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Connecting With Loved Ones Through Language

by Marisa Serrano

Worldwide, more than half of the population is multilingual, or speaks more than one language. With this in mind, chances are that you have friends, family members, and loved ones who speak a language other than your own.  

Learning a new language for those closest to you is worthwhile for many different reasons. They’ll understand that it’s an investment, and this thoughtful gesture will go a long way. It’s also a great way to spark connection, show respect, and ultimately learn more about each other.

Whether you’re learning a new language to better communicate with your grandmother or your neighbor, this guide will help you get started. 

First, we’ll walk through the basics of your new language, starting with useful words and phrases that you can begin using right away. These include:

  • Greetings
  • Conversation starters
  • Requests
  • Affectionate phrases


The first thing you’ll want to start with is common greetings. Once you’ve learned these, you can use them to start and end any conversation with your loved ones. 

FrenchBonjourAu revoir
GermanHalloAuf Wiedersehen
ArabicMarhabanMae alsalama
Chinese (Mandarin)Nǐ hǎoZàijiàn
DutchHalloTot ziens
Filipino (Tagalog)KamustaPaalam
GreekGeia sasAntio sas
HebrewShalomShalom ve lehitra’ot 
IrishDia dhuitSlán
PolishWitajDo widzenia
RussianPrivetDo svidaniya
TurkishMerhabaGüle güle 
VietnameseXin chàoTạm biệt

Conversation starters

Next, you can use these typical phrases to check in on your loved ones and get the conversation going.

LanguageHow are you?I’m good, how are you?
Spanish¿Cómo estás?¿Estoy bien, cómo estás?
FrenchComment ca va?Je vais bien, comment vas-tu?
ItalianCome stai?Sto bene, come stai?
GermanWie geht es Ihnen?Mir geht es gut, wie geht es dir?
ArabicKayf halika?‘Ana bikhayr w ‘anta?
Chinese (Mandarin)Nǐ hǎo maWǒ hěn hǎo nǐ zěnme yàng?
DutchHoe is het met je?Met mij gaat het goed, hoe gaat het met je?
Filipino (Tagalog)Kumusta ka?Okay lang ako, kamusta ka na?
GreekPós eísai?Eímai kalá, esý pós eísai?
HebrewMa shlom-kha?A-ni be-se-der. Ma shlom-kha?
HindiAap kaise hain?Main theek hoon aap kaise hain?
IrishConas tá tú?Tá mé go maith, conas atá tú?
JapaneseGenkidesu ka?Daijōbudesu. Anata wa genkidesu ka?
KoreanJal jinaego issnayo?Nan gwaenchanh-a, neon eottae?
PolishJak się masz? U mnie w porządku, jak się masz?
PortugueseTudo bem?Estou bem, como você está?
RussianKak dela?YA v poryadke, kak ty?
SwedishHur mår du?Jag mår bra, hur mår du?
TurkishNasılsın?Iyiyim, sen nasılsın?
VietnameseBạn khỏe không?Tôi khỏe, bạn thế nào?


It’s also helpful to know how to make a polite request or to express gratitude. Whether you’re on the phone or around the dinner table, these are sure to come in handy.

LanguagePleaseThank you
SpanishPor favorGracias
FrenchS’il vous plaîtJe vous remercie
ItalianPer favoreGrazie
GermanBitteDanke schön
ArabicLaw samahtShukran lak
Chinese (Mandarin)QǐngXièxiè
DutchAlsjeblieftDank u
Filipino (Tagalog)PakiusapSalamat
GreekSas parakaloúmeSas efcharistó
HebrewBevakashah Toda
HindiKrpayaAapako dhanyavaad
IrishLe do thoilGo raibh maith agat
PolishProszęDziękuję Ci
PortuguesePor favorObrigado
SwedishSnälla duTack
VietnameseXin vui lòngCảm ơn bạn


Finally, you can learn a few phrases to show your loved ones that you care. Hearing these phrases in their first language will be especially meaningful, especially since you’ve gone the extra mile to learn them on your own.

LanguageI love youI miss you
SpanishTe quieroTe echo de menos
FrenchJe t’aimeTu me manques
ItalianTi voglio beneMi manchi
GermanIch liebe dichIch vermisse dich
Arabic‘Ana ‘uhibuk‘Ana mushtaq lak
Chinese (Mandarin)Wǒ ài nǐWǒ xiǎng nǐ
DutchIk hou van jouIk mis jou
Filipino (Tagalog)Mahal kitaMiss na kita
GreekSe agapóMou leípeis
HebrewAni ohevet otachAht khasserah lii
HindiMain aapase pyaar karatee hoonMujhe aap kee yaad aatee hai
IrishIs breá liom túAirím uaim thú
JapaneseWatashi wa, anata o aishiteimasuKimi ga inakute sabishī
KoreanSalanghaeNan dangsin-i geuliwoyo
PolishKocham CięTęsknię za Tobą
PortugueseEu amo VocêEu sinto sua falta
RussianYa tebya lyublyuYa skuchayu po tebe
SwedishJag älskar digJag saknar dig
TurkishSeni seviyorumSeni özledim
VietnameseTôi mến bạnTôi nhớ bạn

Get the conversation going

Now that you’ve established the basics, you can use your language journey to start a dialogue and discover more about your loved one. By asking questions and demonstrating additional interest in their language, you’ll show them that you care, and open up new lines of communication.

Here are some great questions to ask:

  • Are there other ways to say the phrases I’ve learned? 
  • What are the key phrases I should learn next?
  • What popular holiday greetings should I know?
  • What’s your favorite phrase? Your favorite slang?
  • Are there any phrases without a direct translation?

If you’d like, you can also encourage your loved one to use their native language more often around you, so that you can pick it up! Pay attention to the phrases they use the most, and be sure to chime in and ask what they mean. 

Long-term learning

If this language learning sampler leaves you hungry for more, you’re not alone! There’s a huge opportunity to build stronger relationships with your loved ones by learning how to converse in their native language. 

If you’re ready to dive deeper into language learning, Rosetta Stone’s self-paced program will support you from your very first lesson. You’ll be fully immersed in your new language, which helps to fast-track your progress. And along the way, you’ll practice your pronunciation with real-time feedback, so you can be sure you’re saying each word correctly.

Ready to get started? Learn more about Rosetta Stone at www.rosettastone.com  

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