Monday, June 27, 2016


One life lesson I carry with me is to reach out and say "Hello" to someone I don't know. That follows from the "Four I's" of building relationships:
  1. Initiate
  2. Inquire
  3. Invest
  4. Inspire

You start a new relationship with Initiate (for example, "Hi there!") and Inquire (such as "My name is —. What's your name?"). Over time, you Invest in the relationship. When you have built up enough currency in your relationship, you can Inspire your new friend to raise the bar or to help you out. This fourth "I" is sometimes called "Influence."

I have made a point of learning how to say "Hello" in different languages. This was a helpful skill when I worked in higher education and regularly met with students, including international students. Outside that setting, I find being able to greet someone in their own language helps to break down barriers, so I can reach out to someone I don't know. Something as simple as "Hello" can create an instant connection.

I can say "Hello" in several languages:
  1. Buenos días ("Good morning") or Hola ("Hello," Spanish)
  2. Bonjour (French)
  3. Ni Hao (Chinese: 你好)
  4. Guten Morgen ("Good morning") or Hallo ("Hello," German)
  5. Aloha (Hawai'ian)
  6. Ya'at'eeh (Navajo)
  7. Buongiorno ("Good morning") or Ciao ("Hello," Italian)
  8. Kon'nichiwa (Japanese: こんにちは)
  9. Yeoboseyo (Korean: 여보세요)
  10. Zdravstvuyte (Russian: Здравствуйте)
  11. Marhabaan ("Hello," Arabic: مرحبا)
  12. As-salaamu 'alaykum (literally "Peace be unto you," Arabic: السلام عليكم‎‎) and the response: Wa'alaykumu s-salaam ("and upon you, Peace")

There is also "nuqneH" (in Klingon) but I don't get many occasions to use that one.

In how many languages can you greet someone? Even if you conduct business in English (BELF, or "Business English as Lingua Franca") you'll find value in saying "Hello" in a different language.
image: Wikimedia: "Hello my name is" sticker

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