As you take the time to learn Hebrew, you will come to appreciate how rich the language really is. The list of common greetings in Hebrew is quite numerous. If you are relatively new to the language, yet you want to impress your Hebrew-speaking companions, then this is the place to start.
There are many ways to say “hi” in Hebrew and “goodbye” and just as many responses. Below is a rundown of some of the most popular greetings in Hebrew with English transliteration.
How to Say “Hi” in Hebrew, Plus Other Greetings in Hebrew
שלום (shalom) – This word, which literally means “peace,” is the most common greeting in Hebrew. You may also hear many Israelis say “shalom, shalom!” Generally, though, this is used when saying goodbye to one another.
Another common greeting is שָׁלוֹם עֲלֵיכֶם (shalom aleichem), which literally means “Peace upon you.” Often, this phrase is used when two people haven’t seen each other in a very long time or when someone has returned from a trip. The response in the second case would be עֲלֵיכֶם ושָׁלוֹם
Finally, there is ?מַה שְׁלוֹמְךָ (ma shlomcha) for a male and מַה שְׁלוֹמֵךְ (ma shlomech) when talking to a female. This phrase means “How are you doing?”
2. Good Morning, Good Evening, Good Night
בּוֹקֶר טוֹב (boker tov) – Good morning
צָהֳרַיִם טוֹבִים (tzohorayim tovim) – Good afternoon
עֶרֶב טוֹב (erev tov ) – Good evening
לַיְלָה טוֹב (erev tov) – Good night (can be used in the same way as “sweet dreams”)
בָּרוּך הַבָּא (baruch ha-ba) – This phrase means “welcome!” It is directed to an individual.
בְּרוּכִים הַבָּאִים (bruchim ha-bayim) – This is “welcome” said to a group of people instead of an individual.
4. What’s up, What’s Happening, What’s New?
?מַה נִשְׁמַע (ma nishma) – Loosely translated as “what’s up?” or “what’s doing?”
?מַה קוֹרֶה (ma kore) – “What’s going on?” Or “What’s happening?”
You can also say
? מה קורה אִתְּךָ – (ma kore it-cha) – “What’s going on with you?” (When speaking to a male)
? מה קורה אִתָּךְ – (ma kore itach) – “What’s going on with you?” (When speaking to a female)
?מָה הַמַּצָּב – (ma ha-matzav?) – “How’s everything?,” literally “what’s the state (of the affairs)?”
?מה עניינים – (ma inyanim?) – Another popular phrase for “How’s everything?”
?אֵיך הוֹלֵך – (aich holech) – “How’s going?”
?מַה חָדָשׁ – (ma chadash?) – “What’s new?”
Two other phrases that are used quite often in informal settings:
אַהֲלָן – (ah’lan ) – it means “hello.” It is a shortened version of a phrase in Arabic “Ahalan wa-sahalan,” which means “welcome.”
Or, you can just say !הַי Hi!
How to Say Goodbye in Hebrew
Use one of these phrases to say good-bye:
שלום (shalom) – See above
כל טוב (kohl toov) – Be well
לְהִתרָאוֹת (Lehitra’ot) – See you soon or later
Responses to a Greeting in Hebrew
Some general responses to greetings in Hebrew include:
בְּסֵדֶר– (Beseder) – (It’s) Ok. It’s fine.
הַכֹּל בְּסֵדֶר– (Ha-kol beseder) – Everything is ok
טוֹב מְאוֹד– (Tov me-od) – Very well
לא כל כך טוב– (Lo kol-kach tov)- Not very well
כָּכָה–כָּכָה– (Kacha-kacha) – So-so