How To Say "Hello" in Afrikaans Like a Native Speaker! - Blog (2024)

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.

How To Say "Hello" in Afrikaans Like a Native Speaker! - Blog (2)

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

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.

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!

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.

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.


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).


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.

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 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!

How To Say "Hello" in Afrikaans Like a Native Speaker! - Blog (9)

How To Say "Hello" in Afrikaans Like a Native Speaker! - Blog (2024)


How do Afrikaans people greet each other? ›

Say “Haai” or “Hallo” if you are greeting an acquaintance or a friend. You can use the informal way to say “Hello” in Afrikaans if you know the person or are on familiar terms with the person. Many Afrikaners will greet each other with “Haai” or “Hallo” when they see each other on the street or in their homes.

How do you say hey in Afrikaans? ›

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.

What are the common ways of greeting in South Africa? ›

The most common greeting is a handshake accompanied with eye contact and a smile. This is appropriate among most South Africans. Handshakes may be light or firm depending on the person you are greeting. People from rural villages may use two hands to shake/greet.

How do you formally greet someone in South Africa? ›

Howzit – A traditional South African greeting that translates roughly as “How are you?” or simply “Hello”. 2. Heita – An urban and rural greeting used by South Africans.

What is the respectful word for you in Afrikaans? ›

In Afrikaans, second forms of address could be a thorny issue, however. Instead of having an option such as the jovial all-rounder 'you', one has to either stick with u (the formal pronoun) or opt for jy and jou (the informal incarnation of 'you' and 'your').

What is Afrikaans slang for hello? ›

Afrikaans doesn't really have an exact equivalent of 'hello'. The norms are 'Goeie more/middag/naand' which mean 'good morning/afternoon/evening. Afrikaners also use the term, 'Hoe gaan dit? ' (how are you) instead of hello.

How can I learn Afrikaans fast? ›

Start with basic vocabulary and essential phrases. Listen to podcasts in Afrikaans or Afrikaans audio courses to get familiar with the tonation. Find an Afrikaans-speaking partner through online language courses or language teaching platforms. Find free Afrikaans lessons online for extra support.

How do you respond to how are you in Afrikaans? ›

However, it is not a serious offense, the person will understand that you are an Afrikaans learner. If you want to reply to how are you, simply say Baie goed dankie.

What is the Afrikaans word starter? ›


What is bruh in Afrikaans? ›

bro/bra/bru/boet/boetie – a close male friend and a term of affection used by one male to another. All words are variations of the word "broer" in Afrikaans meaning "brother".

How do you say cheers to in Afrikaans? ›

Cheers in Afrikaans – 'Gesondheid! ' Cheers in Zulu – 'Bajabule!

What is Afrikaans slang for girl? ›

From Afrikaans stukkie (“girl, girlfriend”, literally “little piece”).

What is the traditional way of greeting? ›

A handshake is universally accepted as a greeting, both formally and informally. An exchange of “hello” or “hi” is usually enough as a casual greeting among peers. Other cultures kiss each other on the cheek, once, twice or thrice together with a handshake or a brief hug.

What does ayebo mean in South Africa? ›

Yebo [yeah-boh] It means "yes", but it is used as an extremely expressive form of the affirmative. It's often used as a double positive, saying "Yebo yes!".

How do you say please in South Africa? ›

  1. Yes - Ja pronounced Yah.
  2. No - Nee pronounced kneer.
  3. Thank you - Dankie pronounced dunkey.
  4. Please - Asseblief pronounced asserbleef.
  5. Goodbye – Totsiens pronounced totseens.

How do you say I love you in South Africa? ›

The 11 official South African languages:
  1. English - I love you.
  2. Afrikaans - Ek is lief vir jou.
  3. Sepedi - Ke a go rata.
  4. IsiNdebele - Niyakutanda.
  5. IsiXhosa - Ndiyakuthanda.
  6. IsiZulu - Ngiyakuthanda.
  7. Sesotho - Ke a go rata.
  8. SiSwati - Ngiyakutsandza.
Dec 28, 2012

What is thank you in South Africa? ›

Another way to express gratitude in South Africa is to say “Dankie,” which is Afrikaans for “Thank you.” This phrase is widely used in Afrikaans, but it is also understood and appreciated by speakers of other languages.

What is a person who speaks Afrikaans called? ›

Afrikaners (Afrikaans: [afriˈkɑːnərs]) are a South African ethnic group descended from predominantly Dutch settlers first arriving at the Cape of Good Hope in 1652.

What is the Afrikaans term of endearment? ›

Afrikaans translation: Skat, Liefling, Skattebol, Hartlam.

What is unfair in Afrikaans? ›

Afrikaans Translation. onregverdige. More Afrikaans words for unfair. skandelike. unfair.

What does Jambo mean in Afrikaans? ›

While less formal, it is in widespread use in East Africa and beyond. While similar in use to the English word "hello," it really meant to come and settle one's affairs in the business sense.

What does Hola mean South Africa? ›

Howzit = Hello = Hola.

What is Afrikaans slang for mate? ›

Bra (brah) or bru. Nothing to do with underwear at all, but an informal term for "my friend" or "mate", deriving from "brother". 'He's my bra but that team he supports is rubbish." Bru stems from the Afrikaans for brother, broer. Doing a Bafana (bah-fah-nah).

How do you say beautiful girl in South Africa? ›

Nontle. The South African girl name Nontle means “beautiful girl.” Nontle is pronounced NON-telh.

How do you say best friend in Afrikaans? ›

English to Afrikaans Meaning of best friend - beste vriend.

