How to Say Hello and How Are You in Dari: Formal and Informal Ways

Greeting someone in their native language can be a great way to show respect and establish a connection. In the case of Dari, spoken mainly in Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan, greeting someone in their mother tongue can be especially appreciated. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways to say hello and how are you in Dari, as well as provide tips and examples to help you master these greetings.

Formal Greetings

When addressing someone formally in Dari, it’s essential to use proper titles and show respect. Here’s how to say hello and how are you in a formal manner:

1. Formal Greeting: Salam (سلام)

The most common and widely used way to say hello in Dari is “Salam.” It is used in both formal and informal settings, making it a versatile greeting to know. Salam translates to “peace” in English and is ubiquitous, so you can confidently use it in any situation.

2. How Are You?: Chetur astin? (چطور است؟)

To ask someone how they are doing in a formal manner, you can say “Chetur astin?” It literally translates to “How are you?” in English. This phrase is considered polite and can be used with anyone you meet, regardless of their age or social status.

Informal Greetings

Informal greetings allow for a more relaxed and casual way of addressing someone in Dari. Using these greetings can help you build rapport and establish a friendly atmosphere. Here are a couple of informal greetings:

1. Informal Greeting: Salaam (سلام)

Similar to the formal greeting, you can use “Salaam” to say hello in an informal manner as well. In informal settings, the pronunciation may vary slightly, and people might add a friendly tone to their voice. You can respond to this greeting with “Wa alaykum as-salam” which means “Peace be upon you too.”

2. How Are You?: Cheturi? (چطوری؟)

If you want to ask someone how they are doing informally, you can use “Cheturi?” which is the informal version of “Chetur astin?” discussed earlier. The meaning remains the same, but the tone becomes more relaxed and friendly.

Tips for Using Greetings in Dari

1. Non-Verbal Communication

In Afghan culture, non-verbal communication plays a significant role in greetings. When greeting someone, it is customary to maintain eye contact and smile. Handshakes are also common, especially in formal settings. However, it’s always advised to follow the lead of the local person and adapt to their cultural norms.

2. Regional Variations

Dari is spoken in different regions, and regional variations in greetings do exist. While the core greetings remain the same, some regions may have specific phrases or slight variations in pronunciation. It’s useful to be aware of these differences if you plan to visit particular areas or interact with specific communities.

Examples and Conversations

1. Formal Conversation:

Person A: Salam, che haal astin? (سلام، چه حال است؟) – Hello, how are you?
Person B: Ba khoobiyam, mamnun. Shoma chetur astin? (با خوبیم، ممنون. شما چطور است؟) – I’m fine, thank you. How are you?
Person A: Man ham khoobam, mamnun. (من هم خوبم، ممنون) – I’m also fine, thank you.

2. Informal Conversation:

Person A: Salaam, khoobi? (سلام، خوبی؟) – Hello, how are you?
Person B: Baleh, mamnun. Cheturi? (بله، ممنون. چطوری؟) – Yes, thank you. How are you?
Person A: Man ham khoobam, mamnun. (من هم خوبم، ممنون) – I’m also fine, thank you.


Greeting someone in Dari, whether formally or informally, is a lovely way to connect with individuals from Afghanistan and parts of Pakistan. Remember that greetings are the start of a conversation, and understanding the cultural nuances will go a long way in establishing a warm connection. Practice using the greetings provided, adapt to regional variations where necessary, and you’ll be well on your way to engaging in meaningful conversations in Dari. Best of luck!

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