our conscious awareness.

The Inextricable Link Between Politeness and Social Transformation

The onset of the commercial revolution marked a pivotal juncture in the evolution of human interaction. As the world witnessed the rise of the middle class, it concurrently witnessed the ascent of politeness as an essential linguistic and behavioral construct. This linguistic transformation wasn’t confined to the elite or the aristocracy; rather, it was the burgeoning middle classes who, as architects of this revolution, bore the responsibility for propagating the values of politeness. ‘Please’ and ‘thank you’ found a natural home in the bustling corridors of bureaus, the hustle and bustle of shops, and the structured confines of offices.

The Evolution of Gratitude and the Global Exchange of Thanks

As trade routes expanded and cultures collided on a global scale, the intricate tapestry of human interaction began to weave a common thread: gratitude. The notion of acknowledging and expressing one’s “debt” for another’s benevolence began to take root in the diverse linguistic landscapes that spanned the planet. What we now casually refer to as “saying thank you” emerged as a subtle yet profound act of reciprocity, initially within the realm of commerce. However, the transformation of this humble notion into a ubiquitous expression of appreciation across various facets of life is a relatively recent development, considering the grand tapestry of human history.

The Historical Roots of Gratitude

Dive into the annals of history, and you’ll find that the concept of conveying thanks was not always as ingrained in our social fabric as it is today. Mere centuries ago, the act of expressing gratitude was more of a novelty than an everyday norm. Its origins can be traced back to the world of business, where acknowledging favors and kindness through words gained traction. In these early iterations of thankfulness, commerce acted as the incubator, nurturing the idea that appreciation, when vocalized, could serve as a bridge between individuals and facilitate harmonious exchanges.

The Universality of Gratitude: A Multilingual Journey

Fast forward to the present, and gratitude has transcended its initial confines to permeate almost every sphere of life. Today, saying ‘thank you’ is not merely an obligatory social nicety but a heartfelt acknowledgment that transcends language barriers and cultural divides. It has become an elemental part of human interaction—a linguistic and emotional bridge that connects us all, regardless of our native tongues or backgrounds.

Exploring Gratitude in 100 Languages

With this newfound appreciation for the history and significance of expressing gratitude, let’s embark on a journey through the rich tapestry of human languages and cultures. Prepare to discover how to convey gratitude in no less than a hundred distinct ways! Whether you seek to learn how to express thanks in the melodious tones of Tamil, the poetic script of Hindi, or the graceful articulation of Korean, we’ve undertaken the exhilarating task of covering it all. In this linguistic odyssey, you’ll encounter a kaleidoscope of expressions, each imbued with its unique cultural nuances and linguistic idiosyncrasies, reminding us of the universality of gratitude in our diverse world.

Exploring Gratitude Around the World: How to Say Thank You in 100 Languages

In our quest to unravel the diverse tapestry of expressions of gratitude, we embark on a linguistic journey that traverses continents and cultures. To facilitate this endeavor, we shall methodically categorize our findings into several distinct sections, each shedding light on the multifaceted ways in which “thank you” is articulated around the globe.

Common Tongues: A Global Perspective

Our voyage begins by delving into the most prevalent languages spoken worldwide. These linguistic giants often serve as the bedrock of communication, transcending borders and connecting people from diverse backgrounds. From English to Mandarin, Spanish to Hindi, these languages have left an indelible mark on the fabric of global discourse. Learning Language Guide, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening Skills

However, what sets this exploration apart is the added layer of complexity—the distinct scripts and phonetic structures inherent to each language. To ensure accessibility, we present pronunciations employing the familiar English phonetic system, bridging the gap for those unacquainted with these linguistic nuances.

