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Obrigado! Takk! Di ou mèsi! Celebrating World Gratitude Day across time and language

How many ways can we say ‘thank you’? In English alone, there are plenty. The Oxford English Dictionary first cites the simplest, thanks, in Shakespeare’s Love’s Labour’s Lost in 1598. The OED also treats us to some oldies (gramercy [c. 1330], thank thee [1631], thankee [1824]) and contextualizes some goodies (British colloquialism cheers stumbled out of the pub and into wider use in 1976). Other common synonyms range from reverential (bless you) to perfunctory (much obliged, much appreciated) to jovially informal (thanks a million, ta).

For as many languages there are in the world, there are at least as many ways of expressing appreciation. On 21 September, a World Gratitude Day celebration with Oxford Dictionaries is an international journey through language that includes stopovers in France (merci), Spain (gracias), Germany (danke), Italy (grazie), and beyond. Join us as we explore different ways of saying ‘thank you’ around the world in the interactive map below.

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Country Language Translation Romanization
Argentina Spanish gracias
Australia English ta
Brazil Portuguese obrigado
Canada (Quebec region) French merci
China Mandarin 謝謝 xièxie
Egypt Arabic شكرا shukran
Great Britain English cheers
Greece Greek ευχαριστώ eycharisto
Haiti Hatian Creole di ou mèsi
Iceland Icelandic þakka þér
India Hindi धन्यवाद dhanyavād
Indonesia Indonesian terima kasih
Iran Persian ممنون mamnoon
Japan Japanese ありがとう arigatou
Kenya Swahili asante
Nigeria Yoruba Ọ se
Norway Norwegian takk
Pakistan Punjabi شکریہ shukrīā
Poland Polish dziękuję
Romania Romanian mulțumesc
Russia Russian спасибо spasibo
South Africa Afrikaans dankie
Suriname Dutch dank u
Thailand Thai ขอบคุณ khopkhun
Turkey Turkish teşekkür ederim
United States English thanks

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