Many of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving in just a few days. It's that time of year when we reflect on what we're thankful for and gather with those closest to us. But in an increasingly global world, there's a good chance we're all in touch with people who speak languages other than our own. Whether you're traveling internationally for Thanksgiving, welcoming speakers of another language into your home, or just want to practice, here's how you can give thanks in each of the languages that we offer for adult learners!
Even if you don't speak Spanish, you probably know that the simplest way to say 'thank you' in Spanish is "gracias." Here are a few more:
For a really big thank you: "Muchas gracias."
"I appreciate it:" "Te lo agradezco”
To thank or give thanks: "Dar las gracias"
Similarly to Spanish, Italian speakers say "grazie" to express their thanks. They both come from the same Latin root words. But they have some very different ways of expressing thanks in other scenarios!
The noun 'thanks,' as in 'giving thanks': "Ringraziamento"
Thank you very much: "Molte grazie"
Thankful: "Grato/grata" (Depending on gender)
The standard way to say 'thank you' in Chinese is 'xiè xiè' (谢谢). There are a few other ways to express the sentiment, too.
To put more emphasis on the person you're thanking: "Xièxiè nǐ"
Expressing that you're "Grateful" or "thankful": "Gǎn'ēn" (感恩) or ɡǎn xiè
A really big, more formal 'thank you:' "Fēicháng gǎnxiè nǐ!" (非常感谢你)
To express your thanks in French, you simply have to say 'merci!' But sometimes gratitude is bigger than just one little word.
For a big thank you, "Merci beaucoup" (thank you very much) will do.
For a REALLY big thank you, try "Merci infiniment" (thank you infinitely)
And perhaps appropriate for Thanksgiving dinner (France doesn't celebrate Thanksgiving, but Canada does– in October!), you might say, "Merci pour le repas," or "Thank you for the meal!"
"Thank you" in Portuguese is most commonly expressed as "Obrigado" or "obrigada" (depending on gender).
To say 'thank you very much:' "Muito obrigado/a"
For thank you VERY VERY VERY much: "Obrigadíssimo/a"
Very formal ways to say you're grateful: "Agradecido/a" or "Grato/a"
"Arigato" is the casual way of saying 'thank you,' particularly with someone around your own age.
If you're speaking to someone older or a higher authority or a stranger, you may say, "Arigato gozaimasu."
Many English speakers of a certain age are familiar with the phrase "Domo arigato" from a song by the band Sty. That means, "Thank you very much." Or, more commonly used to be polite, "Domo arigato gozaimasu."
To thank someone for multiple things (for example, "Thank you for everything!"), you may say, "Iroiro arigato gozaimashita."
Did you know that Germany actually celebrates Thanksgiving? It's not really like American Thanksgiving– it's a small harvest celebration much earlier in the Fall– but it's called "Erntedankfest," which literally means "Harvest thanks festival."
The common German way to thank someone is "Danke." You might intensity that by saying, "Dankeschön," which means something along the lines of 'thank you very much' or 'thank you kindly.'
The German word for 'thankful' or 'grateful' is 'dankbar.'
You'll typically hear Russian speakers expressing thanks with "Спасибо," (Spasiba.)
To say 'I am grateful' (literally "I offer you blessings"): "Благодарю." (Blagodaryu)
Thank you very much: "Большое спасибо" (balshoye spasiba)
For a really big thank you: "Огромное спасибо" (Ogromnoye spasibo)
The term for 'thank you' in Hebrew is the short and sweet "Toda." But as always, there are a few other phrases you'll probably want to know to thank others!
To say 'thank you very much:' "Toda raba."
To say 'thank you to you," you'd say "Toda raba lakh" to a woman and "Toda raba lekha" to a man.
The Hebrew phrase for 'gratitude' or giving thanks is, "Hakarat HaTov." Its literal meaning is, "Recognizing the good."
By far the most common and simplest way to give thanks in Arabic is "شكراً: or "Shukran." Though there are many different Arabic dialects, Arabic speakers will know what you mean if you say this!
For a simple thank you that works in formal settings: "أَشْكُرُك" or "Ashkuraka."
To wish someone well: "يكثر خيرك," or "Yekather khairak/ek” (which literally means, "I wish that God increases your welfare."
To thank or bless someone who's been kind to you: "تسلمي" or "Tislam," which means "Be well."
If this Thanksgiving vocabulary has whet your appetite for language learning, feel free to take advantage of our Black Friday sale on online adult language classes! Have a wonderful holiday season with those nearest and dearest to you.