How to say thank you in the 10 most common languages

There are at least 200 million native speakers of each of the following languages worldwide! Therefore, knowing how to express gratitude in different languages might be quite helpful. Here are 10 methods to express gratitude in ten different languages:

English: Thank you
Mandarin Chinese: She-eh She-eh (謝謝)
Hindi: Den-yee-niv-ahd (धन्यवाद)
Spanish: Grah-see-us (Gracias)
French: Mare-see (Merci)
Arabic: Shuh-crahn-luh-come (شكرا لكم)
Bengali: Hon-yuh-bahd (ধন্যবাদ)
Russian: Spy-see-bah (Спасибо)
Portuguese: Oh-bree-gah-doe (Obrigado)
Indonesian: Teh-ree-mah kah-see (Terima kasih)

Tracing the Genealogy of “Thank You”

In the labyrinthine corridors of etymology, the seemingly mundane word ‘thank’ conceals an intricate ancestral lineage that beckons us to explore its enigmatic origins. Rooted in the classical Latin term ‘tongēre,’ this linguistic forebear shares a captivating affinity with the verb ‘think.’ Astonishingly, in its nascent form, ‘thank’ bore a far-reaching significance, akin to an unspoken covenant—a solemn vow that proclaimed, “I shall forever enshrine your benevolent acts within the hallowed sanctuary of my memory.” Although this etymological arc diverges somewhat from the contemporary embodiment of ‘thank you,’ it undeniably encapsulates the primordial essence of gratitude itself, invoking a sense of solemn remembrance and obligation.

How to say thank you in African languages

Even while it might feel like we’ve covered a lot of thank-you phrases in many languages, we’re only halfway through! Let’s examine how to express gratitude in many African languages:

Yoruba: Oh-soon (O ṣeun)
Oromo: Gah-lah-tome (Galatoomi)
Afrikaans: Dahn-key (Dankie)
Hausa: Guhd-ee-ah (Godiya)
Igbo: Dah-loo (Daalụ)
Zulu: Gee-yah-bong-ah (Ngiyabonga)
Shona: Dah-ten-duh (Ndatenda)
Somali: Mah-sen-teh-hey (Mahadsan tahay)
Berber: Ten-meers (ⵜⴰⵏⵎⵎⵉⵔⵜ.)
Swahili: Ah-sahn-teh (Asante)
Amharic: Ah-me-seh-gih-nah-leh-hu-ah (አመሰግናለሁ)

The Unseen Philosophy Beneath the Surface

However, it’s important to recognize that ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ represent merely the superficial layer of a much deeper and intricate philosophy. These seemingly innocuous words are, in fact, the tangible manifestations of a profound set of assumptions about the essence of humanity and the moral obligations individuals bear towards one another. These assumptions have become so deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness that they operate beneath the surface, often eluding conscious scrutiny. It is this hidden philosophy that shapes our interactions, defines our sense of propriety, and guides our moral compass. Understanding the underpinnings of politeness requires delving into this intricate web of beliefs and values that has woven itself into the fabric of human society over the course of centuries.

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How to say thank you in European languages

Let’s move on to other common languages by area now that we’ve covered the most widespread languages in the globe. Here are 30 methods to express gratitude in several European languages:

Italian: Gratz-eh (Grazie)
Romanian: Mool-tsoo-mesk (Mulțumesc)
Czech: Deck-oo-you (Děkuju)
German: Dahnk-uh (Danke)
Turkish: Teh-sheh-coor ed-eh-duhm (Teşekkür ederim)
Hungarian: Kuh-suh-nem (Köszönöm)
Greek: Sahs-eef-ha-ree-stow (σας ευχαριστώ)
Swedish: Tack (Tack)
Bulgarian: Boh-gull-dah-ree-ah (Благодаря ти)
Catalan: Grah-see-us (Gràcies)
Danish: Tack-scale-do-have (Tak skal du have)
Slovak: Jah-quee-ehm (Ďakujem)
Finnish: Key-dose (Kiitos)
Lithuanian: ah-chew (Ačiū)
Galician: Grath-us (Grazas)
Slovenian: Huh-vah-luh-vahm (Hvala vam)
Latvian: Pahl-dee-es (Paldies)
Basque: Eh-scare-ee-ask-oh (Eskerrik asko)
Estonian: Ah-ee-tah (aitäh)
Serbian: Hvall-uh-fahm (Хвала вам)
Croatian: Hvall-uh-fahm (Hvala vam)
Maltese: Grah-tsee (Grazzi)
Welsh: Dee-olh (Diolch)
Irish Gaelic: Gur-uv mee-la mah ah-guth (Go raibh maith agat)
Scottish Gaelic: Tah-puh-lot (Tapadh leat)
Albanian: Fah-lehm-mean-deh-reet (Faleminderit)
Luxembourgish: Mare-see (Merci)
Ukrainian: Dya-koo-ee-you (Дякую)
Polish: Djen-koo-eh-chee (Dziękuję Ci)
Dutch: Dahnk-hyeh (Dank je)

