When you first start to learn Spanish, greetings are amongst the first things you will be taught. What could be more important than to be able to say “Hello” in Spanish? Learning the greetings is an easy introduction to Spanish because you don’t need to know any tenses, verb conjugations, and so forth. They are taught with simple sentence structures to give you a nice easy start. I am sure you already know it, but the spanish word for “Hello” is “Hola.”
“Hola” is an informal greeting which you might use to greet anyone you bump into in a casual setting. On the phone you might say instead, “Bueno”, or “Diga”, or “Digame.”
The Spanish word for “goodbye”, which again I am sure you already know is, “Adios.”
“How are you?” in Spanish becomes “¿Cómo estás?” “Good morning” becomes “Buenos dias”, “good evening”, or “good night” becomes “Buenos noches.” If you wanted to ask someone their name, you would say “¿Cómo te llamas?”
After such an easy start, you might be tempted to think that learning Spanish is a simple matter, but you should be aware that you will face some much more difficult steps later on.
These greetings, which are in everyday usage, will give you a good foundation, and speed your learning. They are easy to learn, to remember, and to practice and will give you something to build on.
You will soon start to learn how to string your new found phrases into more complex greetings such as “Hello! How are you?”, or “Hello! The weather is nice today, isn’t it?”
The next step might have you learning phrases like “What’s up?” in Spanish this is “¿Qué hay?” Or you might ask “What’s happening?” which in Spanish is “¿Qué pasa?” When introduced to someone, you migt very well say “Mucho gusto.” which means “nice to meet you.”
These are just a handful of the greetings you will learn in Spanish and they are essential to learn if you want to be able to converse with people in Spanish.
In Spain, it is commonplace for people to kiss each other on both cheeks when meeting and greeting each other. Men, however, would more commonly just shake hands. It does tend to rather depend on the social context of a meeting as to whether people kiss each other or not when greeting. For example in a business meeting it would be inappropriate.
Spanish people who live in other countries like the USA are less likely to greet each other in this manner, they have become used to the culture of America where it isn’t usual for people to greet each other in this fashion.