Back to the Basics


Somewhere over the course of time, society has lost the basics of simple greetings and good manners.  Gone are the days when hello, please and thank you are common in every day conversation with individuals that are both familiar and unfamiliar to us.  Do you know that these three words can turn a stranger into a colleague and possibly a friend under certain circumstances?  Let’s explore these three polite words in more detail.


Say “hello” the next time you walk by someone.  Make sure to smile.  Even if the other person does not respond, you will feel better knowing that you tried to make someone’s day with a simple greeting and a smile.


When making a request for something from someone, it’s okay to say “please.” What is really special about please is you can say it prior to or after making a request, and still come across as polite.  Thus, you really can’t go wrong if you say, “Please pass the salt,” or “Pass the salt please.”

Thank you

With the attitudes of entitlement manifested by people in all ages and stage of life these days, “thank you” seems to have dropped from the English language.  It is courteous to express your appreciation for something received to let the giver know that you are grateful for his or her kind gesture – no matter how small it is.

On the other hand, when you give someone something and they do not express gratitude, just say, “You’re welcome.”  They will still be rude, but you won’t.

If you do not feel like saying hello, please and thank you in English, here are the terms in other languages to enhance your level of manners and language skills.

Hello Please Thank You
Country/Language Term Country/Language Term Country/Language Term
Greece Geia Sou Philippines Paki Panama Dot nuet
Hawaiian Aloha Thailand Garunch China Gui lah hui te ha
Japanese Konnichi wa Polish Prosze Australian Eso
Argentina Buen dia Fiji Bula vi naka Peru Juspajaraña
Quebec Canada Kwei Turkey Selam Bulgaria Merci