How do you answer the telephone in your country?

Solbrillante

Senior Member
USA-English
Just a little footnote, it is also considered proper etiquette here in the US that the person who placed the call is the one who should end it. This can be a real problem if you have friends who think nothing of calling and wanting to talk for HOURS!! I actually have a friend who will talk on and on and at some point I will try to indicate that I need to move on and finally she told me "If ever you need to go, just hang up on me like my other friends do." I cannot bring myself to do this, so in particularly long conversations it might be 30 minutes of hinting that I need to go, before she will say good-bye. This is where caller-ID comes in handy, if I do not have time available to talk for hours, I call her back and then I can end the call when I need to!
 
  • jonquiliser

    Senior Member
    Svediż tal-Finlandja
    Just a little footnote, it is also considered proper etiquette here in the US that the person who placed the call is the one who should end it. This can be a real problem if you have friends who think nothing of calling and wanting to talk for HOURS!! I actually have a friend who will talk on and on and at some point I will try to indicate that I need to move on and finally she told me "If ever you need to go, just hang up on me like my other friends do." I cannot bring myself to do this, so in particularly long conversations it might be 30 minutes of hinting that I need to go, before she will say good-bye. This is where caller-ID comes in handy, if I do not have time available to talk for hours, I call her back and then I can end the call when I need to!

    The same is considered "prper etiquette" here, but never to such a dogmatic extent! It is perfectly ok to say you can't keep on talking if that's the case, though it is usually the caller who ends the call.
     

    Yulia Alex

    Member
    Moscu, ruso
    In Russia we say ALLO as they do in France, and this is enough for personal communication. At work it is considered polite to say @name of organization@, good afternoon.
    If you don't say goodbuy defore you hang on it means you are offended or you want to insult the other side.
    Sometimes people try to be different: they use to say "I'm listening", "Yes", but they never say "Here is Mary" or anything of that style.
    After saying ALLO we normally say Hello, then How do you do, then where are you? (if it is a mobile phone communication). Sometimes it seems endless all these phrases, but without saying it you look unpolite and you will have to answer for "What has happened to you?"
     

    alexacohen

    Banned
    Spanish. Spain
    In Andalucía (Spain):
    We pick up the receiver and say "Sí" or "Hola", when we know who's calling.
    If we don't know who's calling, we usually don't pick up the receiver for fear of finding a salesperson at the other end of the line.

    Companies don't answer the phone: they have a machine voice which directs you to a web page.
     

    mirx

    Banned
    Español
    In Andalucía (Spain):
    We pick up the receiver and say "Sí" or "Hola", when we know who's calling.
    If we don't know who's calling, we usually don't pick up the receiver for fear of finding a salesperson at the other end of the line.

    Companies don't answer the phone: they have a machine voice which directs you to a web page.

    Has it gotten that bad there?
     

    alexacohen

    Banned
    Spanish. Spain
    Has it gotten that bad there?

    If you mean the machine voice, yes, that bad.
    It is always a female? voice going on like this:

    "Welcome to ....... customer service. All our lines are busy at the moment. We remind you that you may contact us at .... dot com. If you want to speak with one of our agents, please hold the line. (music music music). Welcome to ... customer service. All our lines are busy at the moment. We remind you that you may contact us at .... dot com. If you want to speak with one of our agents, please hold the line. (music music music).
    Welcome to...."

    Well, it is a way to answer the phone in my country.
     

    Kangy

    Senior Member
    Argentina [Spanish]
    I say "Hola" when I answer the phone, and "Chau" to finish the conversation.
    They're basically the same words to say "Hi" and "Bye" in a normal (not telephone) conversation.
     

    Huinca

    Senior Member
    Spanish Argentina
    In Argentina, people use to say "hola", "diga" o "hable". También suele decirse "sí?". En caso de las empresas, clínicas, etc. se suele decir el nombre y luego el saludo. Por ejemplo: "Hospital Central, buenos días".
     

    Jacques L. Dupin

    Senior Member
    France French
    In France, the general use was (and is) "Allo" to begin and "Au revoir" to end.

    At work, about 30 years ago, we started to say : "business name/bonjour". I'm quite sure that this was introduced by communication advisors. I remember I have been teaching that to new employees, accustomed to say "Allo".

    In a company, this use ["business name/bonjour"] fits when you receive outside calls. But you'll admit it is not very convenient for inside calls. So one can say "department name/first name-surname/bonjour". If you receive outside and inside calls, it may be "business name/department name/first name-surname/bonjour". oooff!!!

    Since four or five years, I use to hear : "surname-name" (without business name and without bonjour). At first, it was somehow shocking to me. I thought my friend Bernard, who first adopted this use, to be incurably snobbish. But now, as I am in a new occupation I'm beginning to say "Jacques Dupin Bonjour" ("Jacques Dupin" only go on seeming to me barbarian). As I feel it now, I'm trying to find the best compromise between inside calls, outside calls, people knowing me in my new job, people who do not know me, and so on.
    Taking my phone is a true adventure. As we say in France : "on vit une époque formidable".
     

