Foreign Words Every Kid Should Learn

By ivan matsumoto  |  Posted: February 2, 2018

  • Profile

    Foreign Words Every Kid Should Learn

    Foreign Words Every Kid Should Learn

    Languages can offer so much to your child. It broadens their understanding of the world’s culture and it makes us closer together when we can break the language barrier.  Most schools today put a lot of emphasis on learning a second language and as a parent, we should all encourage to keep learning more.  I raise two little ones and we often go travelling around Europe and Asia. I believe it is important to embrace the culture and country that you are in and so learning the lingo is an important lesson for kids to learn. Which is why I’ve provided a list of foreign words and phrases every kids should learn.

    (Please note that the list is entirely subjective  and the languages that I’ve narrowed down are the ones that are more commonly spoken around the world. Because there are so many wonderful words that I could have chosen for the top 8, there are some notable mentions below)


    Bon appétit

    Translation: Enjoy Your Meal

    how to pronounce

    Foreign Words Every Kid Should Learn

    When it comes to food, French people pride themselves as having come up with the western world’s finest recipes from Duck Confit to the Crème Brûlée. For the French lifestyle, they don’t eat to live, they live to eat. Which is why kids should learn how to appreciate fine cuisine by saying ‘Bon Appétit’ before they tuck in.



    Translation: Hi or Bye

    how to pronounce

    language classes for kids

    Italians are one of the friendliest people in the world (especially the South where we visited). Greeting people can be made easier when the word for hello is the same as goodbye. My kids love saying this word as they say ciao to friendly locals and ciao ciao upon farwell.


    Bitte / Bitte schön

    Translation: Please/Here you go or You’re welcome

    how to pronounce

    Image result for waiter serving family

    Manners is quite important in Germany and like the British they would say please to any request and use the same word when delivering the request or saying you’re welcome. So, the next time you order a frankfurter, don’t forget to say bitte. And you’ll hear the server replying ‘bitte schön’ when handing you the thing that you ordered.



    Translation: nap

    how to pronounce

    Image result for siesta

    The climate of the Mediterranean makes one very sleepy (especially in the heat of summer). Which is why the locals stay indoors during the mid-afternoon and the kids have no quarrels about taking naps for their ‘siesta time’.



    Translation: Thank You

    how to pronounce

    Related image

    Russian pronunciation can be a bit tricky for young English speakers but one of the few words that my kids seem to remember is ‘Spasiba’. What I’ve learned about Russian culture is that they are quite sensitive to being refused. This can be said for many cultures but this is particularly true for Russians. If you are offered an invitation or a gift, just smile, nod your head and say ‘spasiba’ to their generosity.


    As-salaamu alaikum

    Peace be upon you

    how to pronounce

    Image result for middle eastern family

    A tricky one for the kids to pronounce but it is the most beautiful phrase on this list. Get this right and you will certainly impress the locals. And once they have that in the belt they could try to attempt the response: Wa-alaikum-Salaam

    Mandarin Chinese

    Xīnnián kuàilè
    Happy New Year

    how to pronounce

    Image result for chinese family watch fireworks
    With over 1 billion Chinese speakers in the world, Mandarin is becoming increasingly more in demand and more and more schools are adding it to the curriculum.

    That being said, Chinese New Year is a much more important date than the date that falls on the 1st of January. Being able to say it to a Chinese speaker will just  win you some major points.


    Ogenki De 

    Take Care

    Image result for japanese polite

    The Japanese are known for their extreme politeness and that is why I like teaching my kids about Japanese culture and etiquette. I feel that unlike most cultures when people ask the question ‘How are you’ so casually, the Japanese are very sincere about it and they really do wish you well. So the next time you greet a Japanese, say Ogenki De as you pass and you will surely make them feel special.

    Please follow and like us:
    Email Us
  • Comments

Most Recent Post

Fun Kids Guide
Fun Kids Guide