Beyond the Mainstream: Regional Variations

As we delve deeper into the rich mosaic of human speech, we shift our focus to the less common languages. These linguistic gems often inhabit specific corners of the world, reflecting the cultural tapestry that defines their regions. To encapsulate their essence, we have organized them by geographic origin, allowing you to appreciate the diversity that flourishes in each locale. Learn English Guide, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening Skills

Unveiling the intricacies of pronunciation in these languages becomes all the more crucial, as many deviate from the Roman alphabet or employ unique phonetic systems. Our commitment to accessibility ensures that even those unfamiliar with these scripts can embark on this linguistic odyssey.

How to Say Thank You in Asian Languages

Finally, we’ll look at some of the most often spoken thank-you phrases in Southeast Asia and the Asian Subcontinent. Here are 20 methods to express gratitude in several Asian languages:

Bangla: Hun-ya-bahd (ধন্যবাদ)
Malay: Ter-ee-mah kah-see (Terima kasih)
Khmer: Sohm ah-kuhn (សូមអរគុណ)
Lao: Kawp-Jai (ຂອບ​ໃຈ)
Japanese: Ah-ree-gah-toe (ありがとう)
Punjabi: Dahn-wahd (ਧੰਨਵਾਦ)
Filipino: Sah-lah-maht (Salamat)
Marathi: Dahn-ya-vahd (धन्यवाद)
Korean: Gahm-sah (감사)
Vietnamese: Cahm-uhn-bahn (cảm ơn bạn)
Thai: khop-kuhn (ขอบคุณ)
Kannada: Dahn-ya-vah-dah-gah-do (ಧನ್ಯವಾದಗಳು)
Gujarati: Ahb-har (આભાર)
Malayalam: Nahn-dee (നന്ദി)
Odia: Dahn-ya-bahd (ଧନ୍ୟବାଦ)
Telugu: Dahn-ya-vah-dah-loo (ధన్యవాదాలు)
Tamil: Nahn-ree (நன்றி)
Burmese: Cheh-joo-tchen-bah-ray (ကျေးဇူးတင်ပါတယ်)
Kashmiri: Shoo-kree-ah (शुकिया)
Mongolian: Bah-yehr-la (баярлалаа)

Embracing Imperfections: The Art of Translation

It’s imperative to acknowledge the inherent challenge in translation—language’s elusive dance that can rarely be distilled into perfect equivalence. Some translations you encounter here may not align precisely with the English “thank you”; instead, they might evoke variations, ranging from a heartfelt expression of deep gratitude to a more casual “thanks.”

Nevertheless, take comfort in the assurance that this compilation serves as an invaluable launching pad for anyone seeking to explore the diverse realms of gratitude expression. By immersing yourself in this comprehensive list, you gain not only a glimpse into the world’s linguistic tapestry but also a profound appreciation for the myriad ways humans convey their appreciation. Learning Language Guide, Speaking, Reading, Writing, Listening Skills

With bated breath and an eager heart, we invite you to join us on this enlightening expedition—a journey that promises to unveil the beauty of global diversity through the simple yet profound act of saying “thank you.” So, without further ado, let’s embark on this captivating odyssey and discover how to say, and write, thank you in 100 languages!

How to say thank you in Middle Eastern languages

There are several different languages and dialects spread throughout the Middle East, despite Arabic being the most widely spoken language there. So, here are 10 other methods to express gratitude in Middle Eastern languages:

Tajik: See-pose (сипос)
Kurmanji: Su-pas (Spas)
Hebrew: Toe-dah (תודה)
Kurdish: Su-pas (Spas)
Persian: Moo-shoo-sha-kuh-rahm (متشکرم)
Urdu: Ahv-gah-shoo-pree-ah (آپ کا شکریہ)
Uzbek: Rah-hmat (رحمت)
Baluchi: Mihn-not-wahr (منتوارون شومئ)
Zazaki: Bear-who-dar (Berxudar)
Dari: Tuh-shay-curr (.تشكر)

Ways to go beyond a simple “thank you” in different languages

The year 2024 has proven to be a challenging one for all of us, testing our resilience and adaptability in various ways. In light of these trials and tribulations, we find it fitting to express our profound gratitude to the diverse community of language learners, language instructors, translators, interpreters, volunteers, and our dedicated team members who have stood by us throughout this journey. To convey our appreciation, we offer you ten distinctive ways to say thank you in four different languages: Arabic, French, Persian, and Spanish.