    Solbrillante

    Senior Member
    USA-English
    I know just what you mean Jacques L. Dupin. In our office, inside calls not only have a different ringtone than outside calls, but we also have caller-ID. It is very easy to tell one from the other. So it drives me nuts when someone answers an inside call by saying "such and such department". Like, no kidding, I know what department I just called, could you please identify yourself? I always worry that maybe I might say the wrong thing, thinking that I'm talking to someone other than who I really am talking to.:eek:

    Sol
     

    Crooklets

    Member
    Germany, GB English & German
    Hello everybody,

    It's quite true - in Germany we say our surname or complete name when answering the phone. I think this is quite useful if people are unsure if they dialled the right number or not.

    At the moment I'm in Spain and I find it quite irritating that people just say "si" or "digame" when answering - just the opposite to Latzana! ;-)

    In England we very often pick up the phone and say state the place and telephone number "Swindon, 658667".
     

    Laztana

    Senior Member
    Spain, Spanish and Basque
    Hello everybody,

    At the moment I'm in Spain and I find it quite irritating that people just say "si" or "digame" when answering - just the opposite to Latzana! ;-)

    Hi Crooklets,

    I have to say that I didn't find irritating when people answered saying their names in Germany. The irritating thing for me was that I was told off a few times by my german colleagues for not doing it myself :p. Now I'm coming back to Germany for a quite long period of time, so I guess that I will have to change my habits in that regard ;).

    Welcome to the forum :D
     

    Lucky Luke

    New Member
    Slovenia / Slovenian
    I am Slovenian, and I live in Germany, so I can talk for both countrys.

    In Germany you will tell them your name, and in Slovenia you will say: Zdravo??? which means Hello???.

    I appreciate the Slovenian opinion more then the German one, because you can never be sure who is calling you and what he want from you.
     

    Binapesi

    Member
    Türkçe
    In Turkish, it's more polite when you say "Efendim?", but "Alo?"s are also used. "Alo"s are used more than "Efendim"s though. Not rude, just normal, typical.

    And some answer back to this "Alo" as "Salamun Alaikum" and the other end of the phone answers "Alaikum Salam" .. That one happens just in "really" Muslim families. It's said 99% of Turkey are Muslim, you know ..

    And then it keeps going on like that:

    "How are you? What are you doing lately?"
    "What would we do? We're doing fine."
    "How are the other people at home? There isn't anything bad, right?"
    "Everything is just fine. How are the people there?"
    "There fine too ...
     

    almondeyed

    Member
    Turkey- Turkish
    When I call our customer in Spain he answers "Digame", but nobody from Spain mentioned about this kind of an answer. Is it so uncommon?

    And in Turkey we generally answer saying "Alo" or "Efendim". "Efendim" is also used when answering somebody who calls out or speaks to you:

    Mother: Ali! (From the kitchen)
    Ali: Efendim? (yes?)
    Mother: Dinner is ready. :)


    We also hang up saying "(sonra) görüşürüz" (see you (later)), bay bay (bye bye).


    By the way:

    Good bye :)
     

    knuckleball_man

    Senior Member
    United States, English
    My mother has taught us children to say Hello + the family name to let the person who called know if they have dialed the correct number.

    I did not see any mention in the thread about what you say if someone asks for you but you are already speaking. The polite way to do this in English is to say "this is he" or "this is she" when someone asks for you. It is also common to hear "speaking!".

    However, what a lot of people do is to say This is + their name, which I guess is what I typically do too.
     

    sokol

    Senior Member
    Austrian (as opposed to Australian)
    And how does the person at the other end of the line react? When I answer "hallo" in Germany, the response I usually get is silence followed by "who are you?" with a surprise tone in the voice :eek:, is it the same for you?
    Because of this kind of reaction, I reached the conclusion that it is considered rude to answer "hallo" in Germany.

    In Austria customs are similar to Germany, usually you answer with your name. (It was and partly even still is normal to answer the phone, if you are visiting a friend, with the friend's family name only or with "bei" + family name - meaning: this is family/household XXX speaking, rather than mentioning your own name - of course, this is only valid if you are good enough friends to consider answering the phone of your friend.)
    But this already is changing rapidly due to the fact that on mobile phones usually you do know who is calling, and even else phones with displays showing the caller (if of course the caller is registered in your virtual phone book) are spreading rapidly.

    For once, on mobile phones the most common answer to an unknown caller has long since changed to "Hallo" here in Austria, at least in the northern and eastern region where I live - and on cable phones the "Hallo" isn't the exception any more.
    So I don't think anyone would be upset here in Austria if you don't say your name when answering the phone but "Hallo" or something similar.

    However, for business conversation (doesn't matter wether on mobile or cable phone) there still apply the "traditional" rules that you should be answering with both company name and surname plus an additional greeting phrase, in this order, and it is considered obligatory to say good bye at the end of the conversation - at least unless you know the person you are talking to very good and have secretly agreed on it being okay hanging up on each other without (which is extremely rare but exists).

