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How To Say “Hello” in Afrikaans Like a Native Speaker!

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Planning to visit South Africa any time soon? You’re in for a wonderful experience! The country is gorgeous, and the natives are gregarious and friendly by nature. Also, they love making new friends!

By knowing how to say hello in Afrikaans, you’ll have a decided advantage. When they see you can say “Hello” in Afrikaans, South Africans will be even more drawn to you during your visit or stay here. To quote one of the country’s greatest and best-known leaders, Nelson Mandela:

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

So, learning to speak this beautifully expressive language at AfrikaansPod101 will also provide you with the best way to crawl into the hearts of the locals! Also note that you can check out our list of Afrikaans words to say hello to hear the pronunciation of “hello” in Afrikaans in several different ways.

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Table of Contents

  1. Different Ways to Say Hello in Afrikaans
  2. Why AfrikaansPod101 is Great for Learning Afrikaans

1. Different Ways to Say Hello in Afrikaans

Saying Hello

Like in many other languages, how you use these different ways of saying hello in South Africa largely depends on:

  • Who you address
  • The time of day

Let’s start with the easiest ways to greet strangers and friends, keeping in mind that the meaning of “hello” in Afrikaans varies based on how you use it. Here’s how to say “hello” in south Afrikaans.

Woman Waving Hello

1- Hallo

This Afrikaans greeting is the most commonly used, and, depending on your body language, you can greet nearly anybody this way, any time of the day. It literally means “Hello” or “Hi” in English.

You can either use “Hallo!” by itself, or you can use this phrase:

Hallo! Hoe gaan dit?

Translated, you’re literally saying, “Hi! How are you?” in Afrikaans.

Use it this way:

  • If you’re meeting a stranger, offer your hand for a handshake while looking the person straight in the eye with a broad smile.
  • If you’re meeting up with a friend or someone you already know, you can lift your hand in a slight greeting while smiling broadly. Male friends might choose to exchange a friendly handshake again. Or you could succumb to the bear hug coming your way—Afrikaners are demonstrative, and this is their way of showing you that they really like you!

Two Men Shaking Hands

However, don’t greet someone important this way (like the president of the country, for instance). Here you would be well-advised to be a bit more formal in your greeting.

Fortunately, saying hello in Afrikaans when addressing a dignitary or VIP isn’t too difficult either.

2- Goeie dag / Goeienaand

These more formal greetings are used for different times of the day. Let’s look at each separately.

1. Goeie dag

Literally, this translates as “Good day” in English. You obviously say this in the daytime.

Use it this way:

  • When you’re meeting a VIP or a much older Afrikaans-speaking person for the first time, you can use this phrase: Goeie dag. Dis goed om u te ontmoet. In English, this means: “Good day. It is good to meet you.” In this sentence, “u” is a formal pronoun in Afrikaans.

    This way of saying hello in Afrikaans isn’t used that often anymore, but as said, it’s still the most acceptable way to address a dignitary or a person much older in years. Wait for them to offer their hand first for a handshake, as this demonstrates respect. Social etiquette has relaxed a lot over the years, even in work environments, but greeting superiors with this kind of formality will show that you took the time to study their culture. This can only count in your favor. A friendly smile while looking them straight in the eye will also make a good impression.

  • When meeting your new boss, or someone younger (or not that much older) than you, but who is still in a senior job position to you, you can use this phrase to greet them: Goeie dag. Goed om jou te ontmoet. This also translates as “Good day. Good to meet you,” but you’re using the informal pronoun “jou.” Again, depending on seniority, wait for them to offer their hand first.
  • If you’ve already met them before, you can address them exactly the same way, except you should say: Goeie dag. Hoe gaan dit met u? OR Goeie dag. Hoe gaan dit met jou?

    In English, both translate as: “Good day. How are you?” Again, you use the formal or informal pronouns depending on who you’re addressing.

Business People Shaking Hands

2. Goeienaand

This way of saying hello in Afrikaans is used exactly the same way as the phrase above, with one exception—use it after dark. It literally translates as “Good evening,” and is a more formal way of addressing a person at night time.