1. Merci de tout coeur (mekh-see dah tu ker)

In the enchanting realm of French, we discover the phrase “Merci de tout coeur,” which translates to “thank you with all my heart.” This expression encapsulates the depth of gratitude one can feel, imbued with heartfelt sincerity and warmth.

2. C’est très gentil à toi / vous (seh tkheh jan-tee a twa/voo)

In more formal settings within the French language, one might choose to convey appreciation by saying, “C’est très gentil à toi / vous,” which can be roughly interpreted as “that’s very kind of you.” It is important to note the nuanced use of “vous” when addressing someone with respect, highlighting the significance of politeness in French culture.

3. Daste shomā dard nakone (دست شما درد نکنه)

Delving into the poetic realm of Persian, we encounter the phrase “Daste shomā dard nakone,” which poignantly translates to “may your hand not hurt.” This evocative expression is often employed when someone offers you a gift or prepares a meal, emphasizing the care and effort invested in these gestures.

4. Ghorbāne shomā (قربان شما)

In Persian culture, “Ghorbāne shomā,” meaning “your sacrifice,” is a testament to the etiquette and politeness ingrained in Iranian society. This phrase exemplifies the concept of “taarof,” where individuals express humility and gratitude, even when receiving compliments or favors.

5 Te la/lo debo (te la/lo de-bo)

Switching gears to Spanish, “Te la/lo debo” is an expression that signifies “I owe you.” It is a friendly way to convey your appreciation to friends, emphasizing your willingness to reciprocate their kindness in the future.

6. (Estoy) Muy agradecido/a (ehs-toy muy agra-de-cido/a)

To express profound gratitude in Spanish, one can elegantly declare “(Estoy) Muy agradecido/a,” which can be translated as “(I’m) very grateful for you.” This phrase serves as an alternative to the ubiquitous “thank you so much,” with “agradecido” encapsulating the essence of gratefulness.

7. Mamnoun(t)ak/ek (ممنونك/ممنونتك)

Within Arabic and Persian languages, you may encounter the loanword “mamnoun” or “ممنون,” used as a token of gratitude, expressing thanks or acknowledging the kindness of others. It serves as a bridge between cultures, connecting individuals through appreciation.

8. Merci (mekh-see)

While “Merci” is a familiar way to express gratitude in French-speaking regions, it transcends linguistic boundaries. Surprisingly, it is not confined to francophone countries; it also finds resonance in Middle Eastern nations, including Iran. This simple yet powerful word is a testament to the universal nature of gratitude.

9. تسلم / تسلمي (Tislam/Tislami)

Originating from the root verb “سلم” or “salama,” which means “to come out safe/healthy” in Arabic, the phrase “تسلم / تسلمي” is a multifaceted expression. It not only conveys gratitude but also extends well wishes for the recipient’s health and safety, making it a profound and caring way to say thank you.

10. يعطيك العافية (Ya‘tik al-‘afiya)

In Arabic, “يعطيك العافية” translates to “may [God] give you health.” This expression is a recognition of someone’s hard work and dedication, serving as a heartfelt token of appreciation while also bestowing blessings for their well-being.

The Global Spread of Politeness: A Five-Century Journey

What began as a linguistic phenomenon in the corridors of European trade and commerce soon transcended borders and oceans. Over the course of five hundred years, the ethos of politeness embarked on a remarkable journey, accompanying traders, explorers, and emissaries to every corner of the world. It infiltrated cultures, transcending linguistic and cultural barriers, and became a universal mode of expression. In the modern era, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ are spoken and understood in nearly every language, their significance extending far beyond mere words, as they symbolize a shared code of conduct that bridges diverse societies.

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