Community Web Version Now Available
Derek
The most important phrase in every language.
Sure, there are many phrases which could be important in every language such as: 
"Where is the toilet?". Arguably the most important :) 
"Hello". 
"What is the price?".  

Having traveled the world for many years, I have come to the conclusion that there is one must learn phrase for every language I must learn before visiting the country the language is practiced in. That phrase is "Thank you". Not only is it polite, but thanking someone in his/her own language shows that person you have taken the time to learn the language, shows your appreciation to that person and shows a level of respect you are giving that person. Most times saying thank you garners a smile from the person you are thanking. 

There's no way I can fluently speak the language of all the countries I frequent, but I can thank them for their time. Perhaps that person has had a bad day and your thank you combined with a smile could change that person's mood. 

What is your 'Go To' phrase when you visit other countries?  

For taking the time to read this, I will simply say...
THANK YOU!

AFRIKAANS – dankie
ALBANIAN – faleminderit
ARABIC – shukran
ARMENIAN – Շնորհակալություն / chnorakaloutioun
BOSNIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah) 
BULGARIAN – благодаря / blagodaria
CATALAN – gràcies (GRAH-syuhs) 
CANTONESE – M̀h’gōi 
CROATIAN – hvala (HVAH-lah)
CZECH – děkuji (Dyekooyih)
DANISH – tak (tahg)
DUTCH – dank u
ESTONIAN – tänan (TA-nahn)
FINNISH – kiitos (KEE-tohss)
FRENCH – merci
GERMAN – danke
GREEK – ευχαριστώ (ef-hah-rees-TOH)
HAWAIIAN – mahalo (ma-HA-lo) 
HEBREW – .תודה  / todah (toh-DAH) 
HINDI – dhanyavād / shukriya
HUNGARIAN – köszönöm (KØ-sø-nøm) 
ICELANDIC – takk (tahk) 
INDONESIAN – terima kasih. (tuh-REE-mah KAH-see) 
ITALIAN – grazie (GRAHT-tsyeh)
JAPANESE – arigatô (ah-ree-GAH-toh)
KOREAN – 감사합니다 (gamsahamnida) 
LATVIAN – paldies (PUHL-dyehs)
LEBANESE – choukrane
LITHUANIAN – ačiū (AH-choo)
MACEDONIAN – Благодарам / blagodaram (blah-GOH-dah-rahm) 
MALAY – terima kasih (TREE-muh KAH-seh) 
MALTESE – grazzi (GRUTS-ee)
MANDARIN – Xièxiè
MONGOLIAN – Баярлалаа (bayarlalaa) 
NORWEGIAN – takk
POLISH – dziękuję (Jenkoo-yen)  
PORTUGUESE – obrigado [masculine]  / obrigada [feminine] (oh-bree-GAH-doo / oh-bree-GAH-dah) 
ROMANIAN – mulţumesc (mool-tzoo-MESK)
RUSSIAN – спасибо (spuh-SEE-buh) 
SERBIAN – xвала / hvala (HVAH-lah) 
SLOVAK – Ďakujem (JAH-koo-yehm) 
SLOVENIAN – hvala (HVAA-lah) 
SPANISH – gracias (GRAH-syahs) 
SWEDISH – tack 
TAMIL – nandri
THAI – kop khun
TURKISH – teşekkür ederim (teh shek uer eh der eem) 
UKRAINIAN – Дякую (DYAH-koo-yoo) 
WELSH – diolch (DEE-ol’ch)
YIDDISH – a dank
ZULU – ngiyabonga
Mar 28, 2019 8:02 AM
5
4
Comments · 5
In my personal experience, it depends on the country or continent. In many european countries they will not give you a bag in the supermarket if you don't ask and you have to pay for them. I never knew that before so when I am in any European country, the most important and survival phrase is "A bag, please" not to have unpleasant moments like I had in Belarus where i was shopping lots of things and I noticed something was wrong and after I had paid and I, then, asked "Where are the bags?" and the cashier was so angry and there were lots of people behind me waiting for their turn. So, yeah, for me "Bags, please" became my main phrase to learn in any language. 
March 28, 2019

In the United States, children are taught that the word please is "the magic word." A common conversation at a dinner table is:

Child: "I want more ice cream!"

Mother: "You didn't say the magic word. You don't get any more ice cream until you say the magic word."

Child: "I want more ice cream, please!"

March 28, 2019
Shukran
March 28, 2019
Thank you
March 28, 2019
Terima kasih :)
March 28, 2019
Derek
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English, Thai
Learning Language
Chinese (Mandarin)