    And if you know the caller then of course there are a great many possibilities to answer the phone.
    With one of my business contacts (situated in Vienna, as I am) who I know very good already I usually answer with "Grüss Sie, Frau XXX" or even with "Frau XXX, was gibt's" which would be considered extremely rude if you hadn't established this 'code' of sorts beforehand.
    (And yes, this Frau too could say to me "Herr XXX, ich hätt schon wieder ..." without me feeling offended in the least. :))
     

    VivaReggaeton88

    Senior Member
    US/EEUU; English/Inglés
    In New York we say hello? in general, to a friend we might say hey/yo whats up?. Surprisingly in Italian areas like parts of brooklyn and howard beach, even the non-italian speakers answer with pronto! or even ciao. Again, this is what happens in New York, the melting pot.

    I have a Dominican friend who answers using the informal dime and no one has mentioned that yet,, is this common?
     

    Mjolnir

    Senior Member
    Israel, Hebrew, English
    In Israel we usually say הלו (hello?), כן (yes?), and בוקר/ערב טוב (good morning/evening).

    If you're calling a corporation the answer will usually be "hello, you've reached X, Y speaking" (actually, it'll probably be a machine, but that belongs to a different thread).
     

    MarcB

    Senior Member
    US English
    When I call our customer in Spain he answers "Digame", but nobody from Spain mentioned about this kind of an answer. Is it so uncommon?

    And in Turkey we generally answer saying "Alo" or "Efendim". "Efendim" is also used when answering somebody who calls out or speaks to you:

    Mother: Ali! (From the kitchen)
    Ali: Efendim? (yes?)
    Mother: Dinner is ready. :)


    We also hang up saying "(sonra) görüşürüz" (see you (later)), bay bay (bye bye).


    By the way:

    Good bye :)
    Diga or digame are common in most parts of Spain, but as you see there are different words in Latin America.
     

    Sepia

    Senior Member
    High German/Danish
    In Germany it is gaining popularity simply saying

    "Ja, bitte." (yes please)

    I think thy widespread use of mobiles may have something to do with this: If somebody calls mr Mueller-Luedenscheid or dr Kluebener on his mobile they wouldn't expect anyone else answering, so a short "ja", or "ja, bitte" is totally sufficient.

    But maybe somebody can answer this one:

    I have been watching a Latin American telenovela for a while. The story is not set in any particular existing country, but judging from accents, some of the actors might be Mexican, but not all. When they answer the phone most of them say "Halo"

    Can anyone tell me in which Spanish-speaking country that is the preferred way to answer the phone?
     

    mirx

    Banned
    Español
    So do I. I think "bueno" is the most common way of answer the phone in mexico, if not at least in my city.

    También en mi región.

    ¿De casualidad te has fijado en la fórmula que utilizan en las novelas?
    Esta forma quizá refleje lo que se dice en otros estados, o lo que se usa en DF.

    Me parece haber escuhado un "diga"; aunque ya ves que normalmente es una sirvienta la que levanta el teléfono: "mansión de la familia Limantour y Corcuera".
     

    mgwls

    Senior Member
    Spanish (Argentina)
    Can anyone tell me in which Spanish-speaking country that is the preferred way to answer the phone?

    Here, a lot of people (especially the older) answer the phone saying "aló." Most of us use "¿sí?" (yes?) or just a simple "hola." Some people also say "hable" (speak) or "diga" (say). To say goodbye most people use "chau" or "adiós" but this one to a lesser extent.
     

    Scherle

    Senior Member
    Filipino, and English
    It actually depend on a person's personality or it sometimes depend on how a person was taught by his elder.

    In the Philippines,we answer the phone by saying "Good morning/afternoon/evening,XXXX residence.May I know whose on the line please? In bussiness manner, we answer "Good morning/afternoon/evening,xxx(name of the company).How can I direct your call?

    We say goodbye to end the call.We even say take care sometimes. On the otherhand we say the name of the company (e.g. Thank you for calling(name of the company) and you have a great day) before hanging up in the phone in our workplace.
     

    Payangde

    New Member
    Burkina Faso, French
    In my country, people just say 'Allo', just like in France. I have no idea about the meaning of such word but as much as I know, it does not mean anything. Just to let the other at the other end of the line know you are attentive. Allo is also just a heritage from the colonial period (Burkina Faso was colonised by France). But I have of my good friend who just say when you call him on phone: Bonjour, c'est Mossa j'écoute'; means Hi, I am Moussa, listening. Not fine? I prefer because at least it means much...
     

    kari3103

    New Member
    argentina
    In Argentina we say: Hola? (hello?) but if you are at work you must say: Buenos días, buenas tardes o buenas noches. (good morning, good afternoon or good night)
    But some people say: hable! (speak!) I think is very rude :S. .
     

    Mate

    Senior Member
    Castellano - Argentina
    Hi there, I heard people say "Digamelón?" I guess spanish people will know what I'm talking about! :D :rolleyes: :eek:

    See you around!
    I'm not Spanish so I'm not sure about what you mean to say :D.
    If I hear someone picking the phone and saying "digamelón" perhaps my first, instinctive reaction would be to reply "melón" :p.
     
    Top