How long does it take to learn Afrikaans fluently? ›

Germanic languages
LanguageTime needed to reach fluency
Afrikaansabout 575 hours or 23 weeks
Danishabout 575 hours or 23 weeks
Dutchabout 575 hours or 23 weeks
Norwegianabout 575 hours or 23 weeks
1 more row
Jan 5, 2023

Is Afrikaans very difficult to learn? ›

Afrikaans is actually quite simple to learn, and many language learners consider it one of the easiest languages to master. Most Germanic languages have two or even three genders, but Afrikaans, like English, uses a singular gender. The verb conjugations were removed, simplifying the language even further.

What is the hardest language to learn in South Africa? ›

Xhosa is one of the most difficult languages to learn because of its complex structure. It is spoken by 8 million people in South Africa and by 11 million people throughout Africa. Most of its speakers live in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Gauteng, and Northern Cape.

What is best wishes in Afrikaans? ›

English to Afrikaans Meaning of best wishes - beste wense.

How do you say good luck and best wishes in Afrikaans? ›

Afrikaans translation:sterkte! / sukses!

How do you say how is your day in Afrikaans? ›

Alternatives to “How Was Your Day?”
  1. “What was the most interesting thing you did today?” ...
  2. “I know you've been working on _______. ...
  3. “Did you get to solve any problems/make anything cool/help anybody today?” ...
  4. “Is your work still challenging/rewarding to you?” ...
  5. “If you could change one thing about your day, what would it be?”

Why is Afrikaans so easy? ›

Why is Afrikaans easy to learn? Afrikaans is one of the easiest languages for English speakers to learn because--like many of the languages on this list--it's part of the Germanic language family. It's spoken in South Africa, Namibia, and a few other countries.

How to remember words in Afrikaans? ›

Create an Afrikaans-Speaking Environment

A great way to expand and consolidate your vocabulary would be to make sticky notes and pin them up around the house. Print the words onto the notes and pin them onto walls, doors, next to or on your mirror and fridge.

What is the easiest language to learn Afrikaans? ›

Afrikaans – the easiest language to learn for both English and Dutch speakers. Afrikaans, the same as English, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, is a Germanic language. This is what makes it obviously easier to learn by a native English speaker.

What is Lekker? ›

/ (ˈlɛkə) / adjective Southern African slang. pleasing or enjoyable. tasty.

What does mate mean in South Africa? ›

From Afrikaans maat (“mate, buddy”).

What does Bry mean in Afrikaans? ›

bry n (definite singular bryet, uncountable) bother, inconvenience, trouble.

How do you respond to Dankie in afrikaans? ›

Literally, this phrase means "Happily done" or "I did it with pleasure”. So when someone saying Dankie to you, you can simply reply with: Dit is 'n plesier.

What is the afrikaans word for congratulations? ›

Afrikaans translation:Veels geluk! Explanation: Typical Afrikaans way of saying "congratulations!" Veels geluk!

What is pretty girl in Afrikaans? ›

Afrikaans Translation. mooi meisie.

What is a beautiful girl in Afrikaans? ›

mooi meisie. More Afrikaans words for beautiful girl.

What does Buta mean in Afrikaans? ›

Buta / Bootah - in reference to brotherhood. from "boet" or "boetie" Bululu / Bururu - Relative from Afrikaans "broer" meaning bro" / Twitter.

What do Afrikaans people say when you sneeze? ›

A form of gesundheit, “Gesondheid” is what people in South Africa say after someone sneezes. “This is how we wish someone health, in Afrikaans,” explains travel blogger and founder of Flight Factory, Gerrard Hattfield.

How do African men greet each other? ›

But the up nod, the grip, and giving dap are African American greetings, usually male. The up nod lets the other person know you see them and may not want or be able to say something. The grip acknowledges a close connection.

Can Afrikaans and Dutch people understand each other? ›

Intelligibility between Dutch and Afrikaans

Although Afrikaans is a daughter of Dutch, Dutch speakers might take some time to understand the language but they can understand Afrikaans. On the other hand, speakers of Afrikaans might not be able to readily comprehend the Dutch language.

What can I say instead of God bless you? ›

"To your wishes" or "health". Old-fashioned: after the second sneeze, "to your loves," and after the third, "may they last forever." More archaically, the translation is "God bless you". "Health." or "Live long."

What do you say when someone says bless you after you sneeze? ›

The phrase first originated as “God bless you.” [This may happen in other English-speaking countries too, but perhaps not as often as in the US!] PROPER RESPONSE: “Thank you!

How can I be polite in Africa? ›

Handshake Hello

Greeting people in Africa is one of the most important and most respectful things you can do. Saying “hello” with a handshake is the best way to make a good first impression. Women often go in for a kiss on the cheek but if you're unsure a handshake is the safest bet.

How do Africans greet someone with respect? ›

Greeting an elderly or influential person in African societies is more of showing respect than exchanging pleasantries. And thus, Africans greet their elders by bowing, prostrating, squatting, kneeling and a handshake with both hands.

What is good morning in Africa? ›

Habari za asubuhi (good morning) – nzuri (fine) Habari za mchana (good afternoon) Habari za jioni (good evening)

Is Afrikaans closer to German or Dutch? ›

In this article, Afrikaans was compared to three West Germanic standard languages (Dutch, Frisian and German). Unsurprisingly, Afrikaans was found to be most closely related to Dutch. When Afrikaans was compared to 361 Dutch and Frisian dialects, the South-Hollandic varieties were found to be closest to Afrikaans.

What do Dutch speakers think of Afrikaans? ›

Many times Dutch speakers will complain that Afrikaans sounds like someone is drunk and too lazy to say some words correctly. Most Dutch speakers are bi-lingual, with almost 5-million people speaking Dutch as a second language.

Is Afrikaans a white language? ›

Afrikaans is home language of 2.7-million white South Africans, or about six in every 10 (60.8%) white people. Next up is English, the first language of 1.6-million white South Africans.


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