Now, let’s look at more Afrikaans greetings, which are differentiated mostly by the time of day.

3- Goeie môre

This means “Good morning” in English, and is used to greet someone before noon. It’s reserved for slightly more formal use than “Hallo,” but is less formal than “Goeie dag” and “Goeienaand.”

These are some ways you can use it with success:

Afrikaans: Goeie môre! Daai koffie ruik wonderlik!
Translation: “Good morning! That coffee smells wonderful!”
Situational Use: This is a good way to greet your Afrikaans host or colleague in the morning (provided you can indeed smell coffee, of course!). It’s rather informal, and not something you would tell your boss, for instance.

Couple Drinking Coffee at Cafeteria

OR

Afrikaans: Goeie môre! Lieflike dag, né? (“” is a very commonly used Afrikaans interjection that can be used to emphasize just about any statement—irrespective of who’s making the statement!)
Translation: “Good morning! Lovely day, isn’t it?”
Situational Use: Like English-speakers, Afrikaners use the state of the weather as a conversation opener, or just to make small talk. It doesn’t really matter if the weather isn’t exactly “good”—it’s also a way of conveying your personal mood of good cheer, or a sense of well-being.

4- Goeie middag

This is the Afrikaans greeting that means: “Good afternoon.” This greeting is used between noon and dusk.

Here are some ways you can use it with success:

Afrikaans: Goeie middag! Hoe gaan dit?
Translation: “Good afternoon! How are you?”
Situational Use: This is a lovely greeting, suitable to use when addressing any person of any age or stature (except dignitaries and VIPs you meet for the first time, of course…in that case, refer back to #2 above).

OR

Afrikaans: Goeie middag! Goed om jou/u weer te sien.
Translation: “Good afternoon! Good to see you again.”
Situational Use: This is pretty much like the phrase above, but note again the formal vs. informal pronoun. “U” is the rarely-used formal pronoun, while “jou” is the more commonly used, informal pronoun.

If you want to greet your Afrikaans friends whom you know fairly well in a typically local way, do it as follows!

5- Hallo daar!

This informal, very cordial greeting translates as: “Hi there!” You can also consider this a way of saying, “Hello, my friend” in Afrikaans.

Use it this way:

Afrikaans: Hallo daar! Jy lyk goed vandag!
Translation: “Hello there! You look good today!”
Situational Use: As they say, flattery will get you anywhere, and in South Africa it’s no different. However, you shouldn’t flatter a person upon meeting them for the first time; it could look like you’re trying too hard to gain their favor (or maybe something else!). That’s not considered a very attractive trait. It would be best to use compliments only when you mean them sincerely, as this will demonstrate that your words can be trusted.

Woman Listening, Ipod

2. Why AfrikaansPod101 is Great for Learning Afrikaans

We hope you now know how to say hello in the Afrikaans language after studying our hello in Afrikaans phrases. Being able to say hello in learning Afrikaans is one of the most vital aspects of the process.

What are your favorite greetings in Afrikaans? Let us know in the comments!

When you know how to say “Hello” in Afrikaans, South Africa will likely be a very welcoming country. Knowing how to speak the language could well win you loyal, good friends for life! AfrikaansPod101 is uniquely geared to help you with this.

This InnovativeLanguage.com initiative is yet another in its large collection of online language courses. Here, it’s easy and fun to learn a new language, and these are a few reasons why:

  • Immediately upon enrollment, you’ll have hundreds of well-designed lessons at your fingertips, such as Common Ways to Say Hello in Afrikaans. Listen to superb recordings of native Afrikaans speakers in easily-accessible slide-shows, and practice until you sound just like them!
  • Also, immediately upon enrollment, you’ll get access to a huge library of free resources! These include extensive, theme-based Vocabulary Lists.
  • You’ll also gain access to an excellent and free Afrikaans online dictionary!
  • For the serious learner, there are numerous enrollment upgrades available, one of which offers you a personal, online Afrikaans host.

If you’re serious about easily learning to speak Afrikaans correctly, AfrikaansPod101 is definitely one of, if not the best, online platforms available. How to say “hello” in South Africa need not puzzle you any longer. So, don’t hesitate—enroll today!

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